You’re Invited to a Social Media Party!

You're Invited to My Social Media Party!

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.

Come To My Social Media Party!

You’re Invited To My Social Media Party!

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!

Where:

  • The World Wide Web

Address:

When:

  • Every day!

Time:

  • 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.

3 Ways To Tie-In Your Company’s Objectives With Social Media

Social Media Marketing

Decision Makers Need ROI From Social Media

Social media continues to gain speed, yet decision makers can be reluctant to jump on the train. Companies large and small have focused on measuring social’s return on investment strictly with increased sales. However, there are other forms of ROI that can be measured with greater ease and offer greater returns. In order to determine the best method of measurement, marketers need to investigate the organization’s objectives.

Social media can be tied in with the following three objectives for any size company:

  1. Core business objectives can be as unique as the company. Common objectives include increased revenue, reduced expenses, and communicating organizational changes.  As a marketer, you’ll detail a social media strategy that supports the company’s objective. Examples can include companies who have successfully reduced customer support costs by setting up one or more social channels to answer customer’s questions.
  2. Marketing objectives are the overall goals of the campaign. Common marketing goals are to build greater awareness of the brand, grow the opt-in data base for future marketing campaigns, drive more traffic to its website and increase conversions, and strengthen customer relations to for increased customer loyalty. Marketers can easily give evidence of how implementing a social media program will achieve these goals with measurable results. Starting a company blog linked from one or more social channels will be the anchor to achieving all of these objectives.
  3. Digital objectives define the goals of all digital efforts, including social media. Common objectives measured in this area are increased sales, increased customers, more satisfied and loyal customers, and increased customer engagement. Marketers typically align the digital goals with the business and marketing objectives for consistency. Subscribing to tools such as Google Analytics allows marketers to measure results with real data, easily create reports, and improve strategies.
Company Objectives

A Social Media Strategy Supports Your Company’s Overall Vision

A presentation highlighting these points will demonstrate to executives how a strong social media strategy will accomplish the unique objectives important to the company. Measurement can be determined by increasing reach, driving more traffic to the company website, driving more traffic to the company store, increasing customer referrals and interaction, and improving real-time customer support. Decision makers now have the evidence needed to see long-term ROI from a strong social media program that supports the company’s Core Business Objectives, the overall Marketing Objectives, and the Digital Objectives.

How do you present a social campaign to executives? Share your thought s with us by leaving a comment below.

Is Your Brand’s Content Dressed for Success?

social-media-styles

Would you wear your favorite football hoodie and blue jeans to your cousin’s wedding on Saturday, or to the office on Monday? Of course not! Just as you’re expected to dress a certain way based on the event you’re attending, your social media friends expect your content to be “dressed” in a certain way too. Let’s take a look at the typical content attire to wear for the audience on these social media channels:

  • Facebook – Casual dress expected. Users on this channel love images, making this a great place to visually showcase the personality of your brand as well as add a little humor. Recent reports show Facebook having 1.06 billion monthly active users, including 680 million mobile users, so share your library of professional and amateur photos for fans to interact with. Fans love to share images with their friends, which allows your brand the potential for even greater reach.
  • Twitter – Business casual dress expected. With only 140 characters to work with, minus any characters used to attach a picture or link, brands use clever tease lines to encourage followers to click on the accompanying link. This is a great site to push out new and repurposed professional collateral pieces such as white papers, case studies, press releases, new product announcements etc. Use hashtags to create unique search and conversation functions around your brand and include the hashtag on all collateral for customers to join in. 
  • LinkedIn – Suit and tie expected.  This is your professional network and needs to be treated a bit more serious. Your brand’s company page and your employee’s profiles should mimic the look and feel of your office. LinkedIn users search for solutions to their problems, so highlight your products and services, the expertise and thought leadership of your staff, and your brand’s digital collateral. Staff pictures should be professionally taken to give a positive first impression of your organization.
  • SlideShare – Professional dress preferred. Remember all those presentations your brand has put together? Dig them out, dust them off, and upload them to SlideShare! Remember to share them with your other channels, dressed appropriately of course.
  • Pinterest – Professional or casual dress accepted. This is a visually engaging social site that gives your brand huge opportunities to connect and interact with consumers. Use a combination of professional pictures of your product or service, along with amateur shots of customers using them! Or, create boards based on solutions for your customers to show the ease of working with your company. Each company is unique, so add a few boards showing your company’s interests such as innovation, favorite blogs, or products that you love. Allow customers to help create a “Before and After” board to highlight a DIY product. The possibilities are endless!
  • Instagram – Casual dress expected. This is another visually engaging social site that is growing daily. Use the smartphone app while on business trips, at trade shows, or during company events and create real time picture stories. The casual atmosphere on this channel allows brand’s to have a lot of fun with customers and colleagues and humanize their company.

Regardless of the channel(s) you use or the content you create, always be consistent with your brand’s message and tailor it to the social audience it’s being shared with. Your brand will soon become known as a “social brand” by communicating in the language of your audience and including links to all your social properties. Everything your brand is producing will now be synced creating a “brand omnipresence” and allowing social users to follow your brand from wherever they are.

Share you strategy for dressing your content to specific social channels below in the comments section, we’d love to hear your ideas!