The Secret to Unlock Social Media Success
By Shane O’Neill, Vice President
Just about every business is in the social media game now and most are failing to use their social media channels even in a moderately successful way. If you think you can hand off your social media presence to some service for $195 a month, you’re not even in the game. If you don’t have “time” to work on your social channels, you either don’t care or don’t believe in the medium. If you connect your Facebook page to duplicate posts to Twitter, you’re not Tweeting. If you’re not 100% excited about the real opportunities social media brings to your business, you’re missing the boat. It’s time to throw away the excuses and re-energize your staff and your perspective. It’s time to unlock your social media success!
Look, I get it. Social media seems just like this thing people do for fun and well,… it is. But it’s also the way people connect by sharing thoughts, ideas and experiences. If you strip out all of your preconceived notions about social, or all of digital marketing for that matter, it all becomes rather simple. It’s about eyeballs. It doesn’t matter what you think about social media, because the eyeballs ARE there. Why does one put up a billboard? Mostly because of traffic (eyeballs) and/or the location of the board. That’s about it. Yet, no one questions the obvious logic about placing a billboard because they know people will see it. It baffles me when that same logic isn’t placed on social. Instead, we attempt to justify social by trying to determine some kind of ROI… mostly sales. It doesn’t work like that. Like the billboard, social marketing is primarily about brand positioning. In fact, one could also argue that billboards have lost some of their effectiveness due to social marketing. There were a lot more people looking out of the car window 15 years ago. Now, every passenger has their nose in their phone. Eh, I digress.
It’s All About Content
So, now that you’ve bought in, let’s talk about how your business has changed. What you did 15 or 20 years ago doesn’t necessarily work anymore. The world is different. It’s a new way of clienteling. Your sales staff need to think differently. Your sales team should be banging it on social; if not their personal account, your store’s… It’s all about creating content. There are all types of content and all of it is useful to drive your business, but it takes work! Regardless of whether you do your marketing in-house or work with a third party, there is one thing that is greatly needed; content. Blogging could be HUGE for your business for many reasons, but will you put in the time? Quick in-store videos take under a minute but perform great online. Just grab a cell phone, put a ring on your finger, and say something… done. Do that for 1 minute each day and you’ll have 30 pieces of content. Empower your team to get involved and be creative. Is Sally going out to a popular LOCAL restaurant? Give her a piece of jewelry, take a pic while there. Perhaps it’s a ring on her hand while she holds the stem of a wine glass with strategic placement of the menu in the background. Boom… content for Instagram or even the individual product page on your website. Now you’re connecting locally with like-minded businesses, giving them a shoutout, and creating content for your brand. Which leads me to…
What’s your brand identity?
We touched on it above, but really how do people identify your brand? This is where you can craft that perception with social. Create content purposefully and define your brand by connecting your customer profile to other like-minded businesses or brands. We gave one example with the local restaurant above, but here is a broader example. Let’s say you’re a big Rolex dealer, and your clientele is affluent and upscale; then shape your brand to speak to that audience. What are some of their similar interests? Perhaps a content picture of someone wearing a ring while holding onto a steering wheel and just in the corner you can make out the BMW logo. Or maybe you live in a big boating community. Take some video and pictures on a sailboat. It’s all great content and, most likely, you have similar interests as your customers, so it’s really not that difficult to do. While all of this content will work for a number of your digital assets, the best channel to build your “brand identity” is Instagram. No inspirational quotes or posts of staff members birthdays. Keep your Instagram feed focused on your brand’s lifestyle. Let Facebook be your catch-all… it’s great for news and events.
The Bottom Line
- Start creating content in mass, even if you don’t use it all. You and your staff should all be content curators.
- Only use social platforms you can do well and use them how they were meant to be used with unique content for each.
- Add in some video, it’s what’s hot right now and tends to have better engagement.
- Blog or Vlog (Video Blog). Since you’re creating all this content, use it. Post to your blog at least 2-3 times per month with real insights, both written and video.
The real secret to social media success is putting in the work and not cutting corners. Most won’t or don’t put in the time, but the ones that do will start seeing social media success. Put in the effort and see where you are this time next year. I bet you have a more engaged, excited staff and begin to see your social media come into focus.