A term used quite loosely. If anyone boasts about being a social media expert, you may as well assume that isn’t the only thing they are fibbing about. There is no such thing.
Social Media Stragist. Now that’s more like it!
The New Wave In Marketing. We all know that marketing plans benefit with the use of social media. But… do we have the right people executing? Marketing today, vs. marketing years ago, is a new animal. Print media is still used but your reach is minimal. Flyers filled with words are too time consuming for people to read. Mailers without an actual item of value (and I mean the kind you can actually hold), get thrown out. Although this doesn’t apply for every business, generally, they are not cost effective.
Change Is Hard. Business plans that worked for us years ago no longer work. Consumers are more savvy, have less time, and prefer the “I want it now” factor (which I like to call “only child syndrome”). Recently, I called my car dealership to inquire about a new vehicle. Had I decided to purchase a new car that day, I could have… over the phone. My dealer emailed me pictures, showed me where to find the online application and would have called me back within the hour to finalize the transaction. All this, without stepping foot in their showroom.
The Social Media Strategist (aka Marketing Strategist). Whether you have one or more in-house employees who can take on the job, or you want to hire an outside resource, all Social Media Strategists need to follow a few simple rules for success.
Goals | Audience. Know your audience, a term used often. You really do need to know your audience. There is a reason I like to use the terms goals and audience together. Clearly, you need to know what your social media goals are but, they go along with your audience for a few reasons.
- You may have two audiences you are trying to attract, in turn, you may need two different social media strategies.
- Knowing your audience helps you decide which social media outlets to focus on.
- Your goals help find the right way to interact with your audience on social media.
The list goes on, but that is a topic for a different post.
Knowledge. Knowledge is power. This really holds true in social media or any other kind of marketing. If your marketing department/social media department, doesn’t understand, or feel passionate about your product and mission, how do you expect them to convey it to the public. I have worked with Marketing departments in the past who genuinely don’t know the product they are marketing, or the understand the clients they are marketing to. It’s destructive for any company to have people without the knowledge base on the front lines. Remember, social media is not just throwing out stats for the public to see, or rates, or simple offers. A great social media strategist engages your audience, makes them want to know more about you and your product, and creates a buzz.
Research | Competition. Again, two terms I like to integrate. The best Social Media Strategist will research your product and the competition. Take a mortgage product for example (yes, maybe I am using this example because I was in the mortgage industry for over 20 years), regardless, unless you have a niche product that nobody can match (which isn’t typical), everyone who offers that product has posted something similar at one point or another. You need to be different. I’m not telling you to recreate the wheel. I am telling you to add a little something. Hit from another angle. Don’t forget about the numbers, or stats (I know those are important), but make your audience feel… sounds corny doesn’t it? It is… but it works. I am not telling you to make them cry, but instead, give them something that resonates. If you don’t you will just get stuck in the Social Media Bubble, or “Smubble” as I like to call it.
I could go on for hours about the different ways to engage people on social media, and how pictures instead of words can be very powerful… that is, if you are using them in the right venue. I won’t though. All this, and more would take me hours which I do not have. I am a Social Media strategist, not an expert. I have research to do, posts to write, new social media outlets to check out, and audiences to engage. Until next time…
If you are interested in learning more about social media and how it can help you, feel free to contact me.