You may not realize, but social media is defined as “way for people to communicate and interact online”. This happens ALL the time online and you don’t even realize. The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media says that social media is a growing phenomenon that is impacting everything about how the world communicates. Companies need social media because their customers are online and they are interacting with multiple people and organizations through multiple channels. Your customers will be asking questions and you need to be there to answer them or someone else will. Whoever is connected through social media will end up taking those customers. “Because so much of customers experience now lives on the web, social media enables brands to take part in a customer’s online experience outside of the typical channels.”
Advocacy is the “nirvana of social media”; this means that sharing your brand is best marketing you can get. You want people to be the ones that are helping you grow your brand by sharing their opinion and experiences through these networks. Find out what kind of customers are giving you the most recognition in order to discover potential advocates. Building this community online will take time but it will eventually develop into a trusting and knowledgeable relationship.
You can’t get anywhere if you are ignoring your customers online. Conversations are the best way to get closer and more organic relationships.
You can also get feedback from your customers through social media. Usually in the form of opinions but if you listen to the “right cues” the feedback and comments can be invaluable.
So this sounds like a piece of cake so far, however, social media really needs to be integrated into your company’s marketing mix. It needs to touch on every aspect such as PR and customer service so that every person in the company can be integrated into the relationships.
How do I build and engaging a community?
The first step is getting people to like you. By Facebook, word of mouth, or anywhere. If your customers like you, they will form positive experiences that will be good for them and for you. This helps the integration of the mix because everyone is happy with the relationships that are getting built.
Time to create some content from your social media presence by looking at your traffic on your sites to determine what people are looking for that will fulfill their needs.
Some topics for content are:
-Learn and improve: designed to optimize your customers’ tasks or workflows. Talking with customers to understand what works and what doesn’t in order improve the product.
-Explore and discover: finding new ways to use your product. This includes looking at other peoples ideas and understanding what will work for your company.
-Question and answer: serves to meet the customers needs. Coming up with the answers to customers questions or solving problems that have gone wrong.
Some scary things about social media are that you cannot control what is said about you. People are always complaining openly about what is bothering them and through social media, it can spread through all areas of the world. This makes customer service that much more important. But there are also always people in the community that are going to support your company because of the relationships that you have built with them.
I love this quote from Henry Ford that the article mentions. It sort of just blows my mind to think of the possible inventions that people have come up with in the past and can still come up with.
- Create beta/tester communities
- Listen for your competition
Human resources love social media because it encourages employee engaged, finding and connecting with new recruits, and helping with retention efforts. So it is a good idea to connect with HR in order to have a successful social media presence.
They can also help with
- Internal social networking
- Career advancement
Don’t limit yourself to just marketing and promotional messages. You can also have adjacent content; content that is relative to your business or common interest, tips and tricks; sharing content that will make your customers lives easier, responses; you can bounce off ideas that other people are already posting about, non-promotional company information; share things like volunteer work and culture of of the organization, job opening; job seekers are using social media to find out where there are open positions, jokes; if this is the culture of your company you should be trying to connect with your customers on a humorous level once you find out the type of humor your company portrays.
Now you want to share/publish your content:
-Frequency of updates: how often do we update? It is best to test and see what works for you. I have heard that you should post as much as you want to be noticed.
-Engagement: 1. responding to users mentions, questions, commentary, etc. Community development is critical for a brand – this means responding to commentary and questions. 2. Solid data-driven content strategy by looking at things that will help you begin to build the foundation of a solid content strategy.
-Consistent branding and voice: the elements that go into a brand ultimately become the promise to your customers. Your company’s brand helps add tangible value to the organization. What is good to have is: 1. Brand guidelines 2. Know your audience 3. Be human 4. Integrate your campaigns
Your social presence is just an extension of your brand and allows you reach many more people.
Earning Familiarity, Trust, and Likeability
Whether you are building relationships offline or online; the strategies are quiet the same.
-Show up: being present is a good reason for others to invest in the relationship
-Be off-topic: you can do that now and again, no one likes to be marketed to constantly.
-Be human: be everything you would expect someone to be toward you in every interaction.
-Add value: adding value will help you to be seen as helpful and authoritative, and make you a wanted part of the community.
-Don’t be exclusionary: don’t treat a selective few differently to those who are looking into your company.
-Practice etiquette: don’t be too pushy or forward; make a good first impression.
-Be aware of current events: make sure that you are keeping up on events. You don’t want to seem insensitive.
Social media can also attract issues because of how quickly everything can spread. That’s why it is a good thing for a company to have transparency that way rumors don’t have to spread before the company says anything about it.
The data that is taken from working on metrics and ROI’s are quantitative and qualitative.
Quantitative data is “generally numeric in nature an can be used in true scientific analysis, with sample sizes of statistical significance and results that are repeatable.” This includes metrics such as followers/fans, engagement, timing, and click-through rate (CTR).
Qualitative data is “based on observations, and it often takes the form of hypothesis that stem from smaller sample sizes than you’d normally need for a true scientific study. These hypothesis can then be tested using quantitative data.” This includes influence, sentiment, and conversation drivers.
So you need to figure out what social media channels are going to work best for your company.
Owned properties – these are things like blogs and forums that are internal or external. This site is fully under your control.
Rented properties – these are things like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. You manage your presence on the site but you don’t manage the site itself.
Occupied properties – no ownership of any kind. Your company can participate on the site but on behalf of who’s site it is.
How many accounts should you have? One or multiple?
This depends on how you feel your company will be able to run things. If you have the ability to manage multiple accounts it may be to your advantage in order to communicate with other ‘branches’ of the company. But make sure that these sites aren’t being left behind. An site that isn’t updated isn’t good.
Once you’ve started, how do you launch a new presence?
Goals and measurement – what are you trying to get out of it?
Branding – effective branding goes a long way to establishing your authority as a brand.
Content seeding – Before following people on your social media sites, make sure that you have content that people will be able to see.
Influencer connection – seek out those whom you have interacted with in the past.
Discovery – add links to relevant places to help customers find you, write about interesting things your company is doing.
Content calender/publishing – have a calender that helps you to plan ahead so your audience sees what you will be up to.
As you might already know, Facebook has multiple types of pages that can be branded.
3. Business pages
4. Facebook messenger
Optimize Facebook by making sure that you have content, use post timing, moderation, engagement, community, user flow, credibility.
Tips and Guidelines
- Don’t spam – always be tactful and classy
- Respond – timeliness is critical, things happen fast in the social media world
- Say no to clustered updates – avoid making multiple updates within a short time span
- @Name – Call out to people when you are talking to them. This makes it clear to know who they are really addressing.
- Highlight important posts – this expands the post to both columns so people know they are important
- Messages – make sure you check your Facebook messages. Most may be customer service related
- Notification – keeping up with notifications can help you track activity
- Page favorites – helpful way to promote partners, good causes and others can see who you are connected with
- Posting – post directly to Facebook from Facebook
- Scheduling – when sharing a link it has to already be online to post it. Make sure you are checking the responses
-Branding and Voice – every word matters, be aware of who you are
-Responsiveness – respond to your community as swiftly as possible
-Measurement – data is plentiful. Set up the measurement frameworkd so that they align to your goals.
Tips and Guidelines
- Don’t spam
- Direct messages
- Scheduling updates
- Shortening links
- Twitter lists
- Use Twitter handles
-Promote Google+ pages in other platforms
-Find and befriend tastemakers
Tips and Guidelines
- Add value
- Frequency and scheduling
- Don’t spam
- Keep your company page up-to-date
- Use the products and services spotlight
- Solicit recommendations for your products
-Establishing thought leadership
-Building customer advocates
LinkedIn works for personal use and business use
Tips and Guidelines
- A business card is not an invitation to be annoying
- Be genuine
- Cold mail
- Sharing content
- Fix broken windows
Tips and Guidelines
- Engage responsibly
- Comment wisely
- Advertise safely
- Favoriting and subscribing
- Uploading videos
Tips and Guidelines
- Give credit
- Change captions
- Don’t flood
- Group boards
- Secret boards
- Verify your site
-People use blogs for corporate, personal/diary, hobby/interest, professional, and community/communal reasons.
-Strategies and tactics:
I also read up on the slides from Amplifying your Content with Social Media by HubSpot. It shows that internet users spend 4x more time on Facebook than on Google. Think about how much time you spend on Google and then you’ll realize how big of a change that is. It is a good idea to use social media to convert visitors into leads and then leads to customers.
Social media can also be used to delight
- Customer delight
- Foster connections
- Keep customers happy
- Show your personality
Social media strategy is to consider your buyer personas.
Ask these questions:
How good is your content?
Are you on the right network?
How is your timing?
How are you positioning content?
Are you doing more talking or listening?
Are you addressing angry prospects and customers?
Optimize your profiles: include keywords in your profiles to make them more searchable
-Always include links to your website: makes it easier for visitors to find your site
-Add visuals and customize everywhere you can: search engines and users love visual data
Personas: knowing your buyer personas thoroughly will allow us to get content to them at the right place at the right time.
Once you find your buy persona, stop and listen to them
Build reach: follow, friend, connect: prospects, customers, thought leaders.
-Use the cocktail party rule
-Use curated content to beef up your feeds
-Create something new and express yourself using a unique mix of content.
Customize your content to each platform: Tailor content to persona and network. You need to not only provide users the content that they are looking for, but position it in the context of that network.
Twitter is the conversation, Facebook is the personality, LinkedIn is the professional, Google+ is the search engine driver.
Analyze to refine: How do we know we are doing it right? What should you be measuring to evaluate your success? What types of goals should you have in mind when you get started?
Social media allows you to engage prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Awareness Stage: share helpful, educational content.
Consideration Stage: share content that helps personas learn more about a specific problem, opportunity, or issue.
Decision Stage: have defined their solution strategy, method, or approach.
So what about the personas?
-They spend their time on multiple social platforms
-They are technical, and knowledge hungry but also have a playful side
-They love science and technology