I’ve been reading about rock art as an ancient communication tool. Since history, culture or art are not the focus of this website, I won’t offer any of the mind-bending ideas raised by rock art. They showcase an essential feature of social media. Rock art, like social media, relies on a chance encounter. You might meet your target audience with it. You might not. Rock art, like social media posts, are bait. Like an ancient billboard, they hope you’ll meander by.
Unlike this picture that I took paddling in northern Minnesota wilderness, social media platforms are in your pocket and on your computer everyday. That means having a presence on any platform has become fundamental.
As part of your overall marketing and sales strategy, social media platforms offer you a chance to meet new people and stay connected to your fans. The tweak from traditional marketing is attention span. How can you quickly present your business? You’re likely already on social media—though you may feel like you and your team are stumbling around. Too many priorities can do that to us all. If you’re in a position to take a step back, here’s a quick checklist on how to tighten up your to-list strategically:
Distill your message
You need to bite-size and pace it for social media. Here are some questions to ask yourself to get to the right copy for social media posts. What details can you highlight to establish credibility fast? What words can you choose so you and your organization are trustworthy? What images or emotions represent “problem solved!” for your audience? For your fans (who can endorse you via their own communication platforms), what shorthand can you use to confirm affinity? How can you make an image or phrase worthy of a thumbs up or a share?
Consider all channels holistically
Social media is one way to reach your people, but cannot be the only path. I think of social media feeds as part of your curb appeal—on the outer edges of your outreach. While you will find new leads that will turn into sales, the heavy lift of demonstrating your value isn’t here. Fold it in with your existing media channels—sales meetings, conference presentations, e-newsletters.
Find tools that make it easy
Pick platforms that make sense. For most business-to-business outreach, Twitter and LinkedIn are important platforms. Direct-to-consumer strategy needs to involve Instagram and Facebook. Then find software and project management flows that make sense with the systems that you’re using to develop and deploy other marketing.
Experiment with content and visuals.
As you get started, it maybe easiest to mimic exactly what you’re doing elsewhere & simply “resize” copy and graphics for social media. As you get more confident, you’ll find ways to post and respond to comments in ways that are organic to the social media platform and stay on brand. It will take time to build the muscle to be consistent. Be patient with yourself and your team. I take the attitude that mistakes fade, because it’s the only way to be human.
Give yourself a runway to see results.
Build yourself an integrated dashboard showing you how posts funnel traffic to your website. Don’t judge the results based only on your output. You’ll see that national news and human rhythms sometimes impact results. For instance, Instagram is a great time-waster on holidays when you have extra leisure time. LinkedIn, however, is a work tool that doesn’t get much weekend traffic.
Would you like to talk through how social media fits into your growth strategy?