I have been following social media for some time now, passively at first and then deciding to get proactive and jump straight in once I thought I had observed enough. Over the past year and a bit of actively being involved in social media I have seen so many changes my mind has suppressed the memories of every time I have been astonished by something new in order to avoid a meltdown. Even though there have been all these changes I have marked out 6 key areas anyone can work on in order to become more effective and efficient in their social media campaigns whether personal or for a brand.
This has to be the most preached about rule in social media, ensure you stay relevant to your fans, followers, readers etc. Indeed this is very true, however there is always someone talking about something on the internet, every conceivable topic is right there at the click of the button, so it does not take a genius to figure out that there will always be an audience for what you are saying or broadcasting. This begs the question how do you find the audience you are looking for. The means by which you advertise or market your social media must be relevant to the people you wish to attract as well as the content.
Which tools are you going to use, a Facebook page for small business to business operations makes no sense, whereas LinkedIn will probably work a whole lot better. Be aware of what you want to achieve and what the best way of achieving this is. With such a wide range of social media tools with each offering something different in different ways many brands are tempted to tramp themselves all over each and every one. This is not necessary, use the medium(s) that do the best for your business and suit its positioning and image. Social Media presence is not gained by having a page on every conceivable website.
3. Keep in the loop!
Stay up to date with what people are saying to you on your various platforms, it is necessary for you to know the general trend and feeling towards your brand. Once you have the grasp of what is coming to you directly start looking away from your little box that you have developed, if you think people talk to you a lot about what you do you should take a look at what they are saying outside of the box you have created for interaction and you will find a whole lot more there. The other side of keeping in the loop is paying attention to the new trends and different developments in the web space, try not to be playing catch up all the time.
4. Be Active!
Keep active in your social media space and start to branch outside of your box as said in rule 3, this is not a space where you sit back and wait for someone to come say hi. Have opinions about things, show people new things, tell people ways in which the brand is moving forward, though not all at once. Participate in other peoples conversations that are relevant to your industry and brand. Participation is key in the social media space and expands awareness of your brand, whilst allowing you to find out a whole lot more about what people think of your brand.
5. Get Personal!
Here is a wild idea, do not let all the commentary come from your brand, sometimes (most especially when there is a problem) we consumers like to speak to a person, let us know who is running the social media and let them comment back to us personally. People love the personal interaction when it is immediate and relevant to them, it is the reason why social media does so well. Having a person answer rather than just the brand gives that extra sense that someone inside that company cares about me. Please take a look at Mr. Delivery’s Facebook page. They have done it really well, the menu is interactive, the people themselves communicate with you and it just lends itself to an extra special experience for any person interacting with them.
6. Decide on why you are doing this!
Many people and brands have gone on about what their objectives are in social media and what goals they have set in relation to fans and ROI etc. However most of the time I see social media being used for customer service more than anything else. I believe it is multi-functional more than a singular marketing and sales tool… would you ask for a ROI report from your customer helpdesk? I wouldn’t but I would make sure that at all times they are focused on retaining customers, being helpful and advertising the brand in a positive manner. Most social media pages, accounts etc. do just this they are more of a helpdesk platform with added marketing and PR functions than marketing platforms with helpdesk functionality.
This is the age where there are no experts, social media requires adaptation and a keen eye for opportunity unlike any other form of marketing or CRM. Those who are involved in social media need to ensure that they have the full backing of the brand and should push for it to be taken out of the “dirty little dark office where nobody knows what is going on just make sure that we have it” mind frame and start showing and sharing great social media experiences with all those within the brand