In 2010 I wrote my first post on strategy so how has it changed in nearly four years?
Strategy can be a really strange thing and can mean different things to different people but without it you really are going nowhere whether it’s in social media or anything else you do for that matter.
Let’s take social media and social media marketing, as it’s what I do. My dad always said to us as kids “you only get out what you put in” and that sort of stuck with me and something I use every day and tell my kids too.
So how does that relate to your ‘strategy’? Easy…first let’s take a look at what makes a successful social marketing strategy.
- The first real element of any strategy is you and that’s especially true of social media. You have to want to do it, you have to ‘show up’ and be there for your tribe but you can’t be one dimensional. If you use text a lot, like this post, think about a video or maybe an infographic, just to mix things up a bit, don’t be predicable.
- You have to be helpful, you need to let people know how you really can solve their problems, but that only happens if you listen to them, so make sure listening is part of that strategy.
- We all know that we have to be ourselves when posting, we have to be authentic in everything we do online, if not and we are ‘found out’ that’s really bad for business. But it really isn’t that difficult. If I am honest it doesn’t take long before ‘we’ shine through as its human nature, we can’ hide for long, good or bad so don’t try.
- Never be dull and boring, be as engaging as you can. Nobody buys ‘dull’ do they? No they buy exciting, knowledgeable and interesting. I can guarantee that if you sell like a robot you won’t make many sales…trust me I know through bitter experience. Keep everything you do full of life and vibrant.
- So how often do you ‘show up’? Well this is up to you of course but you really do have to be available, if you’re not what’s the point? Now I am not saying you have to be there 24/7 but it really is just a matter of working hard to understand how you reach your clients and prospective clients. We all get caught up but I find if you plan your week it really does help.
So just as a little exercise I want you to:
- Take a look at your website. How ‘helpful’ is it to your tribe
- How ‘you’ is your website? Are there pictures of the people who work there? Is there a picture of you? All this matters, believe me.
- How interesting is your website is it making the decision to buy an easy one, it should be or is it just selling?
- Where are you available? How many links to social channels do you have on your website?
This is a great little exercise to find out just what your strategy is and it’s gets you thinking about the next steps.
When I worked in the newspaper industry it became clear around 2004/5 that we were no longer just a publishing company we were in fact a media company because we had access to lots of different channels not just print to get our message and stories out to the public.
We had access to video through YouTube, we could blog using WordPress and as you all know by now that was just the start.
My point is things have changed so much that we now have access to what seems like millions of ways to connect with each other and its growing. We are now all media companies regardless of business size.
Mobile is growing so fast we can hardly keep up. My Chromebook is now my PC and my tablet and Smartphone are never far away so doesn’t it make sense to have them at the centre of your strategy? But please make sure that your website looks good on your phone…its essential these days because that’s how it’s being accessed most of the time.
A massive part of my strategy for social marketing is how quickly I respond to someone. Before we go on think about your response time and is it good enough?
Why it’s important: Marcel Lebrun, founder of Radian6 (now Salesforce Radian6) coined this important phrase – “The social phone is ringing. Are you picking up?”
I think we all get that everyone now thinks that their message to you is the most important message you will ever receive and if it remains unanswered than it really is wasted. This also goes for Tweets, emails or comments on blogs, G+, Facebook or LinkedIn. If you don’t respond then anything they hoped you might supply is wasted, you might not get a second chance.
Think about using something like Hootsuite to monitor what’s being said, it’s a great way to listen and keep in touch with your tribe.
So again what’s your current response time?
Recently I read an article on how it takes one company 45 days to plan a tweet, now I wouldn’t recommend you take that long but you do need a strategy to make all this stuff work for you.
This is a very small part of how my social marketing works and it’s something you are interested in or want to know more about please feel free to get in touch.
Have a great day!