Social Media – The needle in the haystack.
Entering into the Social Media world, whether it be personally or professionally, can be quite daunting. Where do you begin? When marketing a business, you think about your clientele, your brand, PR, and business development to name a few. As important as each of these areas are in a marketing campaign, it is unrealistic to expect to achieve the promotion of all these areas at once, especially across all social media accounts. You will only end up spending a lot of time in receiving minimal results.
Creating a social media strategy and a campaign in itself, will be much more achievable and manageable. Diving into the middle of the haystack will only create a mess and get you nowhere. If you start from the outside in and section the hay, you have a much greater chance in finding the needle!
I begin with looking at specific sectors. Some people view this as limiting yourself when in fact it is quite the opposite! You may choose sectors that you would consider yourselves specialists within or sectors that you would like to develop more business within. I am a firm believer that if you portray yourself to be jack of all trades, you only look like a master of none. You don’t need to tell 100 people that you can do everything they may want. You can tell 10 people about the experience you have specifically provided for others that directly relates to them.
Top tips: • Decide either fortnightly or monthly upon a sector you would like to explore. • Research this sector, ensuring you are confident in knowing all you need to know. • Compile a list of your target audience. I would also recommend filtering this list into locations/areas. • Follow, connect and like your target audience via Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Instagram. • Follow their followers and interests. • Social stalk! Monitor the conversations they are having online and quickly begin to join in conversations when and where you can, retweet or share their content that is of interest and relevance. • You will then find it easier to target your own content to the “hot” topics within those industries. • Allow conversations to flow naturally. • Treat conversations online exactly as you would if you were face to face with someone whom you have not met. • Content should be shared at a ratio of 80/20. 80% general and 20% business. • People buy into people, create that perfect first impression, be yourself and natural. Allow people to get to know you. • Be realistic and patient! Great relationships are not developed overnight. • Regularly analyse what works for you and what doesn’t.
• Do not begin your conversations online with a sales pitch, nor should you ever enter into current conversations in this manner.
• Do not overly push your services. This will come across as quite selfish and one sided. • Act in an unprofessional manner. Remember that even on personal profiles, you are always an ambassador for your Employer. • Force an opinion on someone. We are all different and should respect each other’s opinions. Most of the time we can actually learn a lot from considering others opinions. • Mix up what social media platform should be used for what discussions and content posting.
Laura Evison Marketing and Client Relationship Manager Heriot Hughes Chartered Accountants