How often do you log into your Social Media channels to update, check or share new posts?
I guess the answer would be ‘a lot’; or else I suspect it is definitely on the rise; because as per The 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report - 63% of marketers use social media for 6 hours or more; 39% for 11 or more hours and almost 19% spend more than 20 hours on a weekly basis!
Now, you may fall under any of those percentile brackets, but it is given that in recent years, with the emergence of multiple new social media platforms (including the ‘usual suspects’ like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) – we may be going for the ‘overkill’, when it’s concerned with social media activities.
However, on the brighter side, a whopping 89% of all marketers indicate that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses; and 75% report achieving positive results, when it comes to Increasing traffic.
How do we then, not get overwhelmed with this rise in social sharing channels; but instead cut through this ‘buzz’ surrounding Social Media and achieve the ROIs that we so desire to manifest through our marketing efforts?
Let’s explore a few bases that you may need to cover when dealing with your Social Media Strategy:
1. Always Remember the ‘SOCIAL’ in Social Media!
One thing we need to be ‘crystal-clear’ is – Though we may be tempted to frantically ‘tick off’ our SM ‘task lists’ by bombarding tons of messages (Blogposts, CTAs, Offers, Product pics, promotional videos, etc.) through our SM pages - We have to understand that Social media is all about being social, helpful and ‘Nurturing Relationships’!
Unlike pushing adverts through traditional media outlets, or handing out your product offers and ‘sales pitch’ through emails - Social media is ‘Two-way-traffic’. It works like a charm if you can share information that brings value to others, answer their burning queries and fuel their curiosities.
The question is – Are you just spluttering the posts with ‘salesy’ messages and opt-ins like, ‘subscribe’, ‘shop now’ or ‘download now’ which seems more ‘interruptive’ and ‘spammy’ or are you instead inviting others to engage in a meaningful conversation that strikes as ‘inviting’ ‘interesting’ and ‘appealing’?
The former tactics will only push you behind multiple folds with irrevocable damage to your marketing effort – not to mention the somewhat tarnished image as ‘untrustworthy’ or ‘pushy’ that you may collect along the way. The latter on the other hand wins ‘hands down’ all the time; because it works on the principle or the ‘building blocks’ of Trust, Helpfulness and Authenticity.
Based on this principle is a phenomenon which Michael Hyatt likes to call The 20-to-1 Rule. A simple but logical rule concerning ratio, which means - you need to make 20 ‘relational deposits’ to get 1 marketing ‘withdrawal’.
If a marketer is always nudging the readers to take action – such as, ‘sign up’, ‘download’ ‘join for podcast or webinars’ etc. without depositing or generously giving the readers something that they value, then they are sure to ignore or unfollow you.
Michael insists that if you want to expand your networks and follower base in SM and if you want to ‘withdraw’ - you have to make the ‘deposit’, i.e. share approximately about 20 pieces of valuable content made by others, for every piece of ‘withdrawal’ or ‘self-promotional content’. Marketers today need to be a giver and not a taker!
2. What’s in your readers’ mind? – Who are Your ‘Buyer Personas’
It goes without saying that for a Social Media activity or posting to take place; one needs to be armed with appropriate ‘Content’.
Here, the ‘content’ could be anything from a link to a blogpost that shares 5 Tips in Taking Your Business Digital; or an ‘offer’ to download The 30 Greatest Lead Tips, Tricks & Ideas; or an image of a new product; or simply the genre or the theme of the ‘conversations’ that could take place in the ‘tweets’ ‘retweets’ ‘comments’ and ‘posts’ between readers and the marketer/publisher.
However, the content can only be crafted and optimised, to the likes of the readers if you know what they have in mind. In other words, what are they thinking of? What are their preferences? How do they behave? Are they senior level Directors looking to generate quick ROIs through software integrations? Or Do they represent mid-level managers browsing to educate themselves on benefits of a Customized Ecommerce Platform for their businesses?
To find answers to these questions, it’s essential that we identify who are our target audiences; i.e. our ‘Buyer Personas’. When deciphering ‘buyer personas’ you tend to factor in the various demographics associated with them, which helps in crafting the content they resonate and engage with. For instance; their income level, gender, age, education, ethnicity, marital status, job designation etc. To create detailed ‘Buyer Personas’ for your business, you can go to this link from HubSpot)
3. Focus on the ‘effective few’ with ‘Consistency’ and ‘Regularity’
For starters, the approach is to always start small because – it could be quite overwhelming to grasp the intricacies surrounding the ‘rules of engagement’ involving various social sharing channels simultaneously; and it could also result in straining your limited resources, questioning ‘sustainability’.
On the other hand, ‘quality always trumps quantity’. So it would be smart to focus on a few ones, where your ‘buyer personas’ are most likely to hang out. Once you identify your ‘buyer personas’, it will be effective in helping you select the right Social Media Channels.
For instance, if your buyer personas consisted of grandparents looking for ‘geriatric care’ would they be found in Instagram or SnapChat? The answer is ‘neither’ of the two (That was a trick question). However, if the target personas were millennial fashion-buffs and emoji diggers, there is a high probability that they would be hanging out on these SM platforms.
Similarly, to zoom in on your most preferred SM platforms, metrics on Age distribution per Social networks can help you decide as the one below from Business Intelligence:
It seems from the charts above, for the younger generation aged (18-34), Snapchat, Vine and Tumbler seems to be the right choice. But for older demographic, Facebook and LinkedIn could be your preferred social media.
When it comes to putting up a ‘brand image’, consistency in your ‘voice’, ‘tone’ ‘illustrations’ and ‘demeanor’ across all channels is paramount. A similar logo or brand name or ‘handles’ that is carried over all SM platforms exudes ‘trust’, ‘authenticity’ and ‘authority’ amongst your followers and helps with your efforts in engaging and nurturing the community.
The final ‘link in the chain’ for ‘effectiveness’ is that of ‘Regularity’. However, logging on to various network multiple times of the day to post your content, can actually rob you off your precious time. It is advisable to block a specific time at the start of the week, or month to schedule all your posts.
Below is an example template from CoSchedule for sharing blogpost on SM:
Similarly, rather than being tempted to constantly check into your SM accounts for updates, it is a lot easier if you block out 10-15 minutes for specific time in the day to respond to your followers, comment and engage with them.
Intelligence (66%), it is obvious that Social Media has evolved into this ‘super’ marketing tool and ‘a force to be reckoned with’. However, in this race to ‘stand out’ for a strong SM presence we need to develop a robust Social Media Strategy, which is capable to accommodate, engage and convert our audiences into loyal followers for our ‘brand’ and ‘ideas’.
If you'd like more assistance with your content or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.