You may be wondering whether social media can actually be a valuable part of your marketing, or if it’s a time waster. The answer is all in how you use it. Social media can be invaluable in analyzing your audience to understand what they most care about—in essence, listening to their social conversations—and then from that, producing content that is relevant and interesting, creating a high level of engagement. Social media can be a major key in efficiently distributing that content over the web.
In this process it is first necessary to understand why you are communicating on a particular platform, and what content it is best to deliver there. In this stage it is mandatory to analyze the top social platforms, to discern where the majority of your target audience is congregating. For example, Pinterest’s demographic is mainly in the female gender, Instagram trends toward younger audiences (though this is changing) and Facebook pretty much covers the gamut.
Count the cost before committing to a platform. Examine your budget to ensure that the necessary resources are in place to consistently engage with the public through regular updates. An outdated social media presence is a quick path to irrelevancy and a lack of credibility! In terms of content, make maximum use of your website and blog in order to direct and increase traffic to the media platforms you actually own and control.
It is best to have a precise, detailed strategic purpose for any social media where you decide to post your content. Have a reason to be wherever you decide to publish content. Stay away from generalities like “to increase exposure.” Consider desired action chains, whether it be commenting, sharing your content, etc. The content you post has the potential to create conversions, and the taking of a next step towards a deeper relationship with your brand. Someone may evolve from a Twitter follower to a regular viewer of your website. Then this individual may become a subscriber to your newsletter and then a regular and dedi-
As you intelligently utilize social media in conjunction with your other marketing tools, carefully examine what type of content the audience seeks on this channel. Then customize your message appropriately so that it deeply resonates. What informational needs do viewers have on this platform, how can you meet their needs? Choosing the right tone for each platform is very important; some situations call for a very professional approach, whereas others can be more conversational or fun and lighthearted.
Timing and consistency are key. Plan how frequently you aim to post content for each platform. Some enterprises may find that once a day on Facebook (or less) is plenty, but monitoring Twitter needs to be more ongoing. Every business engaged has its own unique situation, so experiment around to find the best balance for you and your viewers! Call us if you need guidance; we’ll help you get the most out of your social media.
Kelly Walker is creative director for Intrepid Marketing, a leading Bend, Oregon marketing agency. For more information, contact Kelly at 541-419-9976 or Kelly@intrepidforward.com.