community organization

Kick-Start with Good Content

Getting started on a new platform? Still testing the waters to see whether it’s the right place for your business to be? One suggestion that many seasoned social media marketers will tell you is to come out of the gate with loads of good content before you start promoting your new presence.

Leverage Your Networks

Community managers need to know what’s happening on all of their networks. Even if you’re not the Twitter manager, for example, you should have a good idea of the conversations, tweets and hashtags taking place that involve your company and industry. At this point, social platforms work hand-in-hand with one another. Conversations flow freely from one network to another and in order to be effective, social community managers need to be able to leverage their networks and bounce off one another.

Marketing Isn’t a Bad Word

Community managers often have to work extra-hard to avoid marketing faux pas—being perceived as using social networking platforms exclusively for business marketing purposes. But let’s call a spade a spade. When social media marketing is done right, it’s not a bad word nor out of line. Ultimately, it’s how businesses need to communicate in the 2010s.

Any marketing strategy and the resulting tactics should keep in mind the two key fundamentals:

1) the target audience

2) the goals.

Social media is not a magic bullet and should be used where appropriate just like television, radio or email marketing. Remember your target audience and goals, and you’ll be fine!

Never Say Never

Some days the proliferation of social media feels as if it happened overnight. One day many businesses were claiming social media wasn’t the right strategy for them.
In a few short years, businesses of all shapes and sizes have active presences on multiple platforms. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc., went from not making sense to being commonplace destinations. Who knows what will come down the pike next? With that in mind, it’ll serve you best to stay open, flexible and go with the flow.

Originality vs. Saying What Everyone Else Says

Vicki Flaugher writes, “A great content marketing strategy is key for social media success. You’ve probably seen people sharing others’ content, sometimes via RSS feeds, pages, retweets/shares, or by direct linking. Those are great strategies to provide useful content to your audience. They can be an adequate stop-gap measure while you build your own content, but it’s very very important in social media to provide original content.”

Vicki recognizes that not everyone feels that they have the time or expertise to create original content and offers these suggestions: Review a product, book, movie, event, research study or website. Interview an influencer. Create a video from a PowerPoint presentation. Be quotable by learning to say meaningful things in short blurbs. Don’t make it harder than it is (e.g., keep blog posts to single ideas, 150-300 words, keep your videos 30 seconds to 3 minutes tops, keep your interview to 15 minutes). Just start. You’ll get better as you go and you’ll be original.

Power to the People—Write On!

OK, so maybe this isn’t what John Lennon meant when he wrote the lyrics to the song, “Power to the People.” As a social community manager, you walk a fine line—being in charge of the content that your business posts and maintaining a number of presences, responding to and cleaning up inappropriate comments all the while, working your hardest to listen and respond to your community.

Qualified and Experienced Decisions

Marc Meyer points out that social media has matured. He writes, “Yes there are still lots of nuances to be learned and still lots of totally unqualified people screwing things up, but that’s in every industry, right?

The difference between five years ago and now is that there are more and more qualified people out there who are able to make educated and qualified and experienced decisions on what to do with social media initiatives.

Respect Cultures

To get the most out of social media we need to understand those (social media) communities. So we respect their cultures and treat those we encounter online with the same courtesy and understanding as anyone we deal with in the offline world. We do not impose ourselves on such sites. We are guests and behave as such.

Shout-Out and Give Thanks

Give thanks—If someone retweets one of your tweets don’t forget to give thanks. Example: Thanks for the shout-out @manamical. Check out their tweets for more great advice.

Things You Should Know About Your Audience

Pam Moore writes that many businesses have the problem of using social media tools without first doing their homework to understand their potential audience.

She says, “You must plan before you act in social media if you want to have a positive return on your investment. Random acts of marketing (RAMs) and social media (RASMs) will get you nothing but in the red come month-end!”

Pam suggests five things you should know about your audience to create content that inspires:
Who is your audience?
What are their pain points?
What does your product or service do to minimize or mitigate their pain?
How can your product or service inspire and help them personally and professionally?
How is your product or service positioned?

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