Social media is unique. And it’s misunderstood.
In the right environment, social media will help any company engage directly with customers and prospects. Do it well, and people are likely to share your content with friends.
What makes social media great?
Social media is unique because it is accessible to any company. You don’t have to be a big brand to be great at social media. But you do have to do a few things well:
Social media starts with content that is useful to your audience. It should help them solve a problem, alleviate a fear, understand an issue, etc. Why content? Because it builds trust and encourages people to share with other people in their network.
The next important criteria of great social media is voice. People don’t like boring, corporate speak. They don’t trust it. They want to interact with other humans or brands that act like human beings. Social media voices with charm, wit and empathy stand out from the crowd.
The final step is engagement. Social media presents your company a unique opportunity to participate in conversations directly with consumers and influencers. Companies that engage well are often rewarded for their efforts.
Social media monitoring – a unique opportunity
Social media is unique media because you and your company can watch conversations from afar.
Before embarking on social media, the first step is to see if people are having meaningful conversations. The search process involves a couple of steps:
- What are influencers saying? Every industry has some influencers who drive the conversations. It’s easy to identify them and monitor what they are saying.
- What are key industry groups doing? Likewise, every industry has associations and trade groups talking about important issues. Find out what they are saying and how many people are following them.
- What keywords are people using the most? Social media allows you to search top keywords and conversations.
If you decide to move forward with social media, monitoring will be an important strategy to know when conversations are taking place.
Social media management
Social media management is the practice of doing social media. It involves a number of activities including:
- Network prioritization – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.
- Content development
- Content posting
Five social media networks dominate the current landscape: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Not all of them are right or wrong for every company or organization. The right mix depends on the objectives for the company.
Social media management demands time. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it approach. Nor is it something you should turn over to a college intern.
Good social media is an ongoing investment to identify and engage influencers, your customers and potential customers.
Social media integration
Social media works well with and can serve as a catalyst for other media. For example, good customer service via social media can be fodder for media relations.
A word of caution: social media is not another channel to push out the company message. The key is adapting messages so they engage the target audience.
Social media metrics
Metrics are the final piece of any social media campaign. Fortunately, social media is highly measureable like most other forms of digital marketing.
The specific metrics you want to track will depend on your objectives, but those metrics typically fall in four buckets:
- Outputs — tweets, posts, updates, etc. that you make
- Engagement — retweets, likes, recommendations, etc. that other people do
- Traffic — the people who visit your website, landing page or microsite as a result from social media
- Conversions — last-interaction and assisted conversions that result from social media
It’s best to analyze social media traffic on a weekly basis, at minimum, once a month.
How Amy Atkinson Communications can help you with social media
Amy Atkinson Communications can help you:
- Research social media for influencers and keywords
- Create a social media plan
- Determine your company’s voice and tone
- Develop an editorial plan for content
- Plan and write posts
- Analyze analytics from social media