Gone are the days when marketing interns ran companies’ social media pages. The social media element in integrated marketing plans continues to grow and marketing professionals’ knowledge must also grow as the digital space evolves and consumers become savvier.
Consumed: Consumers check their smart phones on average 40+ times a day. They are annoyed with overt marketing messages. They avoid advertisements. And they seek value-driven interactions.
How do we provide value-driven interactions?
The most important thing to remember is that consumers are people, and they want to be talked to by a real person. Social media posts that say “Here’s our great product. How are you using it today?” are not well-received by consumers. The solution lies in creating content that is relevant, trusted and human.
Step 1: Identify which social media platforms will be most beneficial to your business.
Are you a B2B or B2C company? Are your brand assets more visual or informative? What is your social media budget? These are some of the questions that you will need to answer before creating content that best benefits your business. Red Website Design explains this step beautifully with a social infographic, which can be found here.
Step 2: Become a trusted source of information for your customers.
Walk what your business talks. For example, McCormick has done a wonderful job becoming a trusted partner with consumers. McCormick’s Flavor Print, is an APP that allows consumers to customize recipes based on flavor preferences and eating habits, thus becoming a trusted resource.
Step 3: Research industry trends and tap into those resources when posting.
If you work for a food business, it’s important to know if pumpkin is trending over pecans this fall. The same goes for automotive, where it’s important to know how consumers rank fuel economy and luxury. Starting conversations that provide an opportunity for consumers to actively engage and share.
Step 4: Be human.
Consumers are not following companies’ social media pages to receive advertisements and marketing jargon. Fans want real engagement, immediate action and a personal experience with the brands they love. It’s our job as social media and marketing professionals to talk to people like people.
Step 5: Follow through and evaluate results.
Once you’ve done steps 1-4, it’s important to be consistent and follow through with your promise to post with purpose and optimize based on analytics. Ask yourself tough questions, such as:
- Is the tone consistent?
- Do you respond to and engage with fans via Facebook and Twitter in a timely matter?
- Are Instagram photos relevant, inspiring and paired with hashtags that make sense?
- Are the social channels working as intended?
- Are fans responding to certain posts better than others?
As heard at a recent ThinkLA Social Media Breakfast, “We need to fail fast and learn from our (and other companies’) mistakes in order to succeed in social media.”
For those looking for more information about social media conferences and learning opportunities, check out these sites: