Keeping the 'Social' in Social Media and Refining Your Approach in 2018
A new buzz-term for 2018 when it comes to social media, already seems to be “bringing it back to the basics.” And while most of what you read would suggest that this is a great idea, the people “doing social media right” have been doing this forever, without having to announce it as if it were an entirely new concept. It’s always the simplest things that most people overlook, right?
So what are the basics? I’d say, start by looking at the term itself. Social media.
So many times brands seem to forget to simply share information that's of interest to their audience, and get caught up in the idea that pushing their messaging, products and services is what they need to be doing. Generally, that backfires and ends up alienating the people the company is trying to speak with.
Keeping the 'social' in social media is one of the most basic ideas, what it was initially formed for, and is the best advice I can offer to any business.
Here are 6 tips for ensuring you keep the social in social media to help you grow your business:
1. Engage, engage, engage
People buy from people they like, relate to and feel understand them - we don’t buy from people that bang us over the head with pushy marketing messages or the same information given to us 100 times each day.
Be true to yourself and your audience, and enable your audience to get to know who you truly are. Take the time to listen to your target audience more than you speak, so that once you do start conversing with them, you know how they like to be spoken to, what their pain points are and how you can uniquely help them.
The more your audience feels that you're truly speaking just to them, the more connected they'll become to your business.
2. Don’t try to be all things to all people
Try to reach everyone and you'll reach no one - when you do this, you are 100% setting yourself up for failure.
Trying to be the most popular brand in your industry on all social media platforms will spread you too thin - just because “everyone” is using Snapchat, doesn’t mean you need to. Figure out where the majority of your audience is and go there. Strive to establish the strongest presence “there” that you can.
Focusing your efforts will do wonders.
3. Use hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to find customers, see what they’re talking about and also do critical research. The use of a hashtag focuses conversation around a topic, event or brand.
Claim your own hashtags and use Twitter’s advanced search feature to monitor what people are talking about and how it relates to your business.
4. Social media isn’t the be-all-end-all
While social media deserves to be a very large, and critical, part of your marketing mix, giving you access to more people than you can reach in any other way, it isn’t the only place to give your time and focus.
Email marketing is still important (there, I said it. email is not dead). You can also use social media to begin conversations and move them onto email for more in-depth conversations.
Also, don’t ignore the chance to go to networking events and take customers out for lunch or dinner just to stay top of mind.
5. Always have a plan
Even your “good morning” posts should be relevant to not only your target audience, but also to the platform you post on.
While it might seem easy to post the same message to all your social networks, fight that feeling. Some types of posts do really well on one social network, but might not work at all on another. And, if your audience follows you on multiple platforms, why would they want to see the same message posted everywhere? That’s a surefire way to remind your audience to stop following you on that platform.
Tailor your content to the specific platform, and vary your messaging.
6. Analytics are not scary
In actual fact, they're your best friends.
Analytics show you what's working, what's not, and what you should be doing more of.
You can’t measure what you’re not monitoring - always be testing and don’t become too attached to anything so you can pivot at a moment’s notice when you realize something is not working as you thought it would be.
Basic, right? Hopefully these notes help you slim-down and focus your social media marketing efforts in 2018.
Follow Lucy Rendler-Kaplan on Twitter