Results-oriented sounds so buzzwordy (is that a word?!) I hesitate to use it.
But I think asking yourself why you want to include social media in your marketing mix is useful in designing your strategy.
Social presence. I hear that a lot. I’m not sure the term works for me though.
It sounds flimsy, like sticking your business card on the grocery store cork board with a pushpin. There you are. See? That’s why “presence” just isn’t enough.
And, it’s also why I’m flipping this social media marketing how-to follow up post around and throwing out the evocative question, “Why?” instead.
Yeah, yeah, I know, you want a social media presence but still I ask, why?
Showing up in the first place, I suppose, supports the “presence” part and, I guess we can include the visibility in your marketplace from social as presence. But again, big deal.
Just sitting there, pumping out the company line or promoting all-you-all-the-time (Hint: if you don’t think this is you, check your feed…) isn’t cutting it. Not even close!
Being “visible” by offering a social media “presence” in this way is being a ghost. There’s no meaningful exchange, only a vision of something there. Stagnantly sitting there. I feel dull even talking about it.
I don’t know about you—whether you’re big, small, a solo flyer, or a man you ought to see that one conglomerate—but, please I ask you, give your social media approach a heartbeat. At least!
I know asking for a personality on top of everything else may be driving you right over the edge, but think about this, okay?
Because, if you take a results-driven approach, your goals for your social media marketing strategy involve connecting, communicating, even converting.
Oh, my. These are much deeper results than a mere presence can ever deliver, right?
Create. Curate. Converse. Okay, okay, so I stole these groovy words from this hippie marketing guy. His name is Tad Hargrave and he turns out to be this incredibility intellectual hippie marketing guy.
The topic of a recent webinar was niching and in it, Tad talks about how you need to find your role in the larger community to determine where you fit in or how you belong. Of course, social channels are integral to this process, particularly for digital businesses.
Tad says all marketing revolves around what you create, curate, and the conversations you have in business. Hmmm.
You know, he may have a tremendous point in this, the more I mull it over. For example, even in my local boutique biz, the create, curate, and conversate focus absolutely applies.
I curate, for example, when I subcontract with a partner business and provide an additional service to my clients. I’m handling their extra need or needs for them professionally. Even if those needs are outside of my direct expertise.
This enhances my services and adds to the customer experience when working together, as well as garnering great fodder for marketing. As in, “Hey, call these folks—they do it all.”
When I create and deliver something beyond what a client expects from my product or service, I am marketing via what I create.
Growing a business happens when you deliver on and exceed expectations in providing a product or service.Click To Tweet So, creating a solid product definitely falls under good marketing.
Marketing from Your Market
Finally, you’ll find your customers give you the best marketing panache of all and you’ll learn more about yourself and your business by listening to what they have to say.
They WILL tell you what you do differently or uniquely in the market or what you stink at, for that matter. (Hint: make sure they have nothing to say in the stink column!)
So this is how conversation is bigger than big in your marketing machine. But remember, the listening side of having a conversation tells you quite a bit, so please don’t forget to listen closely.
Try to pick up on the unique themes you learn in those conversations, but also pay attention to the things that come up most. Hone in on your best assets, but don’t forget to listen for areas needing improvement and act on any flaws you find to make corrections.
Taking Tad’s 3 C’s of Marketing on a Social Spin
I think Tad’s three C’s for marketing set the perfect simple framework to guide your social strategy as well. Use them as a guideline to begin digging for the deeper value, reach, and the results you want by activating your SMM (social media marketing) plan.
Translating this framework to social:
What you create, you amplify and promote by sharing.
But try to edit yourself and only promote your best content. This is hard sometimes because sharing your content on your social feeds is how you test its value.
On the other hand, amplifying and promoting your own content is only a portion of what you want to show on your social stream.
Don’t be afraid to show a personal side occasionally. But if you’re doing social media for business purposes, then keep your posts business-like and on topic, for the most part.
What you curate helps the people you interact with by being valuable vetted content you share with them, providing insights and resources.
Go ahead and throw some thought-provoking content or something super interesting into the curation mix, even if you do stray from your usual topics.
Aaron Orendorff threw something out a little while ago on his social media, for an example, that totally changed my mindset and helps me beyond words.
If you know Aaron, you may think he’s a pretty fun and funny guy—along with having writing brilliance and all that—but he’s totally best at being human.
If not for his hilarious and oh so thought-provoking hashtag (how social can it get?) #LetsGetRejected, I may not be writing this right now. Now that’s a connection.
But people, if writer-the-world-over-Aaron has to pick himself up and keep on writing because it’s a tough game where your ideas, blood, sweat, and tears are always scrutinized, then why can’t I?
I reached out to thank Aaron for saving me (from the nearest bridge) as I was about ready to quit writing and feeling quite distraught. But, with one of his usual gracious and human with a capital “H” replies, he generously uplifted me even more.
As a result, I have a new writing mindset. Thanks, Aaron!! (Hint: Aaron writes for some of the biggest and best publications imaginable. I suspect even a rejection from some of his list would feel like a huge win for a guy like me. lol)
Add Some Zip in Your Mix
Make sure to make yourself interesting and worth noticing. I cracked up laughing at Chris Brogan who pleads with folks to just quit being tofu on social media.
Actually, Chris doesn’t want your business, in general, to be bland tofu. In a recent newsletter, he explains what made his tofu pot boil:
The origin of this rant is that someone tweeted me a nice compliment. I realized that I’d seen the person’s name in my feed a few times in recent weeks, so I thought, “Hmmm, maybe I’ll give this person a follow and see what they’re all about.
His Twitter bio is a jumble of buzzwords (#mostly #with #hashtags)
His last 20 tweets are retweets with commentary of other people’s stuff (correction: nearly ALL his tweets point to other people’s stuff)
The “commentary” above each tweet are all generic and/or other people’s words.
In other words, tofu. Bland. Takes on the flavor of the stuff around it. No one loves you, tofu. (Vegans, you do NOT love tofu. You love that there’s something you can eat instead of meat. That’s two different things. I will FIGHT you on this.)” ~Chris Brogan, Owner Media
I had to tweet Chris after reading this one for sure, expressing how I never hope to be tofu and don’t think I am. And because he’s not known to be tofu himself, he tweeted me back:
Being polite doesn’t hurt either, I find, so I thanked him for replying. But being polite doesn’t mean following everybody and their brother.
You want real followers and real engagement and not just followers for followers sake.
The first time I tweeted Chris was nearly two years ago, even before I subscribed to his smart newsletters, and guess what? He responded that time too. So, I know he walks the talk, while many at his level of notoriety simply tell you to do on social, what they themselves do not. Hmm.
Don’t pay attention to follower counts, but to users’ tweets. When was the last time they tweeted? How many tweets did they tweet? What are they tweeting? If it’s the same thing over and over, you may want to run!
Pay attention to subject matter. Is their feed a fountain of political spew and not a business site? Do they show more than one point of view? Do you want to hook up with a hater? I don’t.
Pay attention, that’s all.
Look, if there’s no chance for engagement, no chance to connect, no chance ever to collaborate, help each other, or find business opportunities, then the numbers are, well, meaningless.It's the quality of the community you build, not the quantity, that will cause effective, results-driven social media marketing to work for you.Click To Tweet
- builds trust in you
- helps to develop your authority
- creates more interactions and discussions around key topics
Curate to Relate
When you share content for folks you admire, you start to build a rapport with them. Reading and curating their content becomes, in time, a bridge to connect with them further.
I’ve had some wonderful results leading to actual relationships by using curation in this way. (Example: Aaron.)
Try it for yourself. (Warning: don’t be a pain in the butt. Connect with questions, answers, opinions, and thoughtful replies, for example.)
Earning respect goes far better than proclaiming it, don’t you think?
A good example is the DM’s (Direct Messages via Twitter) I receive. Most don’t seem to expect a reply so when you do reply, it ends there. Interesting. That’s NOT a conversation and hey, they (the DM-ers) started it.
Out of all the DM’s I’ve received (too many) since I’ve been on Twitter, this one guy stands out. He says in his DM to feel free to ask him any question. So, of course, I did. And not only did Jason Iverson of sbwp answer me, he also helped me out.
To top it all off, Jason and I had quite a few laughs during that interaction. His DM was from a person, a real one who responded and made me laugh. Perfect.
Some people do DM and instantly make that expert proclamation. While they may very well be an expert, I believe it better when I learn about them and then know it to be true more so than when they just say so via an impersonal DM.
Another favorite for me is the DM question. You answer. Interaction over. Well, that’s always fun, huh? Is that a conversation, I ask you? Did we actually connect in any way?
These non-interactions, to me, seem insincere and like you’re just blowing smoke up my…well, you know.
I Don’t Give a DM
Sincerity. I guess that’s the point I’m making. If you DM in an automated, no connection intended way, maybe you need to dump the DM magic from your social toolbox. Just an idea. 🙂
When you make connections with other sincere people, working for big companies or solo, you’ll find they are just like you, trying to do the best they can at their “thing,” whatever it is. Just like you!
The best outcomes result in collaboration with the people you engage with on (not just connect) social media, and I promise, this happens in real life! At least to me—several times in fact.
For these kinds of results, I feel gratitude for the opportunities generated from—OH MY I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M SAYING THIS—social media.
On that note, look for a post 3 to examine how to intentionally dig into your social media marketing strategy as outlined in this download.
If you missed the first post explaining three key things to think about before jumping in and doing SMM, you may have missed the comprehensive outline. It was put together for you to create your social media marketing strategy from the ground up or to revise and update your plan depending on where you are now.
Going through the outline will give you a great framework to get started, but importantly, it will help you do the thinking, research, and planning you need for a strong SMM strategy.
Relationships with Humans
If you listened to the Matthew Kaboomis Loomis webinar interview of Mike Allton from The Social Media Hat, highlighted in the last post, then you know selecting your key social network or networks hinges on this statement by Mike,
Any platform where I can create and improve on relationships with people and I can create content on my site and share that content to that network. That works well for me.”
Concentrating on relationships and not simply promoting yourself is the golden key to social.
Until the next post, brush up on these podcasts collected by Shrisha Shetty in 25 Social Marketing Podcasts to Make You a Pro. Some of my favorites are on her list and you may find a favorite there too.
Here’s one last piece of homework to make sure you are aligning your social media strategy to properly achieve measurable results. Remember “results-oriented” in the first sentence of this post? Great.
Because in this post for Buffer by Alfred Lua, he describes the top reasons why businesses use social media and how to align the desired outcomes with the proper metrics to analyze your true results.
Now that’s what I call looking at your social media upside down!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Don’t forget to share this on your social channels and to connect on social. 🙂