The Case for Variety in Your Social Media Diet
Do you get enough variety in your diet? No, I’m not asking about fruits and vegetables — though it is a good idea to mix those in, especially since Summer is right around the corner! Actually, I’m referring to variety in your company’s social media diet. Just like the right balance of foods is important for a healthy body, a good mix of social media networks in your social media strategy is critical to a healthy online presence.
Overloaded on Twitter and Facebook?
Let me paint a potential scenario: a company wants to get started with social media. Since Facebook and Twitter are the big names in the game, they decide to put all their efforts into building out a strong presence on those channels. They are engaged in conversations, are able to distribute blog posts and company news/perspective and are even generating some sales through those channels. All is well, right? Maybe, maybe not.
What about the conversations taking place on Google Plus? What about the business relationships waiting to be developed on LinkedIn? What about the customers that are doing very creative (or – gasp! – destructive!) things with your products over on Pinterest? Looks like the company in our scenario has a problem. There’s a whole other world out there in the social media space that they aren’t even a part of. And they are missing out in a big way.
Building Variety into Your Social Media Strategy
Recently, I’ve had the fortune of working with a couple of companies that have global business footprints. Up to this point, their social media presence was fairly limited. They stuck to the big networks and did the best they could. They knew they needed to do a better job, but were unsure of how to get started.
I walked these clients through a fairly simple process to help them figure out their next steps:
- What are your company’s business objectives? What do you really want to do? Increase sales? Be recognized as a world-leader in your field? Demonstrate that you have one of the most creative workplace cultures in existence? You have to have a firm grasp on what you’re after AND there must be agreement among the core team on this answer. Anything less will produce mediocre results.
- Where is your target audience today? What social networks do they hang out on today? How active are they? Do you know what their interests are and why they use that network? I’ve used surveying, the creation of personas and even tools such as Facebook’s ad platform to find the audience.
- Where are your products (or your brands) being talked about online today? What does the conversation look like? You must have an understanding of what your reputation looks like today. (Trackur anyone?)
- What are your capabilities today to create content, engage an audience online and monitor the conversation as it happens? This is where most companies get tripped up. It takes talented people to execute and make a social media strategy happen, and many companies fear that they’ll need to hire a lot of people (or bring in an army of interns for the summer), but you may already have everyone you need on-board today. That knowledgeable person on the sales team? They may be able to write the your next blog post. That customer service rep with the ability to explain complicated topics? You may be able to use them in video to walk potential customers through the product demo process. The key: you need to have a good idea of the type of person you’re looking for and then scan your organization for the right fit.
By walking clients through these questions, we’ve been able to create social media strategies that move past a reliance solely on Facebook and Twitter and into a large variety of social networks that are already providing good returns.
So, the next time you’re tempted to send out that tweet, ask yourself if there are other networks that could benefit from that piece of content. Your newly found customers will thank you and you’ll feel a lot better about your company’s future.
About The Author
Jon Parks is a digital marketing strategist and owner of Dijital Farm, a digital marketing consulting agency based in Raleigh, N.C. As a consultant, speaker and instructor, Jon helps businesses make sense of social media, the basics of Google, e-mail marketing and more. You can follow Jon Parks on Twitter (@jonparks), add him to your circles on Google Plus and connect with him on LinkedIn.