Take Five on Social Media

Five thoughts on your social media strategy

By Jacquie Goodwill, APR

Some in business use “marketing” as if it’s a swear word, convinced it’s a shell game led by con artists. On the other end of the spectrum are those ALWAYS adding a new brand statement to their latest advertising campaign.  In between are the rest of us, wondering what to do with social media and whether it’s a worthy endeavor to build sales and product awareness.  Here are a few lessons learned from the trenches of building followers on LinkedIn and Facebook.

  • Know which social media platform is right for your business:  For some, especially those who do B2B sales, creating a LinkedIn presence is an obvious choice.  However, three-quarters of adults use at least one social media platform, and the most popular is Facebook.  If just about all your members and/or customers have a Facebook account, consider expanding your social media activity onto this platform.  There are others, as you know, including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and even SnapChat that you may also consider.  Given your products and services as well as the interests of your customers, adding a more-consumer focused social media platform may be right for you.
  • Timing (and content) is everything:  Most everyone checks their LinkedIn and Facebook accounts early in the morning, while sipping their first cuppa.  Yet, what may pique your interest on one social media platform may not even garner a glance on another.  If you pay attention, the analytics on Facebook, especially, will offer you an opportunity for a steep learning curve.  In short, connect with your people through their interests.  For example, a member or customer may not be looking for your product or service on Facebook, but he or she will get a chuckle over a funny or touching meme that is related to your business mission or vision.   One of my clients is passionate about his hobby of electric train sets.  Every time he waxes poetic about trains and includes imagery, his followers always engage and respond.  It offers an opening for them to discuss and do business!
  • Create goals for social media platforms:  Just like other channels, by the end of the fiscal year, you should know what you want to achieve from social media.  Again, analytics will help you tremendously to measure your success.  For example, how many “how heards” from post-sales, or post-event surveys should include social media mentions?  And, how can you connect sales or followers to your social media activity?  Have you measured a spike in sales or registrations following a particular campaign or post?  Using the analytics offered via social media and your website platforms helps you find what works and what to leave behind when considering new endeavors.
  • Ensure your posts, images and infographics link to you: It may seem like the blinding flash of the obvious, but there are so many memes and posts that miss this step, it’s important to mention.  Help others find you by including a link to your website, an email, or even offer a phone number to learn more.  Include your URL, and/or your company name so that way, if your followers “share” your post to their social network, others can learn more about you.
  • Be patient and be consistent:  These two notions are inextricably linked.  Developing and evolving positive customer relationships, whether on social media or other new markets, takes time.  And, since you value quality over quantity, content over the contrived, make a plan and stick to it.    

Will the pay-off be worth the investment into our social media platform?  The short answer is maybe.  Not what you probably want to hear, given the quick-fix approach to many issues of the day.  However, it takes a concerted, consistent effort to build your brand, increase sales, and to, yes, market your products and services via social media.  In short, to build your social media platform is really about building relationships, which takes time.

Peninsula Strategic Communication (PSC) delivers spot-on B2C/B2B MarCom and internal Communication for your business.  Principal Jacquie Goodwill provides hands-on support during times of major transition, growth, and change in an organization.  She’s also known to bring delicious chocolate-filled, home-baked items to a meeting, now and then.

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