Social media has changed the way we connect, communicate and educate. It has raised us to a new level where time and distance boundaries do not pose the same challenges as before.
Businesses everywhere are stepping up to the challenge in creating strategies and processes so they can engage with their current and potential customers online and on social and to interact, respond to and meet their needs.
Here are 10 key actions to consider while building your business social media strategy:
1. Know Your Target Market
Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are all very different platforms and each has a specific demographic most likely to engage. Just as you would do with traditional marketing, you need to what your target customer really looks like. Don’t chase the exceptions to the rule–look for the commonalities in your core customers. Once you know who you’re trying to talk to, do the research to see what social media platforms they are on and be there!
2. Create Content With Purpose
Carefully consider the message and goal of every post or tweet before putting it out there. Do you want to drive more buzz about a specific new product? Are you trying to educate people about your business in away that would interest them? Be sure the words you put out there support the end-result you are seeking.
3. You’ve Got Analytics–Use ‘Em
Analytics and research are the foundation for any outstanding social media strategy. If you’re using Facebook, then yes, look at your Facebook Insights to see who you is looking at your page, what time they are on, what types of posts they are engaged with.
Even more importantly, leverage the information you get from Google Analytics to understand what content is making the biggest impact with your audience. Let the statistics and analytics be your guide for what, when, where and how you post content.
4. Target Across Multiple Platforms
Facebook is the big guy in many areas. For businesses, most of their “socially” savvy consumers are in that space. But the companies that are using social media to its greatest potential are expanding their presence to multiple platforms. Look to see if there are secondary platforms you could create a presence on to increase your influence.
5. Stay Fresh
The same old same old gets really boring, especially in the world of social media where engagement and content is key. Don’t just stick with the same old “LIKE if you agree” format on Facebook or tweet with a caption on Twitter. The best strategy for social media is mixing up your tactics. Try new things and analyze afterwards what the reaction was.
When setting up accounts on different social media networks, make sure your logo, color scheme, fonts and graphics are consistent.
You want to ensure that no matter where people connect with you, your personal brand is easily identifiable.
6. Keep Consistant Across Platforms
You want to be sure that no matter where people are encountering your brand, they can easily recognize it. Keep your graphics, fonts, logo and color pallets consistent everywhere.
7. Have A Conversation
If you’re lucky enough to capture the attention of the audience you’re seeking, make sure you’re there to engage them! Respond to comments–yes, even the negative ones. In today’s society of constant contact, even the angry customers just want to be heard. You would be amazed at how easily you can turn a hater in to a brad ambassador just but treating them as a person, not a LIKE or a Follower.
The purpose of social media for your business is not just to have a presence, it’s to show the human side of the business and express personality. There is no way you can do this if you ignore the people that are engaging with you.
8. Don’t Sell All The Time: Follow the 70/30 Rule
Social media is personable. Each person on a particular platform gets to customize it in ways that suit his or her interests best. If you want to gain and keep the attention of current and potential customers, follow the 70/30 rule. At least 70% of the time, your posts should have engaging content and let the other 30% (or less) of your posts be the promotional ones.
So what does “engaging” content mean on social media? Use the 70% of your posts to give content to your followers that is intriguing, useful and fun–stuff they would seek out on their own. This allows your audience to feel as though they are engaging in a conversation rather than being sold every time your business posts something.
By following this rule, when you do actually post something that is promotional, your followers are far more likely to value that information.
9. Stay Current, Stay Relevant
Keep your finger on the pulse of what’s trending socially and in news in general, especially the topics relevant to your target customers. When you appear out-of-touch or feed “old information” to your fan base, you’ll lose their attention quickly.
10. Never Assume You’ve Got It Masters–Stay A Constant Student
Never assume you’ve mastered this stuff. The moment you put it on auto-pilot is the moment you lose relevance. Social Media is fluid so your strategy has to also remain ever-changing and flexible.
Don’t be afraid to try something and fail. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there–it’s what social is all about. And absolutely, most definitely, don’t be afraid of change!
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If I could change one thing about my days, it would be to succumb less to distractions. And that’s no easy task. By the time I finish writing this blog, I will likely have been tempted with over 10 distractions–my desire to make a coffee run which results in a hallway conversation, a little fact checking which leads me to scan twitter for a few extra minutes, the email that pops in to my inbox–just to name a few.
Life is filled with distractions and we are fighting a losing battle against time. But the more prone to giving in to these distractions we become, the less accomplished we often feel in terms of our goals. Have you ever looked back at the end of an extremely busy week and realized that you didn’t get done even a quarter of what you set out to do? And at the end of it all, did you still feel like you didn’t have a moment to spare? Welcome to the club. Club Distraction.
Chances are, you probably won’t even get through this article without stopping for a few interruptions. But distractions can be costly. Our more is more, communication-driven, multi-tasking preferred society suggests that distractions are just a part of life.
And that may be, but there are certainly things we all can do to take more control of our lives and filter out some of the unnecessary distractions. Good leadership is about knowing when to do just that.
Good leadership is learning how NOT to get distracted from the ultimate vision and goals.
5 Distractions That Take You Further From Your Vision
1. Procrastination. Don’t delay the inevitable. Get the hard stuff out of the way. Often, if you put off the difficult stuff, your day will be open to many other distractions, causing you to feel anxious about the process and increasing your likelihood of not accomplishing what you need to do.
2. Email. Yeh, this is obvious. We all know it. We all say it. Email is a major distraction. But it’s become so readily available on all of our devices that it’s automatic to check that inbox without evening realizing you’re doing it. It’s not going anywhere. It will be there when you get to it. Schedule specific time to handle it and don’t let it consume you.
3. Pleasing Everyone. It’s impossible but yet we spend a lot of time trying. Don’t forget you’re just one person. If you try to please everyone, you’ll always end up disappointing yourself and eventually letting others down that are depending on you.
4. Trying To Do It All Yourself. Of course you have pride in what you do. But sometimes it’s just not necessary to do it all. Learn to ask for help and to rely on others.
5. Saying Yes To Everything. Politely refuse things that don’t contribute to your ultimate goal when you know you’re crunched on time. People won’t remember the project you declined to chair as much as they will when you take it on and fail to do it well because of lack of attention. Choose what’s important.
Sometimes it’s necessary to go with the distractions. No one should spend 100% of their time in complete focus. Distractions, when balanced well, can help you feel more connected and even bring joy and playfulness to your life. But in order to really enjoy the important distractions, you’ve got to balance them with equally important windows of focus.
Social media has changed our world. One of the best things about it is that it gives people the forum to put themselves out there more. Yes, it can also be seen as a digital curtain that some will hide behind but there are plenty of people finding the courage to be more real and reveal more of their authentic selves with every tweet, every post and every snapshot.
Social media facilitates the connections between like-minded people and has led to the creation of many online forums that foster compassion, innovation and encouragement. It has provided the space for people who once may have felt to be the “odd man out” in the world so they can connect with others and feel a part of something real.
So now that it’s changed us all personally, what does this mean for business?
It’s evidence of the obvious shift away from selling people and towards creating real, genuine connections with them.
This type of communication is all about content and using that content to create actual human connections. It lends brands the opportunity to show people who they are as opposed to simply what they do.
And now, the big question–How should businesses do it and do it right?
Know your customers. Know who they are and know what they want. And then, respond to their needs. Listen to the conversations of your potential custom
ers and then provide the solution to their problems. Don’t just hear what you want to hear either. Listen to it all–the good and the bad. People are talking and they want to be heard. Be the one that hears them.
-Be Real, Reachable And Human
People want to interact with people not enterprises. You’re listening to your customers and you know what they want. Now show them that you’re capable of adapting based on their needs. Social Media 101
-Remember, It’s Not About The Product, It’s About People
People want to belong. They want to engage and be heard and they want to feel understood. Sure, your product is important but they want to feel as though it’s about them, not the product.
It does not matter if the business you work for is a small local business, a national non-profit or a branch of a major corporation–the thing that people are looking for is the same everywhere–engagement. The businesses that listen, adapt, reach out and allow customer’s to shape their brand have a phenomenal opportunity to create a tribe of people that will follow and essentially become ambassadors for their brand.
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Today, we live in a world where everything is moving faster and faster. And we’re all busier than ever. Time is hard to come by. There is always so much to do and we are doing those things in multiples.
While many sayings of yesteryear have long since become clichés, “a picture is worth a thousand words” is one that is still extremely relevant. With so many messages coming at us at any given second, many businesses are sharing their story through pictures and info graphics.
90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual and we process images 60,000 times faster than plain text (B2B Infographics). So what’s one thing we could all do to make our social media communications be even more engaging both on the business and individual sides? Think with your eyes–create a visual.
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Marketing is being rewritten. Technology is rapidly updating and advancing, causing companies to undergo change at exhaustive rates. Our individual lives are transforming faster than ever before to adapt to the modern world inventions.
Revolutions used to take a very long time — even centuries. Today, we are experiencing a rapid cultural transformation that is affecting nearly every aspect of our lives. And it will be different five years from now.
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