This week’s lesson was extremely relevant to me, since I run a small company. The lecture was “Social Media Marketing for Small Business.” (Lynda.com, 2017)
If you are going to participate in Social Media, it is important to understand it. I’ve often thought social media seems quite basic and one of the first things the lecturer said nailed it. “Social Media is Word of Mouth on Steroids!” (Lynda.com, 2017)
Social Media is a nuanced form of conversational marketing, a two way street where you find out what your customers need and work toward satisfying that need. Where you share content with your customers in the hope they share it with their connections, thus word of mouth on steroids. You tell someone, they will tell two people and they will tell two people and so on.
Social Media is all about the content and includes some powerful tools such as: blogs, photos, white papers, all sorts of expression including what I do, video.
Social Media has new lingo such as the word content, key words and tags, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and mobile. You have to take the small screen into account. Did you know that a majority of social media is consumed on your smart phone? So whatever you do, it better be compatible with the device you customer tends to use.
Most people are on at least one social network with many on multiple. When I started Hired Gun Productions I tended to stick to Facebook but I have since learned a better network for me is LinkedIn. I am also starting to have success with both Instagram and Twitter.
Facebook seems to be the most popular but the days of posting it and they will come, are over. Organic Posts don’t have the same reach and some paid promotion will be needed. Facebook, like twitter now offers live streaming. This is an exciting development but it is dangerous. You have to be prepared and don’t go off half cocked, because that can quickly backfire on you.
Instagram is also an interesting choice. I am just starting to utilize it. High quality images, posting at least once a day and making sure to reinforce your brand.
LinkedIn is also being called “The Wall Street Journal of Social Media!” (Lynda.com, 2017)
Pinterest is good for lifestyle content and targets primarily women while Snapchat is where you go when you want to find the 35 and under demographic.
There is a movie that came out in the nineties called “Nell, starring Jodie Foster. She plays a hermit out in the woods who when discovered and reintroduced to society says “World Too Big!” (Apted, 1994)
This is how I am feeling, there are so many options and if you can’t afford to hire help, how do you manage it. Well, there is an answer, CMS, A Content Management System. I signed up for Hootsuite and am stilling trying to figure it out.
Hootsuite will allow me to access all my social media platforms at once. It is a good place for an editorial calendar, I can pre-plan posts that will just happen and a whole bunch of stuff I will be telling you about in future blogs.
These are some of the possibilities, and how you use them will be determined from your interaction with the Groundswell.
Groundswell the book, is required reading in this course and there are some incredible insights. One that jumped out at me and is in keeping with the idea of social listening is “Your brand is what your customers say it is!” (Bernoff, 2011)
This is a complete paradigm shift for me. Black is white, cats and dogs living together. I have always been protective of my brand, not sure how I feel about giving it up to my customers. I guess one foot at a time.
Social Media is starting to slowly make sense to me. There has been light bulb moments, mind blown realizations and so, so many ideas. But the real question is “How will we engage our customers, and how will engagement grow over time?” (Bernoff, “Groundswell”, 2011)
I have narrowed down my networks. I plan on utilizing LinkedIn, Facebook and a bit of Instagram. But before I do any of this I need to develop a strategy. This strategy needs to have goals and a way to measure the success of these goals. I plan on starting with social listening. I can study habits, start discussions and find out what my competitors are doing. Once I know this I can develop a strategy and then start implementing.
I like creating content, I like sharing content and I like feedback on the content.
I just need to remember a few things, like social media is a two way conversation. I not only talk, but I have to listen, and act on what my customers are saying. And I need to come up with a code of conduct and set of rules on how my brand is presented. Right now I do all my own social media, but as the contracts start rolling in, I will probably have to hire someone to help out. It will be important for them to know how Hired Gun should be represented. I need to remember creativity and storytelling are essential and I have to remember the 1/3 rule of publishing content:
1/3 is content about my brand.
1/3 I sharing posts of others, making sure I add my own context to the share.
1/3 building relationships.
It is always important that I am sharing the right kind of content. I need to ask myself is the content what my customers asked for? I need to speak in a human voice, I need to “solve a problem and surprise and delight my customer. Hmmm, “Here is your safety video customer, I see you are delighted.” Delight might be too strong a word. (Lynda.com, 2017)
In closing I must remember the 3 P’s; I am a Publisher, Producer and Publicist.
This is what I learned this week. Next week, woohoo “Google Adwords Essentials!”
Because of the importance of social listening, I would like to hear your comments about this blog. What you like, what you don’t like and what would make it better for you?
Till next week!
Apted, M. (Director). (1994). “Nell” [Motion Picture].
Babchishin, B. (2017). Ben Babchishin. Retrieved from Hootsuite.
Bernoff, C. L. (2011). “Groundswell”. In C. L. Bernoff, Groundswell (p. 78). Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.
Bernoff, C. L. (2011). “Groundswell”. In C. L. Bernoff, “Groundswell” (p. 71). Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.
Lynda.com (Director). (2017). “Social Media Marketing for Small Business” [Motion Picture].