I know, it’s a cliché. And I know that most business leaders, marketing gurus and others will say that before you kick a ball in business, you should be considering these 5 pillars in order to be as successful as possible. Unfortunately, most companies using social aren’t aligning and incorporating traditional business methods and goals in their social media campaigns and strategies. It’s almost like just because their content is published on a social network that these principles don’t apply. Why not?
Social is serious, sophisticated and highly competitive nowadays
Most companies are still using the simple philosophy of spraying and praying with their content. They just want to get their message out to as many people as possible with the smallest amount of effort. Call me old-fashioned, but I call that lazy and not good value when you consider how many tools, techniques and trends there are out there to engage with. Most marketers are running scared now that social networks like Facebook as telling them that the days of spam, link baiting and the like are numbered. Even more of those same people are saying that you’ve gotta ‘pay to play’ on social. That just isn’t true at all. You have to work hard at social in order to maintain the attention of your audiences and communities, but it’s not that hard. You just have to apply some traditional marketing methods into your new tools and technology to get the most out of your content.
Who – Probably the easiest answer of them all, but the one that gets abused with ‘everyone’ as the answer. Really? Does everyone need to or even want to see your content? Is there a particular demographic that would benefit more than the other? I personally do not like it when I receive female related content on platforms like Facebook from pages that I follow. Why? It’s simple! Pages can target females only BEFORE publishing, meaning I don’t get spammed with irrelevant content. With all the algos out there, if I’m not commenting , liking and sharing your content, it might be because it’s not meant for me in the first place. This allows for more content to be published without over subscription and possible un-liking. Give it a try.
What – What do you want your communities and audiences to do with your content? Do you want them to read a new blog post? Maybe you want them to sign up to something or even participate in a survey? Either way, figuring out what you want your audience to do is really important, just make sure whatever you want them do is easily completed. The drop off on social is enormous if there are too many hoops to jump through to do what you want them to do; especially on mobile. That’s a whole other topic! Make your want clear and easy to complete.
When – When is the right time to publish and engage with your content? Depending on your business, it probably won’t be when you feel like it or can be bothered. It will most definitely be when they (your audience) are most interested or online. Using social media analytics properly can tell you not just the days to publish, but also the best hours. Some of my clients get most of their engagement at 7 o’clock in the morning. Who can be bothered to get up and publish at that hour; especially if your aren’t open for business yet? It’s a 365/24/7 game now, but you can still be high in someone’s timeline if you know the best times to post and engage. Best to consider strategic scheduling.
Where – Which network are you going to publish your content to? Not all networks are the same and most don’t have the same functionality when trying to tag or engage communities. Don’t forget that the people on those networks will almost certainly be different as well. You might have to consider changing the tone or way in which you position your content. Repurposing your content for the right network is crucial. Repurposing increases the shelf life and reach of your content because you can release different updates across several networks at different times. In addition, it gives your audience a chance to consume your content in a way that is better for them. Some could be visual and would love a video to watch. Others might like text and prefer to print off your pdf. Think about how many ways you could repurpose your content to reach more people and increase your engagement.
Why – Why are you posting your content? Are you trying to sell something? Maybe you wanted to raise awareness of an event or new product or you were just answering a customer’s question or query. Either way, you need to clearly outline why you want to publish content and engage with your communities in the first place. Your answer can’t be because you need to publish something everyday. That just isn’t good enough and will mean you haven’t considered the other 4 pillars. Think before you press enter.
It’s not really that difficult to have a wee think about how your company uses social. Just make sure it aligns with everything your do offline and is positioned to give you the best chance possible to be successful. Long gone are the days of using relationship management platforms like Hootsuite to hit send and push content everywhere at the same time. It doesn’t work, people will get annoyed and you certainly wont’ get the ROI you are looking for. Besides, if you don’t care enough to think before tweet, why should I care enough to even engage?
I love helping companies and organisations to truly understand the opportunities that social presents in these areas. If you would like to know more, please get in touch.