Social media can either be the biggest waste of your energy and time, or one of the most rewarding experiences. And all of this depends on how you approach it. Here are some of our learnings from years of social engagement which we hope will help you set off on the right footing.
Whenever you are communicating online, you must be doing this through the lens of your company or the brand that you’re attempting to promote. By that I don’t mean you need to be robotic or engage solely in corporate speak, but simply that when you are developing your social media strategy, you need to be thinking about the messages you want to convey and, naturally enough, you want to think about what you are trying to achieve here.
Is it to drive traffic and leads to your website? Or is it to increase your profile and influence and to promote your brand to a wider audience? Or is it to counter some negative PR and address a reputational threat to your business?
All of these scenarios will result in very different approaches so this part of the planning stage needs to be thought through very carefully.
“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.”
Another important factor (which should be one of your first considerations) is your target audience. What do you know of them? What are their broad demographic characteristics, their likes and dislikes, their motivations, their influencers, peers and adversaries.
So before you start to engage them, you better know more about them. And what better way than to spend some time listening to them? Online: within the channels you are planning on engaging with them in!
Consider organising a social management dashboard to gather all of your social media threads in the one place, like Hootsuite or Sprout Social. That way you can set up search filters on each channel (particularly useful for the fast moving channels like twitter which is akin to a stream of consciousness – or unconsciousness sometimes!).
Once you know what your target audience is looking for, and you understand a little of how you communicate with this audience appropriately, this will give you confidence when you start to engage with them.
Most business owners treat social media like a loud hailer – one way and repetitive. This is the perfect strategy to alienate your customers and advocates. How you communicate is almost as important as what you communicate.
You need to be guided by the rule of thirds:
Which leads me to the next point:
Dialogue and conversations work best when they’re natural and free flowing yet many people engaging in social media forget to be sociable and sound like a robot.
So, be natural and treat your audience for what they are individuals and a human! Not a radical thought but an important one.
In the next blog we’ll take a look at the the remaining 5 factors from this series. Thanks for reading.
Driving traffic with no clear understanding of revenues or profitability
Intent led, tracked and accounted for profitable marketing spend
An unsteady flow of low-quality enquiries yielding little business
Motivated enquiries, in the buying cycle, who fit your ideal target market
Business critical tasks relying on staff time, subject to user error
Make processes more efficient, thorough, predictable and measurable
I spend most of my development budget fixing errors and bugs
Fast and reliable cash-generative e-commerce and lead generation websites
My organic traffic is not translating to the bottom line
Rankings with purpose, targeting your converting keywords
Dated branding which doesn’t match the quality of your business
Modern, digital, flexible brand, guidelines, messaging and identity
Low resolution homebrew quality with little impact
Short, sharp videos designed specifically for the right media channel
Marketing visuals that fail to engage your audiences
Smart, precise imagery demonstrating design with purpose
Lack of regular contact with previous customers and clients
A clearly segmented customer base with fine-tuned strategies for repeat business
I have analytics, but it doesn’t help with our decision-making
A connected analytics layer providing confidence in tactical and strategic marketing work
Vaguely written aggregated words with little meaning
Refined, considered and targeted persuasive copy with calls to action
Finding it a challenge to come up with quality ideas and engagement
Well-considered, precise, relatable and polished content
Occasional ad-hoc generic email communications
Focused varied marketing content, adapted to suit customer profiles
A store where most of your budget fixing bugs and maintaining
A store where the stock, turnover, margins and yield dwarfs the marketing spend
Leads and customers are mainly in spreadsheets and inboxes
Win and retain more business by selecting the right CRM and systems