Navigating the social waters with grace & acumen.
I remember working with some folks about 5 years ago whose social media strategy was literally “to show that they had a pulse.” At the time they thought their simple presence, and regular posting on LinkedIn and Facebook, would be enough to show they were hip to the new game.
You probably realize the requirements for success on social media today are a bit more detailed and evolved.
The good news is that the positive disruption created by the advent of social media continues to be a powerful place for anyone to reach their tribe. You can make your voice and message heard.
Beneath the complexity of multiple platforms, hashtags, image strategy, and a million branding tutorials — on a fundamental level, social media can connect you to YOUR people to promote YOUR passion. This is true for Business to Consumer (B2C), Business to Business (B2B), and community-based initiatives.
But it’s not all networking and roses. There are some gotchas lurking to snag even the savviest social ideologue.
Here are a three major things you should know before you dive with head, heart, and wallet into the social media landscape.
1. Social Algorithms Truly Control Content Visibility
Social platform algorithms can create a state of being for users known as a Filter Bubble. This means that based on each user’s worldview and/or bias, the information they receive through their social platform of choice is predicated on previous content consumed.
This influences who sees what, regardless of what you “the business” does to promote your posts. What this means is you need a better sense of your target audience than the typical marketing persona will provide.
“In reality, the vast majority of content any given user subscribes to will never appear in front of them. Instead, Facebook shows an algorithmic selection, based on a number of factors: most importantly whether anyone has paid Facebook to promote the post, but also how you have interacted with similar posts in the past (by liking, commenting or sharing them) and how much other people have done the same.” Guardian Technology Desk
You need to be able to dig deeply into the inner landscape of your desired audience to be able to forge any kind of useful connection.
2. Tracking Useful Social Media Analytics is EXTREMELY Challenging
You’ve likely run across articles littered with terms such as likes, shares, overall engagement, and conversions. While these activities DO stimulate the dopamine response in our brains, they don’t always lead to business results.
Likes ≠ Purchases
While it is possible to design strategic marketing campaigns that DO offer a positive bottom line impact to your business, it requires a bit of integral thinking to get there.
Metrics vary from platform to platform. Often the most highly visible of these metrics don’t necessarily have anything to do with how well your posting is working for your business.
You need to understand your overall game plan on a more tactical level.
Sometimes effectively engaging a smaller audience directly will have a greater impact than trying to reach a broader audience in a more generic way.
Aim for the smallest possible audience, not the largest, to build long-term value among a trusted, delighted tribe, to create work that matters and stands the test of time.
- If your goal is to drive organic customer growth from existing user referrals — how do you do that?
- If your goal is to expand your reach and increase mindshare of your brand among potential customers — how do you make sure you’re actually showing up in front of those people?
- If you don’t know how to measure the results of your work from the beginning — how do you have any sense of potentially creating ROI on your marketing spend?
What this means is that you have to design your social presence and activity with measurement in mind from the beginning.
Even if your social strategy is fairly simple, you must coordinate the different pieces of your digital presence to be able to catch, lead, nurture, and close any connections you make through your social posting activity. This means using tools such as UTM tracking and well-designed landing pages on your website are critical to any success you hope to gain through your social posting. This goes for any and all social platforms.
3. Effective Marketing Benefits Enormously From Strong Social Proof
In a digital world saturated with valuable information propagated by content marketing strategists, what can you do to really stand out? How can you do something unique to truly differentiate yourself?
Try to think of social marketing as a giant game of “word of mouth referral.” Now exponentially expand this game via millions of people. In this environment, you cannot ignore the value of User Generated Content.
Happy customers beget more happy customers. Your authentic care for your customers, and your ability to nurture their success with your products and services can spread through the digital space like a positive wave.
Giving your customers creative ways to share their positive experience with your toolset is, I believe, at the heart of social media success. It’s the key to gaining traction. It has also been at the heart of successful business growth for generations. It’s not new.
Recipes for Social Success
Good advertising comes from a combination of these four things:
- A visceral presentation,
- Of a solid option,
- To a qualified audience,
- Crafted from a sense of presence.
Stay tuned to my future posts for more information on how to achieve the process you need to craft these four elements of your social media strategy.
Kaia is a Digital Strategist at Melissity Marketing.
She helps her clients understand how to use their digital presence for good. Good for their businesses, and good for the world.
Her background in physiology, martial arts, western massage therapy, 5 Element Shiatsu, woodworking, technology and the internet blends to create unique solutions for you. Parenting has also given her eyes in the back of her head.
Visit her online here to spark a conversation.