How To Be Social With Social Media

When you mention social media, some people  immediately think about Facebook. And because of this, some business owners think that a social media strategy is dependent on the social network you participate in. However, the ‘social’ part of ‘social media’ is the same on every network.

social media

The one way social media message

Many companies are treating social media the same way as they would treat Television or Radio advertising. Some companies think they can just create some ad, share it on multiple social networks repeatedly, and get results from it. But social media simply doesn’t work that way. Why? Because social media is about people who want to gather informally and be social!

People are tired of receiving a one-way message from companies. Nobody wants to go on Facebook to “like” a brand if all the company does is talk about itself. So what are you, as a company, going to do about it? Here are a few ideas that might help you get on the social media ‘bandwagon’:

  1. Social comes from within. Companies that are fun and energetic, and that live a social culture outside of social media will be the ones that thrive on social networks.
  2. Shut up, and listen to what your customers are saying. After that, share content that they like. If you’re sharing content that your customers don’t care about, nobody will listen.
  3. Engage with your customers. Let them know that you are there, and that you are relevant to them.
  4. Provide value in your content. Don’t simply post company updates if your customers don’t receive value from it. Share stories, case studies, white papers, coupons, entertaining videos, etc.
  5. Be transparent. Show your customers what you’re made of. Be authentic. Show personality. Show gratitude to your customers, let them know you care!
  6. Always respond to comments, whether they are good, bad, or ugly.
  7. Be ready to relinquish control. Your customers have a story, let them tell it. Embrace content from others, and grow your community.
  8. Most importantly, be remarkable! Playing it safe is the riskiest thing you can do. If you play it safe on social media, you’ll most likely become boring, and your fans will be non-existent. So spice it up, take a risk, and do something remarkable!

Notice how I never mention a specific social network in this list? It’s because social is irrelevant to the ‘media’ (network). Choose the channel that is most suitable for you, and apply the above list to it. Doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, all of the above apply to any network. Crazy huh?

So what is your advice for social media? Do you take a holistic approach to it, or do you focus on each individual networks independently? Please share in the comments bellow!

5 Priorities Every Social Media Program Should Have

I want to start this post with a little bit of clarity by defining the term “Priority”. Webster’s say’s it is something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives. One thing I have learned in life is that no matter what comes out of your mouth, your actions will always follow your true priorities. You can say this or that are a priority, but if your actions show something else, you have a problem.

social media prioritiesOne reason that many newcomers to social media marketing lack priorities is not because of laziness or lack of desire, it is simply lack of knowledge – the understanding of what tasks actually need to have priority in their day.

Often times businesses struggle with not only understanding all the in’s and out’s of social media marketing, but more importantly where they should prioritize their time and efforts. This often results in new social media marketers over pitching what they do, or worse, giving up and abandoning their social media efforts. Let’s avoid both by listing the top five priorities your social media marketing efforts should focus on each day.

These are in no particular order of importance, however all of them should be given priority and attention daily.

1) Value – Provide value to your target audience.

Your daily focus should be to deliver selfless value to your target market. How can your social media marketing provide value to your audience? Answer that question without regard to what you do, what you sell, or the industry you are in. Answer and execute that question correctly and you will see huge results!

2) Content – Have enough content and the RIGHT content.

Think of social media as a freeway. All of the cars on the freeway are content, posts and articles. You have to have enough content on the road everyday that is relevant, valuable and interesting to your target audience. You need to make sure that whenever one of your fans, friends or followers step up to the side of the freeway throughout the day, they see one of your cars go by.

3) Be Human – People build relationships with other People.

A big mistake a lot of new social media marketers make is trying to mimic the big brands. For the most part, big brands SUCK at social media. They do not do it right and for many, they don’t have to. They have spent billions on branding and marketing well ahead of the social media boom, therefore it is just another channel. Everyone else needs to do it right if they want results!

You have to humanize your social media accounts. Most people connect and build relationships with other people. Can you really have a relationship with a logo of a company you don’t even know? Of course not. Be human and approachable.

4) Respond/Engage - Social media marketing is social.

You must make it a priority to respond to mentions, shares and comments immediately. When someone shares a post or mentions you in social media, they are available and active at that moment. You need to respond quickly in order to foster a conversation that leads to relationship. Waiting for once a day or an hour later is just too late. They have moved on, logged out or even lost interest. If you aren’t utilizing mobile apps to ensure you can consistently do this, it is not a priority to you.

You also need to have a priority of commenting, sharing and mentioning your target audience frequently. Relationships are two ways. Seek opportunity to benefit your prospects by sharing their content, engaging them in conversation or simply commenting on something they post.

5) Community – Build one.

Your social media marketing must have a priority focused on building a loyal community. That community must be large enough to be effective. Find your target audience and follow/friend them. Build it and they will come does not work in social media.

As you can see, social media is highly involved. Understanding the priorities you need to have on a daily basis is the difference between being IN social media and having an effective social media marketing program for your business.

What is your biggest priority in social media? Please leave a comment below!
 

The Three E’s of Social Media Management

Every social media and community manager sets a certain set of rules and guidelines for how they want to run their community. I have a set of super simple standards (say that three fast!). I never sat down and wrote them out before, but I noticed whenever I would speak about social media management or would discuss social for business, these three words always came out as highlighted points. Entertaining, Engaging and Educational. All of my blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts follow at least one (if not more) thank these three principles:

Be Witty, Be Entertaining in Social Media ManagementEntertaining – Entertaining often equals memorable. You need to find a way to keep people entertained. In the fast pased world of Twitter, a great way to catch people’s attention is to be witty. With such a small character limit, a bot mot or catchy post title floating in a sea of links will be the post most remembered. Use humor when you can. Long or short, make sure there is something fun about your posts.

Engaging – The word “Social” in social media says it all. Don’t look at your social media channels as a billboard to advertise your product or service, it is a place for discussion and sharing. Join a Twitter chat or Facebook group to get to know people in the community you want to be a part of. Forming these relationships with others will be beneficial to everyone.

Educational – When you have knowledge in a niche or have a new way to do something, social is a great place to share. Start a blog about a subject you are skilled in or post tips across your social channels. Sharing this information with others is a great way to position yourself as the go to person for information on that topic.

Another guideline I follow is, no matter what the post is, it needs to keep in line with the standards I have created both with my personal brand as well as my employer’s.

What are your guidelines for social media management? Please share in the comments bellow!