Our family is preparing for a double celebration this weekend: a milestone birthday for my husband and our daughter’s graduation from college. While managing this exciting event, it occurred to me that there are several similarities in a creating a social media strategy and hosting a party.
1. When planning a party, one of the first responsibilities of the host is to create a guest list and send out invitations. With a social media strategy, it’s also necessary to invite people to your virtual social gathering – this is how you build your community.
- Begin growing your Twitter following by searching for other users that are in your industry or target audience. Look at your search results to determine which of these users are passing along information that is valuable to you and invite them to your party by following them. You also want to find users that would fall into your target audience so that you can offer party bags filled with your brand’s thought leadership.
- Invite your social friends on all channels to “Like” your company’s Facebook page. Since this channel prefers visual content, be sure to entertain your guests with plenty of images, graphs, infographics etc. while telling your brand’s story.
- Create a company page on LinkedIn and invite your connections to follow – it’s like hosting a virtual open house for your business. Send invitations to connect to your personal profile to existing colleagues, classmates, past employers, etc. to begin growing your professional network. To keep your network interested, share your industry’s latest trends and news in status updates. Extend your “guest list” by joining LinkedIn groups that are related to area of expertise.
2. Next, as the host, you must create a menu to feed guests. In your social media strategy, you’ll develop a plan that gives your community nutritious “Food For Thought.” The information shared on social networks should educate, entertain or inform your audience – it’s like serving a piece of birthday cake to each of your guests. At some parties, guests will bring a dish to pass. In the social world, you can participate in this tradition by sharing information posted by someone you follow. If you’ve read a post or clicked on a link that one of your social buddies has posted and liked it, chances are that your followers will also find it interesting – so share it with them.
3. The final step in preparing for a party, and my personal favorite, is choosing the decorations and entertainment. Depending on what you’re celebrating, there may be balloons, streamers, music, magicians, you get the idea. The original content that you create for your brand will serve as the decorations and entertainment for your social parties. Original content can consist of images, infographics, white papers, e-books, case studies or any other company materials that tell your brand story. This is my favorite step because it’s where you can be the most creative. Experiment with new ideas to pass along great information in a fun and engaging way to keep your guests talking.
The benefit of a social media party is that it can be held on multiple channels, unlike traditional parties that are confined to one venue. You’re invited to my party!
- The World Wide Web
- Twitter – @theresematthys
- LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/theresematthys
- Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/theresematthys/boards/
- WordPress Blog – http://www.theresematthys.com
- Scoop.it! – http://www.scoop.it/t/5-star-social-media-marketing
- Every day!
- All day!
What steps have you taken to plan your social media party? Have you sent out the invitations, planned the menu and choose the decorations? Share your experiences in the comments section below.