Approaching Social Media Strategically

Dec 7

Written by: RES Blogs
12/7/2011 6:52 AM  RssIcon

by Brendan Morrissey

As I mentioned in my last blog post, there was a lot of interest in social media expressed among the attendees and exhibitors at CEDIA Expo 2011. Manufacturers and retailers simply can’t ignore the 800 million Facebook users worldwide and massive number of consumers using social media. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, two-thirds of online adults now use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

With the rush of many companies to tap into social media, two main points are often lost. First is that social media itself isn’t a solution, it’s a toolset that should complement your other marketing efforts. Think of it as a way to nurture and enliven customers and prospects, using information and content that you create or that you selectively share with them, based on relevancy to your business and your audience. Second, random social media tactics without an overall strategy are seldom effective. Like most things in life, dabbling without a plan – even a modest one – won’t be worthwhile.

Most businesses say they will invest in social media in the next 12 months (either time, money, or both) but many are perplexed by the myriad options. Simply creating a Facebook page and expecting to garner hundreds of valuable followers because “if you build it, they will come” is not a viable plan.

So I offer the following tips on how to strategically approach social media.

•    Give people choices. Some people spend half their day on Facebook, while others scan their Twitter stream several times a day. I suggest starting with the Big Four: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ (which just opened up to business profiles recently – you could be an early adopter!). The key is to develop a consistent presence and information stream across social media channels, allowing your fans and followers to use their preferred channel to stay connected with you. In order to do that, you generally need a tool to consolidate publishing and inbound messages.
•    Use the right software tool for you. There are dozens of tools on the market to help you manage your various social media channels. Without one, you are faced with manually updating, posting and responding to comments from several different sites and having limited ability to measure or evaluate your efforts. Look for key functionality such as advance scheduling of posts/tweets, automatic sending to multiple platforms, URL link shorteners, and reporting/analytics. Some tools are free and can be adequate, but they won’t likely provide much in the way of reporting and tracking.
•    Attract followers directly and indirectly. Once you have set up your base content, get as many friends, family and employees as you can to follow you, connect with you, and “like” your Facebook posts. This begins to build a presence and ensure that when a prospect sees your social media profile, it doesn’t look like a digital ghost town. Then leverage your current lists of clients and prospects, and email them with links to your social media outlets. Likewise, add buttons/links from your website to your social media properties.
•    Set measurable objectives. Without metrics, your social media effort might as well be just another “spray and pray” marketing effort. Instead, think of social media as you do a marketing campaign and build a plan to get something out of it – like 100 new fans or followers this month, registrations for an event or giveaway, etc.
•    Engage your followers. Attracting a large number of fans/followers is a start but you need to give them a reason to keep coming back. Give them a heads up on deals and announcements, reward them with special offers, ask them for their input, and occasionally reward those who share your content. Another way to engage your followers is through pictures and short videos. Develop a schedule with your desired frequency and topics to be addressed. Those in the print industry call this an “editorial calendar.”
•    Be personable and informative. Don’t just post dry, rehashed content. Post in more casual language that reflects the personality of your brand, company or owner. However, don’t go overboard with personal messages like what you did over the weekend or what you had for lunch. Endeavor to provide some valuable, actionable information with each post. Remember, you don’t have to create all the content yourself, you can also share links to other online content your followers may find useful.
•    Don’t drown in details. Social media can be a powerful tool but it’s also very easy to overdo it by posting too much detail or too often. Think of social media posts and tweets as headlines. Use them to entice your followers into a next-step interaction and give them reasons to read more. For example, tease them with a message that drives them to your website to download a free guide on “Five Key Criteria in Selecting the Best [your favorite product here].”

All of that is just to get you started. As you ramp up your social media efforts, you’ll learn how to best leverage these new media channels to engage your customers/prospects. Don’t be disappointed if the goings are slow at first; stick with a solid long-term social media plan that emphasizes measuring results and tying in social media with your other marketing efforts. Above all, ensure your content is relevant and your posting frequency appropriate – don’t be the boor or the broken record at the cocktail party, be the one that people are happy to see and hear something interesting from. And don’t neglect to establish some shared responsibilities and continuity in case there is turnover on your staff.

Finally, as the holiday season heats up, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy and profitable 2012.



Brendan Morrissey is CEO of Netsertive.

Tags:
Categories:
Location: Blogs Parent Separator RES Blogs

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Title:
Comment:
Security Code
CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel 

 

Archive
<May 2015>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
262728293012
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456
Monthly
May 2015 (8)
April 2015 (15)
March 2015 (14)
February 2015 (11)
January 2015 (16)
December 2014 (12)
November 2014 (10)
October 2014 (19)
September 2014 (21)
August 2014 (13)
July 2014 (15)
June 2014 (12)
May 2014 (12)
April 2014 (14)
March 2014 (15)
February 2014 (14)
January 2014 (24)
December 2013 (11)
November 2013 (12)
October 2013 (15)
September 2013 (19)
August 2013 (18)
July 2013 (19)
June 2013 (12)
May 2013 (18)
April 2013 (17)
March 2013 (13)
February 2013 (16)
January 2013 (26)
December 2012 (9)
November 2012 (11)
October 2012 (16)
September 2012 (11)
August 2012 (15)
July 2012 (13)
June 2012 (8)
May 2012 (9)
April 2012 (10)
March 2012 (7)
February 2012 (11)
January 2012 (14)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (12)
October 2011 (8)
September 2011 (4)
August 2011 (7)
July 2011 (11)
June 2011 (12)
May 2011 (8)
April 2011 (6)
March 2011 (9)
February 2011 (10)
January 2011 (9)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (7)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (9)
August 2010 (7)
July 2010 (8)
June 2010 (12)
May 2010 (6)
April 2010 (8)
March 2010 (10)
February 2010 (11)
January 2010 (1)
December 2009 (6)
November 2009 (6)
October 2009 (11)
September 2009 (6)
August 2009 (4)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (5)
May 2009 (7)
April 2009 (9)
March 2009 (7)
February 2009 (9)
January 2009 (8)
December 2008 (9)
November 2008 (6)
October 2008 (7)
September 2008 (7)
August 2008 (3)
July 2008 (5)
May 2008 (1)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (3)
February 2008 (5)
January 2008 (2)
November 2007 (1)
October 2007 (4)
September 2007 (2)
August 2007 (3)
July 2007 (4)
June 2007 (6)
May 2007 (6)
April 2007 (4)
March 2007 (4)

 

Skip Navigation Links.
Skip Navigation Links.
download

You Need to Be Human in This Digital World
Read More»
By Heather L. Sidorowicz

With New Technology, Best is Always Better Than First
Read More»
By Todd Anthony Puma

Work It! A Running Playlist to Get You Through Your Day
Read More»
By John Sciacca

Cutting the Baby in Half: Mediating Customer Complaints
Read More»
By John Sciacca

8 Things to Look for in a Rep Firm
Read More»
By Heather L. Sidorowicz

Slide Show
Slide Show

Audio Video Systems, Plainview, NY
Slide Show

Station Earth, Fergus, Ontario, Canada
Slide Show

Audio Command Systems, Westbury, NY
Slide Show

Evolution Video and Sound, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The Top Kinect Games Coming Out For Console Console
Read More»
Xbox 360 Halo 3 Review
Read More»
Fastest For You To Make Gold In Wow - Leveraging The Auction House
Read More»
Madden Nfl 09 Review (Ps3): A Less-Than-Stellar Game
Read More»
Video Game Jobs - Game Testing Jobs Ready To Anyone!
Read More»
Nano Blitzes In Madden Nfl 11
Read More»
How To Operate Up A Sweat Making Use Of Your New Wii
Read More»
How To Be Able To The Best Themed House Party For A Child
Read More»
The Best Ps2 Games Ever Created
Read More»
Know About Role of Certified Packers Movers Agencies
Read More»