Social media is constantly changing. There’s a lot of pressure to keep on top of social media, especially for small businesses, because of its powerful marketing capabilities. How can you drive the results you want from social media and make efficient use of your time while keeping your business going? You can hire someone to handle your social media marketing, or you can do it yourself.
For those that want to do it themselves, it’s important to consider where and what kind of changes are occurring in the social sphere. Being current helps you to be successful. There are:
- New platforms – think Pinterest, which almost didn’t exist one year ago, and Google+.
- New ways to Engage – the “noise” gets pretty overwhelming both off- and on-line, and businesses are constantly trying to be different, to grab the attention of the “right” people. Which means a lot of experimentation. It’s one of the reasons social media campaigns are constantly changing. Here’s an example of a recent idea that showcases new ways of getting and amplifying engagement online: Verizon ran a contest on their Facebook Business Page for clients and fans to upload their best pictures taken by their Verizon smartphones. They have daily winners whose picture is uploaded and used as Verizon’s Facebook Cover Photo for the day. Not only does the contest generate interest and engagement, but every time you change your Timeline cover picture it goes into the News Feed. The results? Engagement plus reach. (Thanks to Mari Smith for this example.)
- New Features – like additions to channel capabilities and use options such as Facebook’s Timeline for business pages in March, new Twitter user profiles, and Google’s Panda and other SEO algorithm updates.
So what can you do to keep on top and continue to use social media channels for marketing, customer service, visibility, and driving sales?
The basics continue to be important – being where your customers are, talking about things that matter to your customers, and providing value to your people. It’s still about strengthening relationships.
In order to keep up with changes in social media and determine what will work best for your organization, you can benefit from the experts, and use resources that are readily available.
- Online Conferences – keep up to date with conferences. Check out the Social Media Success Summit 2012 going on now, or the Social Online Conference to name a few.
- Webinars – they’re going on all the time. Check out one on Google+ from Social Fresh or look at various social media webinars and videos put together by BrightTalk, or find thought leaders in your industry who are sharing success stories, tips and ideas through online channels.
- In Person Conferences – attend a conference to learn about the latest trends in mobile marketing, or attend the SES conferences on search and social marketing.
- Videos – check out YouTube to see what you can learn about updates, upgrades, and changes in social media platforms. For example, search YouTube for videos on how to incorporate the latest SEO changes into your search strategy.
- Blogs – while there are many, many social media blogs, some of the top blogs are: Social Media Examiner, Brian Solis, Convince & Convert, Danny Brown, TopRank, Chris Brogan, and Dan Zarrella to name a few. Of course, I’m a bit partial to the info that comes from my own blog, so by all means check out more from Strategic Social Media.
In summary, there is lots of good information out there, lots of great ideas, lots that can benefit your company. For the do it yourself-ers, roll up your sleeves, grab a cup of coffee, and get started. For those organizations in the Charlotte, NC area who want personalized, local social media help – please give me a call – Liz Horgan (704) 301-0135 – I can help you thrive!