For most businesses, using social media as a core marketing channel is no longer a choice; either you are there, or you are losing out. The problem is, people think that being on Facebook means they “get” social media for business. This is not the case. We hope to demystify the world of social media in a series of blog posts covering the entire alphabet of social media essentials, starting here, with our A to Z of social media.
A for ADVOCATES: Attracting brand advocates is not as hard as you many think, in many cases small interactions lead to a much stronger relationship. It’s worth keeping in mind that engaged users are potentially far more valuable as they can help you build a wider community and harnesses the power of endorsement.
B for BRAND: Everything you publish on social media can, and should become a reflection of your wider brand. Social media should never be ‘owned’ by a single person, it should reflect a collaborative approach between people from different specialisations who have a unique understanding of a brand’s customers, products and issues. Encouraging your team to understand social and take part in the story should be part of any business social media strategy.
C for COMMUNITY: A key reason why social media is powerful is because it opens up a dialogue between brands and customers. It isn’t just another one-way channel, it is a space for dialogue and conversation where listening is even more important than talking.
D for DISTRIBUTION: Distribution is an important part of social marketing, especially when you are investing time in creating your own portfolio of content. Having a social media distribution plan can help you draw traffic and enables your content to flow.
E for ENGAGEMENT: Customer engagement and social media is a match made in heaven! Social sites help brands connect, foster and nurture emotional connections with customers all across the world.
F for FREQUENCY: If you want your social feeds to attract attention, you’ll need to kick off each day with a selection of new updates. Persue positive results by becoming involved in social storytelling and remember to be consistent with your schedule.
G for GOVERNANCE: Social media blurs the line between personal and professional activities. Whenever possible, it’s good to remind your employees of this. Help them to avoid any potential embarrassment, especially when they are trying to induce some humour. Having a governance policy should help them make educated and informed decisions.
H for HUMOUR: When humor fits your brand, it can become a powerful tool for expressing your brand’s personality. Matched with some clever imagery and copywriting, it could become a way of making your brand more memorable.
I for INFLUENCERS: The competition for attention on social media is fierce. Engaging your audience’s influencers is a tricky but rewarding way to enhance your reputation and following online.
J for JOURNEY: Developing presence on social media takes time. Don’t rush your growth, instead be patient and use your time to listen, learn and be reactive; and don’t forget: good things come to those who wait.
K for KPIs: Not the most friendly sounding phrase, but when understood, it can become your best friend. Business KPIs such as sales, profits, customer retention and satisfaction are there to help you improve and stay on top of your quest to become the best.
L for LISTENING: One of the most exciting, but challenging things about social media is that it never stops. It evolves with changing trends, users habits and channel updates. That is why reading, studying, and following up on brand mentions is crucial when trying to build a presence.
M for MEASURING: Data is important. It can inspire activities and have a positive impact on your future approach. This knowledge can open your eyes to new opportunities, help you to spot gaps and become more active.
N for NURTURE: Building relationships is an on-going process. Don’t make the common mistake of focussing on numbers only. Instead build your engagement strategy around your existing followers and find effective ways to retain them.
O for OPTIMISE: In busy social media feeds, compelling content brings shares and maximizes organic reach. Brands who lead successful conversations use social feeds to inspire, entertain and amuse, while avoiding temptation to overload their audiences with overly-salesy material. This is why sharability should remain at the back of our minds when curating and creating content for social media.
P for PRACTICE: Don’t just blindly follow everything that everyone else is doing. Instead, put some time towards understanding your audience and industry. Finding your own voice and confidence will only happen if you give it a chance.
Q for QUERIES: Gone are the days when customers relied on only email or phone for queries. With social media, customer service has evolved making communication easier and faster than ever before. Just in case you ever think of customer service as ‘dealing with complaints’ – a HubSpot study found that consumers are more likely to complement brands than criticise them on social (35% vs 50%).
R for ROI (Return on Investment): think of social media ROI as a way of evaluating your growth and estimating the impact of your efforts. Measuring this can help you improve your tactics and create more effective strategies.
S for STRATEGY: Creating a good strategy takes time. To do it effectively you need to investigate all areas; your business goals, your own channels, the industry. In doing so you will be able to create a plan that is effective and stands the test of time.
T for TIMING: Timing is everything on social media. Some might even say poor timing can ruin the relationship between a brand and its customers, who often expect a response in under an hour. Timing also applies to posting – knowing your timing can help posts get noticed and shared.
U for USER-CENTRED FOCUS: On social media audience comes first. If you want to do your job well you have to take time to understand their needs and expectations. The more you know about them, the more successful your approach will be.
V for VISIBILITY: Reputable social media sites enjoy a prominent position in search engines. You can use this to your advantage, allowing your social media profiles to increase your visibility in search when a user searches for your brand name.
X for eXperience: One of the many benefits of social media is being able to instantly connect with customers and address their needs in real time. As your online reputation depends on it, make sure you deliver a quality experience, which could inspire loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Y for YOU: There are many different recipes leading to becoming a successful ‘social brand’. Whatever route you choose, take into count all of the points above and remember we are here to help you!
I hope reading this post will inspire your next steps. I would love to hear your feedback and find out more about your social media experience. Which of these approaches have been the most successful for you so far?