Part 1, Social Media Connections: Show me your friends, covered some risks of wide-net social media tactics such as "follow me and I'll follow you". Just ask yourself: What are the pros and cons? Would I employ these offline? If yes, what kind of community will I have?
These tactics attract a large social media following, which should:
- Attract more followers
- Build credibility
- Connect you to this following's friends and followers
- Draw the attention of more established clients or customers
Is this what happens? If yes, then for how long will they:
- Appreciate the value of what you offer?
- Buy your product or service?
- Champion your cause - referrals, volunteering, donations?
- Drive relevant traffic to your sites?
- Engage with you in a relevant way for more than a week?
Only for as long as you remain relevant. If only 1 in 2,500 of your 25,000 followers know what you do, your community is not relevant.
Social Media Strategy
Your accounting and legal departments are tailored to your operations; so too should your social media activities.
Social media is more than just marketing. Essentially, it can be the equivalent of your physical business, online, and can, therefore, affect multiple areas of your business. A strategic approach to social media can maximize its contribution to your long-term goals, with minimal effort. In many industries, social media may even help streamline your supply chain collaboration and recruiting efforts.
Ask yourself: What are your organizational goals and core brand message? How can social media help? Who are your desired followers? What channels are they active on? What appeals to them their? How do I meet their needs? How do I define success?
Some common tactics used to build healthy and relevant online communities:
- Answer questions posted in your area of expertise
- Blog on topics pertinent to your industry
- Connect with customers and partners by commenting on, or re-posting, their posts
- Direct customers and partners to solutions available on your website or channels
- Engage with customers and partners by requesting that they re-post your messages if relevant to their followers.
A clear core organizational message, enhanced by relevant and interesting content about you, your partners, industry and more, ensures that the right followers:
- Appreciate the value of what you offer
- Buy your product or service
- Champion your cause - referrals, volunteering, donations
- Drive relevant traffic to your sites
- Engage with you in a relevant way for more than a week
Good content is what makes community genuine and makes relevant members become champions.
To engage a relevant community, you too must remain relevant, but this takes time. Whether you do this in-house, outsource to a consultant or combine resources of both, ensure that all contributors are clear on your strategic goals and in-house policies.
Continuous improvement is not a random manufacturing term. It is a process that helps confirm competitive advantage, find new opportunities and resolve challenges earlier than your counterparts who are less social media savvy.
A good social media consultant should be able to advise on a strategy that meets your unique needs. If you are doing this on your own, take the time to do some research and build a sound strategy.
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