11 Tips to Keep Your Social Media Marketing Focused

From SMT Magazine
Monday, September 17, 2012 | Bruce Johnston, LinkedIn Evangelist & Sales Coach

Today I want to share with you a mix of key concepts that should be integrated into your social media marketing (SMM) plan, along with a couple of ideas that are easy to get mixed up.

What you want to accomplish:

  • Content must be interesting and it must help the reader with a problem that he or she has.
  • The reader should want to read more content like this from you.
  • The reader should to want to share this content with his colleagues.
  • The reader should to want to know more about your company.
  • The reader should to want to talk with you.

Don’t Go Nuts Right Away

“Go nuts” doesn’t sound very businesslike, but I think it conveys the concept very well. Huge campaigns take huge time, effort, and money. Ramp up steadily and see what’s working and what isn’t.

Don’t Confuse Easy with Effective

I see this all the time. Using Facebook and Twitter to just send company news. I can just see the company executives going “Hmph. It’s just as I thought--this whole social media thing is a crock.” One of the concepts that all kinds of people miss is that SMM isn’t free money. You don’t just post anything online and wait for the money to roll in. SMM is like anything else in business or in life. You tend to get results out of it in relation to quantity and quality of effort put in. What you call a "brand awareness campaign” I may call a "waste of time.”

Join Conversations in Industry & User Groups

This is part of  “go where your customers are.” Contribute. Say something interesting. Get noticed. There are so many blatant sales pitches in some of these forums that a thoughtful, articulate comment will have twice the impact.

Keep it Short & Simple

People have short attention spans. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. The fact is, everyone has so much on their plates these days that they just don’t have the time to devote to long content. A 30-minute how-to video on YouTube may be great, but sectioning it into 10 three-minute videos is much better. And maybe 15 two-minute videos would be better still. Keep your content short and simple and to the point.

Be consistent: Don’t Mix Business with Personal

If you are using your Twitter account as a business platform, stop using it for personal use. While social media is less formal than most of us are used to in the business world, remember that you are using it for business. You don’t want to confuse your business reader by interjecting Tweets on your review of the new Batman movie.

Do I Need to Say it Again? Have Great Content

Say I have a network of 1,000 Twitter followers, 1,000 Facebook fans, and 1,000 LinkedIn connections. If you send a tweet with an update that you are exhibiting at a tradeshow is that valuable content I want to share with my network? Pretty unlikely.
But, if you tweet and reference a story about a novel new way you have solved a quality problem that I and my professional peers wrestle with every day? Well, that, my friend, gets shared.

Measure Potential Viewers

Measure potential impressions, that is, the number of times your content could have been read. Examples of this in the old world: The potential number of impressions for an ad on TV is equal to the total viewership of that show. In my case, I post to my blog three times a week, then link the blog to my LinkedIn account, where the posts can be seen as status updates by my 1,000 connections. So, I have a potential 3,000 impressions a week.

Measure Content Interactions

This is where you count re-tweets, shares, visits to your blog, likes and similar activities. Count the times people are actually interacting with your content.

Count Engagement Interactions

Count comments, questions, opt-ins, and any interaction the reader has with you.

Experiment and try different things

Try a lot of little changes. Adjust the length of blog posts. Publish content at different times of the day. Experiment with different headlines. There are a thousand little things you can do. Your job is to always be striving to optimize your content and its delivery such that you maximize your opportunities for engagement.

There’s a lot to learn with SMM. And a lot of things to do, and do well, to get the really spectacular results that are possible.

Twenty years ago, the new tool was e-mail. Completely new concept, something completely different that no one was used to. In many companies, we saw a lot of resistance. In 10 years, it went from no one using it to everyone using it.

Now, SMM is the new tool available to you. You will use it. It’s just a question of whether you’d rather be one of the first or one of the last.

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