You’ve launched your company, written the business plan, set up an accounting system, have acquired some great clients, but want more. First idea that comes to mind…get on board with social media!
Great idea, but if you are going to launch your business into social media, please do so with as much thought as your business plan or accounting system. STOP RANDOM ACTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA before you start and be 10 steps ahead of the competition!
First, decide where you should have social media presence. And know why you should be there. Sure, everyone has a Facebook page, but why should you? What will you do for your customers and potential customers to make it worthwhile? Seriously, do you wake up each day wondering, “Gee, what is iDiazMarketing up to today? I’ve GOT to visit their Facebook page!” I thought so. Hopefully, my business page was the last thing on your mind when you woke up today. Life is too short.
So, what are you going to do to make each effort worthwhile?
This is where a calendar comes in really handy!
1) Why do you have this Facebook, LinkedIn, blog site, video channel, white paper, or any other strategy? Make your answer “customer” focused, not “your business” focused. Your answer should look something like, “I want a Youtube Channel to help customers understand new ideas in my industry or from my company that will enhance their lives by… fill in the blank”. And video will convey this information clearly.” An answer set for failure is, “I want to promote my new products and tell everyone to buy them by using video. I hear that video is a great new tool to reach people.” See the difference? One answer is about helping others, the other is about helping yourself.
2) Decide how often you can realistically develop content for posts. Be realistic. Create a calendar for each media platform and map out the dates you will post. Make the calendar 2-6 months out depending on your frequency.3) Define a topic for each post. Don’t worry, you can deviate if something super hot comes up to defer a planned post. Or you can add a special announcement for a group of subscribers that bet fit that hot new news. Great ideas for topics can include, informational, reposts with credit and permission of other experts’ posts, interviews with experts, how to tips, top 10 are always helpful, an occasional personal post that might be funny or entertaining and conveys your human side. After all, people are hearing from you, a real person.
4) Determine a call to action. This does not have to be a sales push. Follow the 70/30 rule. at least 70% of your posts are giving and no more than 30% are asking for something. Examples of good calls to action can include: asking readers for their opinion, entering a contest, sharing a post, linking to a white paper with more information, visiting your site to register for an event, or even, buy now.
5) Define a timeframe for checking your progress and benchmarking success. What works and what doesn’t is key to driving what to include in your calendar in the future. It is a great learning experience, but it takes time to get good data. One week with two posts on a new blog will not tell you if that content was a success or not. Give it a few months of that frequency.
Be patient and tenacious! Social media is a great opportunity to create lasting relationships if you care, are consistent, and patient.
By the way, in this post, have I helped you get ideas to write an effective calendar? That was my objective!
Until recently, marketing communications consisted of clever headlines, subliminal messaging, persuasion and a “pitch” for the sale.
Social media and the ability to interact online has changed that, giving the consumer the drivers’seat. This has changed how we communicate to suspacts (potential clients we have not met), prospects (suspects who have met us and are cxonsidering our services), and clients…THANK GOODNESS!
The voice of the customer is heard.
Customers are making their voices heard. If they dislike a service, if they love it, if they recommend it, they publicize it. This is driving company branding because the customer now has a voice in your brand. Huh?
“What if someone says something bad about my company, product or service?” A very legitimate question with a very simple answer — listen, learn, and respond.
Awareness of a customer’s dissatisfaction gives you the chance to help them. Studies show that more loyalty is created when a company rights the wrong than when a customer is simply happy. Sounds odd, but in this day of offshore support, long hold times, and lean staffing, a resolved customer issue can be, unfortunately, a pleasant surprise.
So, what does this have to do with a marketing plan?
When you develop your core message and incorporate what is unique to your company, include the customer’s perspective should in that message.
Branding, core messages and the case for Mr. Splashypants.
Let’s look at Grenpeace as an example.
In 2007 Greenpeace was concerned with the Japanese fisheries agency’s intent to kill 50 humpback whales. Greenpeace decided to tag one of the whales and poll site visitors to name the whale. Greenpeace collected 300 names from voters. They were looking for a spiritual name like “Nirvana” or “Karma”. But the name that got the most votes and attention from news sites was ‘Mr. Splashypants”.
Greenpeace eventually adoptd the name and the awareness campaign was a huge success, resulting in sales of mugs, t-shirts and other swag.
The lesson learned here, was that the visitors knew better what was best for the brand than Greenpeace did.
Because they listened and responded, their campaign was a huge success.
Many companies are creating Facebook Fan pages for their brand. If you are considering a Fan Page as a part of your marketing strategy, here are three tips for a successful start:
- Know what you want to accomplish by having a Fan Page. Saying you want more sales is a nice goal, but be more specific. Who doesn’t want more sales? My objective from my Fan Page is to establish iDiaz Marketing as a reliable resource for information on new marketing media like email marketing, social media and search marketing. My secondary objective is to create enough buzz from being a reliable source to generate more customers either by referral or directly from fans.
- Find at least 25 fans so you can get a vanity url for your fan page. Why? Because a vanity url has your brand as a part of the url. And a url with your name in it is more searchable than a url with random numbers in it.
- Create a customized landing page for new fans. A landing page that welcomes new fans is so much more helpful and welcoming to a new fan than if they land on your wall as a first impression. On that page, welcome them and tell them why your fan page exists and why you are glad they chose to become a fan of your page. It’s ok if you can’t create it immediately. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your fan page doesn’t have to be either. While I have helped many people with their company fan page, my page is new and my landing page is almost ready. By the way, my fan page is http://www.facebook.com/iDiazMarketing Come hang out on my fan page. I promise no spam and to do my best to be engaging and informative.
Screaming headlines don’t belong in social media. If you don’t CARE, don’t bother.
When was the last time you ate at a really great restaurant and told a good friend, “For that down home goodness like mother made, there is no place like Baloney’s for a hearty home-cooked meal.” Or, “MacDougal’s, I’m lovin’ it!”
Headlines are for advertising, grabbing attention, and creating a memorable brand to a large mass, broad range of people.
Social media is for engagement, having conversations and getting to know people with like minds and interests.
Here is an exercise you can try to test the “blah, blah, blah” factor of your copy.
- Take your copy for your next blog, microblog, comment or other post and put it in front of you. What does that copy say?
- Now, pretend that you are at a giant convention with tens of thousands of people attending and you are about to present this information to them. How will you say it?
- Next, pretend that the group you are sharing this same information with is a group of two dozen colleagues. How do you deliver the same information? Has it changed a bit? Be honest with yourself and say it instead of reading it.
- Finally, you are out to dinner with three to five friends and you are delivering the same information. How do you share this information this time? What words do you use? Do you interject your opinion and expression of favor or dislike about the subject?
In each scenario your story probably changed a little until it became very intimate and personal when you shared it with your friends at dinner.
When you are about to post something new to either find people to engage with or to share with people who already follow you, how intimate do you think you should be when sharing your content? The answer is not the same for everyone in every industry for every reader. When you decide, think about what kind of person you would trust and admire over a period of time reading their posts?