So You’re Not Getting the Whole Social Media Thing – Part 1
10 Things to Consider for a More Effective Social-Media Campaign
H ave you ever Googled something and found articles regarding your topic that were not from traditional media? Maybe they were from a blog attached to a well-done website that added credibility to what you were reading. As a matter of fact, you saw several articles from the same author that were rich with information. When you clicked on it, you arrived at their website, but you did not do so from a social media network – you did it from Google, Bing or Yahoo. What if I told you that WAS social media which drove you to their website; what would you say? I know – you’re not getting the whole social media thing.
Many people don’t get it; they believe if the benefit they receive is not directly attributed to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ or (name your network du jour) that it’s not working! There are many different ways that a social-media campaign brings value to your brand:
- Building credibility and trust
- Driving traffic to your website
- Opening doors for other opportunities that pay equally or better than your offering: like speaking, training or writing
- Lowering administrative costs, depending on your strategy
- Reputation management
- And of course, sales leads
So in order to help, here are the first five (5) things to consider for a more effective social-media campaign. They are:
1. Why people use social media
2. The importance of interaction
3. The 80/20 rule on content
4. Groups for target marketing: Others and yours
5. Know what time is best for posting your content
Next week we will cover the last five. So let’s get started!
Why Do People Use Social Media?
Think about the reasons why YOU socialize, and remember, socializing is not always going to a club. Socializing may be going out dancing or to dinner, attending church functions, networking at the local Chamber of Commerce or volunteering at your favorite non-profit. Humans were wired with the herd mentality: the desire to belong and be around people – so we seek this interaction like a child searches for the cookie jar.
With that said, the reasons people use social media are to be entertained, helped and informed. And under the “helped” umbrella, there’s also the desire TO help others. So if you’re thinking with this as you conduct your social-media campaign, you will increase engagement and interaction.
The Importance of Interaction
Interaction is important for two reasons: if you don’t interact, people will think you are selfish and they will shun you; the more people you interact with, the more people will not only see your posts, but also push your content deeper into their networks as well. This is one of the most important aspects of social media. Sales is a numbers game, so the question is, “What do you want 20% of (using the 80/20 rule as a basis)?”
The 80/20 Rule of Content
Very few companies have the luxury of posting nothing else but their content only all the time. Apple comes to mind. However, remember that social media was not designed for sales; it was designed to provide a place for socializing. Wherever people will gather, the marketers are not too far away.
So the question is how do you provide enough content to make people stay interested in you and your brand, meet the three needs of entertaining, informing and helping, without going crazy trying to create all of it yourself? Like the popular movie from the eighties, Other People’s Money, you use other people’s content.
Now the trick is to choose wisely! You want to give a good experience, but you don’t want to:
- Use folly: Don’t make a joke that is ill placed or serves no purpose.
- Be offensive for offensive’s sake: Some things will offend someone, because we live in a sensitive world and many people look for reasons to be offended. Don’t worry about those people. But to choose something that is obviously offensive would be foolish.
- Promote your competition: You want to share content that is on message with your expertise, but if you share someone’s content who competes with you, you’ve given an implied endorsement that you believe that brand is great and good to use. Well, how then are you going to say that they’re not as good as you when you endorsed them? On the flip side, not everyone who comes close to your expertise is competition either. It’s a finesse play.
- Engage in negative libelous or slanderous attacks.
Always share what would help and build up, entertain (cute, memorable, poignant or inspirational), and always take the high ground. Remember, if you try to sell (and everything is selling) from a “they stink” perspective, versus a “here’s why you would prefer to be with me” point of view – bitterness always loses.
Groups for Target Marketing: Others and Yours
When you’re networking in the open, in your News feed for instance, you are appealing to the masses. The reason is you want to attract friends/connections/followers. The open is more like a testing ground and a feeder base. You have to meet your public where they are, before you can take them where you want them to go. But there’s a place where you can be more specific in message: your own personal group.
There are two types of groups: yours and others. In yours, you set the rules. If people choose to join the group, they know what it’s all about and agree to the terms. Now a word of warning; you can choose to be blatantly “it’s all about me” in your group, but I would not recommend it. You want a balance of your brand, good information about your message and invite others to chime in and share. Above all – LISTEN! Remember, entertain, inform and help. The reasons do not change.
Then there are other groups. You want to seek those out and join the ones that would have a demographic of would-be customers. Now, it’s easy to say, “Everyone would benefit from my product or service!” Well, you can’t be Wal-Mart and it’s impossible to manage too many groups. So be selective. Are the people in the group business minded (for a business service) and could afford it? Are they in an area I can serve? Then join those groups, introduce yourself, AND DON”T START SELLING!
At first, just socialize and comment on other people’s posts. But don’t comment unless you have something of value to add. You see, if when you speak, value comes out, then when you post, people will read because they expect value. Makes sense?
Know when it’s best to Post Content Specific to Your Message
Your content has a specific audience. For example, if you’re an author, according to Facebook, you should post on Wednesdays and Sundays. If you are in finance, Saturdays and Sundays works best. For more specific posting times by industry, checkout the infographic Facebook: Best Days to Post, Segmented by Industry.
However, Facebook, while being the 800 Lbs. Gorilla, is not the only network available. So you need to know what days and times are best for you, based on the totality of your social-media footprint. For example, if you use Google+ (and you need to be), LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Quora; what is best in one network may not be for all. Here is an infographic that gives you a few more options to take into consideration: The Best and Worst Times to Post on Social Media.
What’s the Ultimate Goal?
As we break until next week, you need to remember what the ultimate goal is: to drive traffic to YOUR website, where you are in control of the message and the user experience. You want to capture the identity of the people who visit your website through your blog and other methods, so you can continue to share great and helpful content with them, keeping you on their minds for that eventual day when they will need your services. This is called Drip Marketing.
Always remember that your website is King! Nothing will replace it. Make sure it delivers a great experience to your visitors, then your social-media efforts will pay dividends.