I was working on a marketing plan for someone’s new business yesterday, and I found myself typing away at how important the social media strategy really is to a business today. When I’m working on an assignment like that, I start off with research and then just type everything that comes to mind based on the research as well as my previous knowledge. I call it a brain dump. As I was finishing up my brain dump on social media, it occurred to me that this is all very intuitive to me because I grew up with these platforms and technology; but, those who did not grow up with it might not have grasped yet how important social media really is.
I have Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. My primary use for them is to learn about what is going on in my communities and in the world. I admit that I rarely post to Twitter, but I follow my favorite brands, stores, people, magazines, and authors. And they aren’t tweeting about their newest achievements; they’re tweeting about what interests them– what news articles got them thinking, what natural food can be used as a cold remedy, what person inspires them. Companies and people on Instagram often use the picture blog platform in a similar way, but with more visually stimulating content that is less easily retweetable, but that provides a momentary glimpse into the company’s world. My experience with Facebook is that brands use it more for advertising than for engagement (Facebook, is after all, an advertising company first and a social media platform second). However, I still find myself bypassing restaurants’ and businesses’ websites on my Google search and looking for their Facebook page. I want to see what specials they have going on and what people have tagged the businesses in. Each platform is different, and needs to be approached as such. Posting discounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook is redundant and a a waste of precious resources. Use these platforms as a way to support other businesses and people in your community. By highlighting events, success stories, or a favorite coffee spot, you’re simultaneously engaging with your business community (and are likely to get a shoutout later on) and you’re also becoming a trusted resource for info for your customer base. If they like your product or service, they probably will like what you like, too! Facebook’s advertising algorithm depends on this concept.
This social media presence is not easy to develop. It requires regular updates and a consistent voice. I cannot emphasize these two points enough. Before posting a single post, sit down with your team and your social media manager/director (yes, you should have one) and write down precisely what your Twitter voice, Instagram face, and Facebook voice will each look and sound like. What messages are you trying to convey? What type of relationship do you want to form? Are you comedic relief? The information gatherer? The community watchdog?
This should be a fun and exciting project for you and your business! If it’s not, let’s talk.by