- Content Marketing
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the PlatformRise of Social Media in Ecommerce [INFOGRAPHIC]How eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Patient Opinion Leaders Are the New Healthcare InfluencersFive Online Community Types: Which One Does Yours Fit Into?Digital Communities: 5 Ways to Determine PurposeCelebrate Your Social Media Successes, but Don't Forget that Community Trust is the Key
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Pick Your Fights: The Right Social Media Platforms for Your Goals
Posted on March 1st 2013
Too many communications departments are focused on providing real time responses.
It’s a 24/7 world that we live in. Our customers/supporters come at us any time of day, from multiple local or global locations with their accolades/issues/complaints/questions. Supporters using multiple channels of communications especially online further complicate this scenario. As a result, businesses and organizations react by trying to be everywhere at once all the time. Even with a strategy this is unsustainable for those of us without bottomless pockets.
So what is there to do?
First, let’s accept that there will always be outliers, posting in places where we do not have a presence and complaining about things we would rather were kept locked away. This will not change and given how quickly people produce and sign up for new online platforms, their options will grow.
Second, we all also face limited resources. You may love those employees that never turn off their cell phones, are sending updates around the clock, and seem to reply to every post/email/phone message. They’re great and they’re burning out. Those twitches aren’t normal and the more fluorescent liquid they pour down their throats the faster they’ll crash.
So you have your strung out “web people” as your board refers to them and you feel like you’re being attacked from just about everywhere. Many of us feel this way, even the big companies. So how do you respond?
Step 1: Pick your platforms – If you’re like me then you sign up for every new beta test that presents itself. I don’t know how many logins I have but I know which ones I use every day. This is key and an old lesson: pick your medium. The public will choose which platforms become the most popular however that doesn’t mean that you have to be on every one. Believe it or not, Twitter is not made for all brands. Neither is Facebook. Some organizations have incredible success using LinkedIn.
You need to be where you need to be. Which platform is tailored most closely to your goals? Which one is second, third, and so forth? How many resources can you assign leaving room for responding to those pesky outliers?
Step 2: Be present – So now that you have your list of where you can be, go and be there. Create content blending a newsworthy style with your marketing speak and see what works. There isn’t a formula for this. See how much of each you should mix together until you find the right mix. Don’t worry, your fellow users will help you along the way.
Step 3: Lead – As you gain trust and attention, how about you lead the conversation? You aren’t just another organization like all the others, right? You have something no one else offers, right? If not you should revisit your business plan but that’s for another post.
Mine your data, identify trends, and put them out there. Make your content as unique as your products and let people know. Stop always trying to please your followers and take the reins. Be confident enough to lead the conversation. You won’t always be the most popular but social media really should not be a popularity contest, if you disagree you may be doomed to being the online equivalent of the tag along no one wants around.
Step 4: Steer – Don’t forget those outliers. Go ahead and meet them on their own turf. Let them know they are being heard and, this is very important, steer them back to your platforms. Be honest and let them know you can’t be everywhere at once. Tell them where you can be found and how they can best receive a response. I know that some people will say, “You need to have a presence where people are.” While this is true, I would hope that you still monitor the biggies out there to avoid a widespread crisis. However you also need to know how to prioritize platforms and content. Everything is not as important as the next.
Step 5: It’s nothing new – Everyone got all crazy with social media. It’s not a mystery if you can put it in your terms. Sometimes it helps people to think of each platform as a gathering, a party with different guests speaking a shared language. If that helps, then great, good for you. Find your own way to conceptualize platforms. But remember that each is nuanced and cannot be put in a neat box. There are shades of grey and you need to be aware of them because these shift continuously as the party conversation ebbs and flows.
Step 6: Stop trying to be popular – Seriously, stop. Remember when your mom told you that it’s not a popularity contest and that you should be yourself? And then when you were older you understood exactly what she meant? Well, why did you forget that bit of advice when you went online? People love authenticity. Be real. It sounds lame but be proud of who you are and what you have to offer. There will be bumps along the way but if you stay true to yourself you will avoid the worst pitfalls of online communications.
So now that you have these wonderful six steps to being awesome online please realize that you need to learn more. These are my opinions and they work for me, sometimes. Other times I try different approaches and have tremendous successes. I read what others have to say and pick what I want to use next. I admit to myself that I don’t know it all and that there are people out there that are smarter than me, much smarter than me. I ask them questions and I listen to their responses. I’m social, and you should be, too.