The social media revolution is upon us. Just ask anyone how they spend the majority of their time, and they’ll say surfing social media networks like Facebook or Myspace. Successful businesses are taking note with many CMO’s citing social media as being the single most important thing they think about at night, behind branding, distribution and traditional advertising.
After all, most people want to hold earnest conversations with the brands they know and love. Consequently, there is an increasing demand for experts who know the ins-and-outs of the dynamic world of social media. Here are five types for getting social media to work for (and not against!) your business:
#1 – Have a social media presence.
Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is. And yet, there are literally thousands of self-appointed social media experts and gurus out there who derive credibility for lists such as this one. The fact that you read past that horrid introduction is a bad sign. But who knows? Maybe it’s early and you haven’t had your morning coffee yet. Or you’re recovering from open heart surgery. No worries. We all have bad days.
#2 – Post content regularly.
Another simple, but topic-rich suggestion for… Oh dear. You’re still reading.
#3 – Engage with your customers.
Respond to your customers’ feedback! And here you are. Still reading. You should know something, friend. This entire article is not what you thought it was—a clear road map for “cracking” social media, from a knowledgeable millennial1. It’s a joke. A ruse. At your expense.
What? Were you expecting a social media ninja? Listen, I don’t know what your business objectives are, but unless they are heralding another Meiji Restoration, you don’t need a ninja. You certainly don’t need one who spends his days among the digtirati trying to find the next #YOLO.
#4 – Encourage conversations.
An engaged customer is literally the happiest person in the world. Here are examples of posts that are sure to spark conversations:
Thank goodness it’s Friday #TGIF
(This is a secular spin on an old favorite)
Sure is hot today #weather
(Topical AND accurate, especially for members of your audience near the equator)
Which sausage would you rather eat? (include a picture of two delicious sausages, labeled A and B)
(You don’t have to be a sausage brand to talk sausage)
#5 – Post content regularly.
This is literally the same thing as #2.
OK, time for real talk. I love marketing because it’s an interesting and exciting mixture of science and artistry. We aren’t persuading people to act today; we’re not even persuading people to act tomorrow. We’re just trying to get them to pay attention for a little bit and notice us so that one day, when our product or service matters, they will remember us.
We’re not trying to subliminally manipulate them nor should we believe our audience takes the short bus to work every day. Everyone in the world wants the same thing: relevant stuff. It could be fun. It could be entertaining. It just needs to cut through the clutter of Branded Nonsense and deliver some value. Nothing is free in this world, especially people’s most valuable commodity: time.
Some real thoughts on social media:
- Social media is important, but the idea behind a given post or campaign is 100x more so. Screaming at your audience is as worthless as screaming at a crowd of confused Japanese tourists in Times Square.
- Social media is where people go to seek value. They want to chat with friends. They want to read interesting articles or view silly pictures of cats. They want to stalk ex-girlfriends and spend all night trying to figure out whether they want to ask the girl they really like on a coffee date. They don’t want to converse with companies, ESPECIALLY if they have nothing relevant to say.
- Just because you can say something, does not mean you should. Saying something just to create noise is a waste of time (and more times than not, budget).
- Beyond all else, ask yourself: would I share this piece of content with my best friends without being laughed at? If you say yes, ask yourself the same question repeatedly until you’re absolutely sure.
OK, social media ninjas. Here’s hoping you abandon #YOLO in favor of some decent content strategy.
1. Put this on the list of words bound to boost your SEO. Right up there with “engagement” and “social media revolution.”