Keepin’ it Real. Keepin’ it Relevant.

I’d like to believe that most companies who are utilizing social media networks to connect Imagewith target audiences are “keepin’ it real” but I think I’m probably being too idealistic. For those that aren’t “keepin’ it real,” your brand will probably suffer in the long run.

Building social media communities doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a village. Okay, maybe not a village but dedication and patience. I think one of the biggest things businesses don’t realize when it comes to social media is it takes manpower to run successful pages. That doesn’t mean you necessarily need to go out and hire an entire new team dedicated to social networking (although a girl can dream!), but you can utilize your current employees who may have social media knowledge to earn the trust of your audience and nurture relationships. Businesses often overlook their most important audience: employees. Employees are a resource all businesses should be using to keep their brand real and keep the relationship with customers just as real.

If your social networks seem stale, Pam Moore shares 50 Ways to Energize Your Social Media Community & Audiences. I know I’ll be trying out some new tactics to inspire my community with more valuable and relevant content, among other things. Out of Moore’s 50 tips, which do you find the most useful? Or is there one you never thought of and would be most likely to try?

Besides providing relevant content of your own, remember, it’s not about self-promotion. In fact, it should be less about self-promotion and more about sharing good content. Look for content that interests you and share it! Chances are if you find it valuable so will your audience. 

One other thing, I often forget, is it’s okay to repeat. If something is working with your  audience don’t be afraid to do it again or re-share it again. I do find it interesting that Guy Kawasaki, Apple’s former chief evangelist, quadruples his tweets, sending out the same tweet four times, in 8-hour increments. I never thought about doing this because I don’t want to bog down the feeds of followers. But as I learned with Twitter feeds, information is so fast moving, the chances of a user seeing that same tweet all four times is slim. Whereas by tweeting it four times, you broaden your audience. Genius!

While your social media marketing strategy should be content driven, it can be hard to constantly generate quality content. This is where planning can really take your social media marketing to the next level. Just like with any content strategy, and editorial calendar is key. Timing and relevance again will help take your posts to the next level. Does your business/employer have an editorial calendar for social media posts? If so, how many people are involved with determining the appropriate content? 

Another thing to keep in mind, when it comes to generating quality content, is being useful. There is no point in “shouting” posts, but if you can provide information that peaks people’s interests or that they will want to share with their community, you’ve succeeded. When putting together a social media strategy and editorial calendar, remember “inform more than promote.”

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6 thoughts on “Keepin’ it Real. Keepin’ it Relevant.

  1. My favorite of Pam’s tips is #34: “Treat them as a human being, not a number of your fan base.” It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers as a way to define social media success, but you can’t forget that there are people behind those numbers who have liked/followed you because they expect something of value from you.

    At AL.com, we have a sort of loose calendar for social media posts. We’ve mapped out the peak times for each social network where we’re active based on engagement and referrals, and we’ve shared that with all the team members responsible for social management. Each team member has a few 6-hour shifts throughout the week, and they try to share our best content to hit the peak time(s) during their shift. We have a lot of different social media accounts, but for our main ones (not including the regionalized ones), we have about 10 people on the schedule.

    • I agree about getting caught up on the numbers. Every time my organization reaches a milestone, fan wise, we get excited. But our focus should remain on engaging our current audience in the hope of gaining more fans through those loyal ones.

      Thanks for the information on your organization. I think looking at peak times is crucial to providing valuable information. I like what you all do on shared responsibilities. Taking shifts is a great idea! It gets more people involved and provides some sort of ownership during each shift. I may have to steal that idea and present to my own team. Thanks Julie!

  2. I couldn’t choose just one of her 50 tips – so I chose three!

    I love the idea of inspiring, educating, and entertaining your audiences. On a personal level, those are the three things I look for most when exploring new brands or diving deeper into brands I already know and love. If companies can figure out a way to educate while entertaining their audience, the consumer almost forgets that they are actually being “marketed” to. If they make their content humerus, let’s face it, we are more likely to remember it! Add in a does of inspirational messaging and really, you’ve got them hook, line, and sinker in my opinion.

    • She really does provide 50 great tips! I do think users appreciate education when looking to brands on social media. Whether it’s health information or education on products, users want value and I think education is key feature to value. And you make a great point of entertaining as well. That’s how you can keep users engaged. Like any type of marketing message, businesses need to balance between grabbing users attention, providing value, and keeping that attention.

  3. Those 50 tips are awesome! The one I found most useful is communicate in a language they understand. Early on in the season, many of the followers of the baseball twitter account didn’t seem to understand some of the more sport-specific terminology because they were still new to the game. For the first few weekends, I spelled things out and gradually transitioned to abbreviations or acronyms.

    This year I would really like to make more of an effort to create relationships and make followers feel more involved. I’m working on ways to do this, might need a sounding board down the road!

    • I struggle with language as well. For instance, when I’m tasked with promoting a new technology or complicated, yet life-saving procedure, it can sometimes be difficult to explain easily. That’s why I’ve tried to focus our posts away from this information, or I try to link to an article for more information.

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