TO ADD VALUE TO SOCIAL MEDIA, CREATE MEANINGFUL CONTENT AND STAY ENGAGED
By Christine Birkner | Staff Writer
Your company might have pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+, but is your social strategy adding enough value to your marketing strategy? Probably not, according to a panel of experts at the Publicity Club of Chicago’s luncheon in Chicago on Sept. 12.
Eddie Garrett, senior vice president and group director of digital strategy at Chicago-based public relations firm Edelman, Matthew Royse, marketing communications manager at Skokie, Ill.-based technology consulting company Forsythe Technology Inc., and Kate O’Leary, an account executive in marketing solutions for Mountain View, Calif.-based LinkedIn, said most companies are not using social media to their best advantage and offered tips for marketers to raise their games.
First, think of social media conversations as real-life conversations, Garrett said. “Social media tools are no different than real life. What you do in real life is you add value to what you were just listening to. What can you do to add value to that conversation that no one else can? The first thing you need to do is listen. What are your customers talking about?”
B-to-B companies such as Forsythe follow that model, creating a corporate magazine with content about developments in the tech business landscape and then sharing that content on the company’s social media pages. “If you can share relevant, insightful information in a timely fashion to help customers do their job or make their purchase decision quicker, it can really be helpful. …They’ll be more likely to engage with us and meet with our sales team because we’re a go-to resource for information,” Royse said.
As in other marketing efforts, choose your channels based on your audiences’ behaviors, O’Leary said. “If they’re on Facebook, it might be a more laid-back approach; they’re there for entertainment, to connect with their friends. … When people are on LinkedIn, they’re there for business, so there you want news, updates, company information, relevant articles. Don’t take a message that’s on Twitter and post it everywhere. Where you can harness the value of social media is when you’re changing your message for each platform.”
And don’t just post your content. Stay engaged. “Some sites are a ghost town. Either keep
updating your Facebook page, or just delete it,” Royse said.
O’Leary added: “If people are commenting, whether it’s good or bad, you need to be there, having that response and being part of that conversation. Hundreds of thousands of people could be looking at your tweets, but if you’re not engaging with them, it’s meaningless.
If you have a status update that nobody responds to, you learn from that. Test another one.” Overall, your social strategy should be about responding to the moods of your customers, Garrett said. “People go online for three reasons: They’re
And if they’re happy, give them more information so they can spread it.”
For more information on content marketing, check out “Release Your Inner Scribe,” available in the March 31, 2012, issue of Marketing News and at www.MarketingPower.com/marketingnews.