Social Media is a mixed bag, because many clients and agencies will waste inordinate amounts of time (time = money) on campaigns that don’t pay off. Agencies talk clients into some crazy and useless stuff that enables the agency to show off some new skill… clients jump in too quickly because their boss told them they must be into the social media scene.
Stop the madness! Here are 10 tips based on research and work we’ve done with clients to date:
- Choose your platform based on where your people are going, not on where you just assume they go. LinkedIn groups may be better for B2B, Twitter and Facebook are considerations for niche market consumer products. For scientists and engineers there may be completely different blogs and platforms. Do research to find out WHERE YOUR customers are networking before you start.
- Choose a limited number of platforms. There are hundreds out there, but only one or two are right for you, and you can only maintain a few if you’re as short on time as most of us are. Don’t spread yourself too thin. It’s worse to stop one of them once you’ve started, than to never start it at all.
- Hire someone who’s a good writer to do the work. Just because it isn’t directly connected to profits (yet) doesn’t mean you can hire someone who is not an experienced writer to do the work. I have seen clients hire newbies right out of college because ‘they know more about social media’ but the problem is, they don’t know enough about human behavior (or your product line or service) to create content that’s really engaging. Businesses that hire ghost writers from foreign countries with extremely cheap labor think they’re going to get something worth reading, but this is rarely the case — the cheapest writing is cheap because the writers find something online and plagiarize it. Or sometimes they just write in circles to fill in word counts but provide no real beneficial copy. The ones who do the best job are folks who know you best. And it’s worth it to hire them instead of putting up with the cheapest.
- Limit how much time is spent – that means time budgeting and sticking with it. Social media can be huge sink hole of time.
- Keep it interesting. If adding video really adds value – products in use or an expansion of culture, think about it. If you can share and access goodies that are out there already to support your brand and your culture, do it. And never, ever let the same thing show up again and again, or you’re bound to bore your customers and they’ll opt out.
- Make it useful. If you know your customer well, you can guess what kinds of apps they might find helpful. You can create lists of things that people wish they had a list for, from anniversary gifts to never-fail treatments for dry skin.
- Make it viral. If you do a great job with your content, you’ll notice that you’re getting more traffic from outside your current universe. That’s because the content was so great, people passed it along to others whom they thought would enjoy it, too. That is the ultimate compliment… when your content is forwarded to others.
- Measure as much and as often as you can. There are measuring tools and you can set up your own tests with specific product to create opportunities to measure.
- Write thoughtfully and efficiently. One of our clients writes most of a week’s facebook entries and tweets over the course of about 2 to 3 hours on a Saturday morning. This is not rocket science folks – it’s sharing news and cultural goodies that your market wants to see and will share with others. And it’s certainly not going to keep their attention if you discuss inane stuff that doesn’t move them.
- Don’t be seduced by all the “pundits” who are telling you it’s the road to riches. Companies like Dell poured millions into this before it started giving them a payoff. The pundits are building their businesses on your back. Watch YOUR back!