First of all, I’ve been considering starting a new blog/video/podcast series called “How to Manage” in response to many of the questions I get around digital and social media marketing, leadership, change management, and organizational culture!
Let me know if you like this idea by sending me a message through the website and feel free to ask some questions!
Secondly, with more than three-quarters of U.S. adults (and even more minors) using social media, it’s a wonder that more businesses aren’t using social to advertise and gain engagement from their audiences.
This, of course, leads us to a very important question.
Why Use Social Media At All?
Social media and the internet have effectively shifted the power of advertising and, what I call, “selective engagement” by consumers.
Long gone are the days when it is acceptable for brands to engage in disruptive or intrusive marketing tactics to reach their target markets. Nowadays, consumers choose whether to engage a brand’s content or not.
Think of it like produce at a grocery store. People are selective and will dig around only for the best produce that they can find, free of bumps, bruises, or scratches.
In the online environment, branded content marketing is virtually the same thing. This includes social media.
Competition is high, and search engines pick and choose and “display” the best of what people look for, leading 60% of clicks to be given to the top three search results, and 95% of clicks and inquiries going to those on the first page of google.
That being said, today, I’d like to give business owners some effective tips on managing or creating more effective social media campaigns and strategies!
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Social Media Tip 1: Strategy BEFORE Tactics
As an entrepreneur, you often hear that no two roads to success are paved the same way.
What this ultimately means is that, while strategies often remain the same, tactics and the actual tools and roadmaps for success change rather often.
Tactics can be likened to a compass. And strategies can be likened to a map.
Tactics tell you which direction you’re headed, and a map tells you why you care about that direction in the first place.
Without first creating a strategy that allows your organization to define success, no compass will point you in the right direction, simply because you will have no idea where that direction leads!
To begin creating a strategy, your organization needs to do a few things…
1. Set Objectives
Your objectives should be goals, or otherwise actionable and measurable factors of obvious success that presents clarity and timeliness to your actions.
With well-made objectives, nobody should question exactly what result they are trying to achieve in their social media marketing campaigns.
2. Audit Yourself
If this is the first time you are using social media, then you can skip this step.
That being said, most organizations have a social media presence, but have simply not optimized it or produced great results.
Check out your competitors to determine what they are doing right, and A/B test them against your own social media channels to determine what you could be doing better.
3. Create an Editorial Calendar
Editorial calendars take into account the posting schedules, delegations of duties, and individual topics of content that will be posted throughout your social media sphere.
By creating a calendar with such characteristics, you are lessening the chance that confusion creeps into your work or into your branding message.
And as we know, confusion is ALWAYS bad for a marketing message. Anything that makes your consumers work too hard to interpret will put them off of your brand completely.
Social Media Tip 2: Choose Your Platforms
A very important part of social media marketing is choosing which marketing channels work best for you and your business goals.
Do some market research to determine what demographics of people utilize different social media channels most, doing so will allow you to choose the channels that best represent your audience!
After all, if you were hungry for tuna fish, you wouldn’t go to a trout farm and hope to catch one! Similarly, if you are searching for millennials, you will want to utilize the social media channels that they inhabit most.
It’s a simple consideration, but also consider the fact that different social media platforms can be sued for entirely different social media campaigns.
Running an advertisement on facebook may be used to lead to a separate landing page, whereas instagram may lead directly to an ecommerce site.
Social Media Tip 3: Build Relationships
There is little that is as important in today’s marketing than building meaningful and beneficial relationships.
As I mentioned earlier, the consumer now holds the power over whether they engage with a brand or not.
That being said, it’s always easier to engage with a brand when they are not viewed as such, but are rather viewed as people.
Building relationships helps you do that.
Would you rather talk to the Coca-Cola corporation? Or would you rather talk to Sara who has helped you before and who knows you by name and happens to work at Coca-Cola?
People want to talk to people, not entities.
Building relationships is about expressing the desire to help your audience, connecting with them on a more personal level, and “humanizing” your brand in a way that makes you easy to approach ad recognize!
This makes it all the easier for people to do business with you, and displays the value of relationships and communities more than ever before.
This happens to go along with another factor of marketing that has changed rapidly since the rise of the internet.
Which brings us to tip 4!
Social Media Tip 4: Segment Based On NEW Demographics
You need to segment and define your audiences based on what are called “new” demographics as opposed to “old’ demographics.
“Whats the difference?”, you may ask. It’s simple.
New demographics will segment your audience based on interests, hobbies, and passions.
Old demographics will segment your audience based on race, age, religion, gender, and more.
It used to be that people would only connect and form communities with people who are directly similar to them.
Men flock with men. Women flock with women.
Old people flock with old people, young people flock with young people.
The list goes on and on.
But nowadays, because the internet (and social media) has provided a mask with which to hide these characteristics, we are beginning to see a more diverse range of “old” demographics that surround the “new” demographics.
This effectively make the “new” demographics a more accurate and effective niche to target.
For example, there are people of all ages, races, religions, and genders who are interested in automobiles nowadays.
It’s not just men anymore.
Targeting the people with a passion for automobiles (and not simply men who are interested in them) is a more bountiful and opportunistic market to tap into.
Overall, many of the points brought up in this article are more like online marketing truths and principles as opposed to strictly social media marketing.
Whether you are targeting social media channels, or your other owned media channels such as your website, blog, etc. you can target new demographics, you should have objectives put into place, and you must start building relationships.
Overall, it’s important to gather a community around your brand that sees the value in human engagement and personalization. In fact, most people do.
The question then becomes, “how can you advertise your brand in a way that makes consumers comfortable with what your brand stands for, as fellow people, and not as a for-profit organization.”
Cementing this difference in the minds of your intended audience is what will determine your success in the online marketing and social media sphere of influence that you develop.
In the words of Mark Schaeffer, “The most human company wins.”
Thanks for reading!
Work With Austin
-Austin Denison is a management consultant and coach from Southern California and founder/CEO of Denison Success Systems LLC. He is the author of The Essential Change Management Guidebook: Master The Art of Organizational Change as well as The Potential Dichotomy: The Philosophy of a Fulfilling Life, and, coming soon: KICK*SS Content Marketing, How to Boost Your Brand and Gather a Following.