Unless you’re an expert, social media can seem daunting. You’ve probably asked yourself questions along the lines of: What platforms should we be using? How often should we be posting? Are we annoying our followers if we post too often?
At Irish Titan, we like to take what we think of as a “common sense” approach to social media. Basically, if you were your follower, where and what would you want to see from your organization? Let’s break it down.
To start, what is social media?
In short, it is content that has been generated by users. You can quickly and efficiently get your message out, and the quality of the content isn’t the most important thing (okay, yes, obviously, it’s important to still write decent copy, but it doesn’t have to be the Magna Carta). Nobody could see your post, or it could be seen by everybody (it is our ambition to someday go viral). And due to the nature of social media, your post has a relatively short shelf life, because it will get pushed down by everyone else’s content, which means that you should be engaging with social media more frequently than other marketing activities, like blogging.
EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL PLATFORMS AND THEIR USES
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+
Photos & Video
YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr
Blogs, Tumblr, Wikipedia
So, who is using social media?
The short answer? Everyone. From high school kids to CEOs just about everyone interacts with social media in some form or another. The key is to ensure that you are on the platform that your targeted prospects are on. For example, if you want to get in front of business owners, you would probably be more successful on LinkedIn than Instagram.
You also need to choose what platform is right for your business. But don’t pigeonhole yourself – the great thing about social media is that you can make it what you want it to be. If you are a B2B organization, you may not feel like you have much that you would want to post on Facebook. But, if you’re a B2B organization with a great culture, maybe your culture is the piece that you can highlight and will ultimately work as a recruiting tool.
That being said, even though “everyone” is on social, it doesn’t mean that they know how they should be interacting with it. Much of the marketplace is largely uneducated (Twitter isn’t something that comes naturally to a lot of people), but they’re getting smarter. So always be sure to be genuine and set an example with great content.
So, then why should I spend the time on it?
The answer is threefold:
- Social media is unique in the way that it is able to ignite conversations. Anyone who has an account on a platform is able to see the content that you’re posting, and if they can see it, they can interact with it. If they share, like, or comment on your post, than an entirely new audience that you didn’t have access to before can see your content. And from there, the effect snowballs. You never know what it might result in – a new deal, a new hire… even just a brand advocate. That leads us to the second most valuable impact of social marketing:
- Your ability to promote and reinforce your brand. Your organization is more than the products you sell or the services you provide. It’s a living, breathing entity that has a reputation. It’s also something that people have opinions about. You can use social to continue to reinforce a good opinion or to change a neutral (or bad) opinion. The goal is to not make people hate you, though.
- Finally, social is a great tool for recruiting. You can post job postings, which your current employees can share, increasing the net of prospects that you’re drawing from. You can also validate that you walk the walk and talk the talk by demonstrating that your brand and company is really what you say it is. And you can continue to engage people who you may not have a position available for, yet, but who would be a great fit for your organization, culturally.
Some final thoughts:
The key to success on social media is consistency. Understand how much time you have, how much content you want to share and how frequently you think you can craft a quality post that will interest your followers. From there, just stick to it! If you don’t, people will lose interest.
So there you have it! Wondering how to actually get started? Head over here for tips and tricks.