More and more businesses are realising how important it is to utilise and harness the power of social media. It can be a great way to send your message out to the broader audience and get maximum traction for your product and / or service. Equally it’s can be an ‘easy access’ channel for free flowing, high quality communication between a company and its customers.
But what happens when social media becomes a full time role? And when is it time to hand over the reigns to an agency?
1: People are saying nasty things. Or worse… nothing at all
You’ve just proudly put the finishing touches on your new business FB page, you launch it on the news feed for all your friends and clients to ‘Like’ and bang… Someone posts a negative comment about a bad experience or even the business itself from 2 years ago...
What do you do?
Or how about you’ve had an account up for a week now and the page has 6 likes, you’ve posted several articles that you’ve painstakingly prepared, but nobody seems to be seeing, sharing or talking about them…
Social media is a bit of an online tombola, in terms of never really knowing what you are going to get! So taking the time to plan for negative sentiment is something that unfortunately gets altogether overlooked sometimes and this has lead to some social media howlers over the years.
It is equally important to stage your social activity, build and nurture a pipeline of users and then approach them with targeted, original and engaging content when they have demonstrated an interest in you and not just when you want to generate one.
Different objectives require different approaches, so knowing when to seek the help and guidance of an expert could be the key to success and could potentially lead to the successful aversion of any yet unforeseen disasters.
If you are thinking about starting a social media campaign, prepare as much for responding to negative sentiment as you will for the positive.
2: You are struggling to maintain continuity
Sometimes when businesses take the decision to manage their social media accounts internally, accounts can change hands and you end up with various people posting at various times and no real continuity between the posts and overall messaging.
When you work with a specialist, they should take the time to get to know you, your business, your message and how you like to be represented online. If your website is very informative, professional and full of plain facts, but the accompanying social accounts are bouncy, fun and sharing pictures of cats wearing clothes… then let’s be honest there is some way to go to get back on message!
Ensuring that you are consistent with your messaging and that your content is really driving your social media and search marketing strategies going forward is the key.
3: Less is more… but really it’s the quality that counts
Theres nothing worse than the serial ‘bumf’ tweeter when it comes to perusing any social media timeline. It could be a recruitment company or an estate agent, but there really is nothing more frustrating than the company that uses Twitter or any other social account as just an extension of their lettings list or job board.
@RecruitmentAgency: Vacancy – Leicester – F/t click the link for details
So many are still of the mindset that it’s an ‘amount’ of tweets or posts you need to send in a day and not the quality of them. So companies still evaluate the cost of their social marketing campaigns based against the ‘number of’ posts they get for their money and not the contents of the actual posts themselves. Which is actually the all important bit.
This is where you need a specialist to come in and devise not only a social schedule and process plan to follow, but also an editorial calendar, which is designed around you and your upcoming targets for the year / month / quarter or even week. Once you have the content, it’s all about sharing it in the right places, at the right times and with the correct audiences.
You have to make content work for you; you must promote it, nurture it and drive it along the sales funnel in order to generate the desired end result.
4: Cat got your tongue?
You’ve had a hectic weekend; it’s Monday morning and you have a business to run. A reminder pops up on your screen prompting you to prepare the week’s web content and plan your tweets around it. Great.., now all you need is to come up with some ideas to talk about…
Don’t worry, that’s normal. Knowing what to write, when and how your content can be used to benefit your entire search marketing strategy is very challenging. When you have lots to do and you find yourself under pressure to get articles posted, it can be really tough finding the time and / or motivation to write new and compelling material.
At this stage we would advise you not to. This is definitely the time to at least have a conversation with an experienced content writer and get a feel for what the cost implications of outsourcing content work might be. You might be surprised and having the stress of preparing and planning new content week in week out removed from your day to day will give you more time to do what you are good at… like running a business!!
5: Be Original and have personality
There’s nothing wrong with having a bit of fun in social as long as you have your practices and processes in place. You can have personality, charm and humility in social and you will find that this works wonders for brand engagement, without lowering the tone or quality of your online reputation - if executed correctly.
Working with a specialist to define character and tone can be a very valuable exercise that pays massive dividends in the long haul. Work with someone you trust and ask as many questions as you like! These are the experts, they should not have a problem addressing your issues and answering your queries.
We like to believe and behave like we are an extension to our own clients businesses. That’s why it is so important to us that we get to know our customers and that we fully understand their objectives before proceeding with any new social media or content marketing campaign with them.
If you are experiencing any of the difficulties highlighted in this article or if you have any questions or queries about anything I have mentioned, then give us a call and we will do all we can to help.
We hope that in some way this article helps you with your ongoing efforts in 2014.