When looking into Twitter success stories, a lot of the most obvious winners are major companies and national brands â Ford, Dell, Johnson & Johnson. However, if you think that means Twitter is only for the âbig dogs,â think again. … Continue reading
Recently I was talking with a friend whose baby girl has just started to crawl. While watching footage of this little gal get around â hesitantly and haltingly at first â it made me think of how important it is … Continue reading
Business-to-consumer communication has been revolutionized with the advent of social media in the last decade. With nearly 80 percent of corporations now incorporating social media into their marketing and communication mix, the role of a social strategist is becoming more and more standard as a needed and respected part of the team. Mashable recently published an awesome infographic about what it takes to be a social strategist. Even if you have no desire to make social media your 9-to-5, what are some things you can learn from the social media managers and other social media professionals surveyed?Â
The characteristics identified as making these strategists successful at their jobs were, in order:
- âIâm multi-disciplinary and can wear many hats.â (58%)
- âIâm willing to take risks.â (46%)
- âI can rally different stakeholders across the organization.â (45%)
- âI can effectively lead a multi-faceted, cross-departmental effort.â (38%)
- âI have experience in social media.â (37%)
- âI have a long-term customer-centric vision for the program.â (24%)
- âI can communicate the ROI to executive leadership.â (16%)
- âI have been working at my company many years.â (13%)
What stands out in these numbers to me is that the key to success for these strategists has less to do with ROI or long-term plans and more to do with the ability to innovate â whether that be juggling disparate responsibilities and trying new things without the fear of failure.Â
Iâm convinced that the connection between the two isnât coincidental, either. Those who are able to take on a myriad of responsibilities â from creating content to coming up with strategies, analyzing metrics and adapting accordingly, spearheading campaigns, and evangelizing social media to stakeholders â are likely to manage participation in a myriad of media as well. They know how to work with varied audiences through varied channels, connecting consumers with companies adeptly, and they also know how to translate the benefits of social media into terms executives can appreciate and get behind, regardless of the executivesâ familiarity with social media themselves.Â
Proactive social media professionals are those who are able to change and evolve along with the new shifts that come in technology. They are the ones who remain on the bleeding edge of new technologies, adopting them early and then advocating experimentation with them. These forward thinkers use the new media intuitively and find ways to extract the maximum ROI from the tools (remembering that ROI in social media is less about sales conversions and more about building relationships and brand loyalty).Â
Likewise, to get the most out of social media, businesses need to be willing to try new things â and to try lots of different things as well. The benefit of social media is that most of the tools are free. Not having to invest much overhead to dabble in different platforms leaves businesses wide open to experiment with new initiatives and see what resonates with their customers. Be willing to adapt to and adopt new technologies and integrate them into different parts of the business cycle â from marketing and sales to customer service â and youâll be sure to find what works best for your particular business niche.
Everybody wants to be liked â especially in todayâs Facebook world, where the thumbs-up âLikeâ button represents the ultimate stamp of approval from consumers to their networks. But how do you get the âLikeâ love on Facebook (and other crowd-sourced … Continue reading
Recently I came across a post on Social Media ExplorerÂ that showcased a bullâs-eye graphic to discuss exactly what it takes to provide relevant marketing communication. Â
âOptimal communication takes place when a marketer can deliver a relevant message to a relevant audience in a relevant location at a relevant time,â wrote post author Mark Smiciklas.Â
This concept meshes with a social media quote Iâve lived by for several years. Steve Rubel of Edelman PR once spelled out his recipe for social media success: âCreate high-quality content in high-interest areas again and again.â None of these ingredients can stand alone from the other. What you create will depend on who youâre trying to reach and where they turn for information, not to mention when they will be looking.Â
Iâll pose the same question Smiciklas asked: How can you become more relevant? Here are some thoughts on each of the categories needed to hit the relevance bullâs-eye with successful communication:
- Relevant Message â What is it that youâre trying to convey? Try to boil your unique selling proposition down to an elevator pitch, a 60-second explanation of why your product or service matters. From there, try to hone in on a story that can express the message in a way that will connect with your audience. Is there a case study or success story that you can relate? Focus on the pain points your customers face. How do you offer a solution to this pressing problem? Why is your solution superior to others out there?
- Relevant Audience â How defined is the audience youâre trying to reach? Targeting a specific group of people â or even multiple groups â will make all the difference in making your messaging effective. Speak to their unique needs and wants. If you have a product or service that benefits a general audience, then you may need to find a way to tell your story multiple times to multiple consumer profiles. Also think of how to tell the story â which medium is best. Will your audience watch a YouTube video, or are they more likely to benefit from a podcast or blogpost? One size does not fit all where effective marketing is concerned.
- Relevant Location â Where does your target audience turn for information? As Rubel said, it matters to place your message in high-interest areas. Think about the model used in traditional television advertising or film trailers. Would you want to advertise chainsaws during childrenâs programming? Conversely, would it be effective to show a trailer of the latest My Little Ponies film right before a testosterone-fueled slasher flick? You want to connect with your audience where they look for information, whether that be mommy blogs, traditional news vehicles, corporate websites, or social media outlets.
- Relevant Time â When will your target audience need the information you can provide? One of the top ânews valuesâ by which journalists judge a storyâs importance is timeliness.Â Even the best message will fall on deaf ears if it doesnât matter to the audience at the time. Pay attention to current events. Is there a way to tie your story into a larger news item or story that has the public buzzing? Can you use the activities and emotions tied to the various seasons of the year to make your message hit home better? Tell stories that will resonate with whatâs on peopleâs minds right now.