By Andre Steenekamp
As the adage goes, you can’t win the lottery unless you buy a ticket. In the same vein, you can’t win at social media marketing unless you are actually on social media. However, just being there does not guarantee success, you need to work it. Here are three key tips on getting started.
So now your marketing team have set up your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and you’ve produced a bunch of posts and tweets and everyone in the team has asked their friends to like the pages. Now what?
If you look up the word social in the dictionary, the first word that comes up is usually community, hence the term ‘community management’ with regards to managing social media pages. So, apart from some dark times in history, community means a shared experience that people can contribute to.
Develop a voice or present a personality that people relate to. If your company produces products that naturally draws people together, like food or drinks, then speak about that togetherness or common passions. If your products can be seen in a negative light, like plastic bottles, then talk around your steps to clean up your environment. People must know and relate to your social stand point.
Involve the community – that means listening and responding. Fuel the purposeful conversations and don’t shy away from the difficult ones. Sometimes, saying nothing at all is more harmful that saying something, even if it isn’t necessarily what people want to hear.
You are the owner and manager of your brand, therefore you need to be in control of the conversation. People see through nonsense very quickly so if you are not relevant to your followers, in terms of your products in their lives, you quickly lose credibility.
Don’t post just for the sake of posting. Just because the content calendar from the social media strategist says Tuesday afternoon is the best day to Tweet, don’t put any old crap out – you need to add value. Your followers become brand ambassadors when they trust you and the nature of social media is people turn to it for advice and recommendation from their peers. So you need to talk about your business but in relation to the needs of the community. Become the human face of your brands, products and services.
Human behavior is extremely interesting. Sometimes you can’t stop people talking about your product and sometimes nothing, not a peep. If you want people to like, share, engage then ask them. That is usually my biggest recommendation when writing a social media strategy and the desired outcome is engagement. Asking your community helps them to feel like they belong. Also, by its very nature, social media is about sharing experiences, opinions, photographs and videos. When you post, always include a call to action and watch the reach and engagement of you posts grow.
This is just the start but get these right and you are heading in the right direction. Consider these three actions as the foundation of every post even as your community management becomes more sophisticated.