So, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who runs a start-up business a few weeks ago. He imports Diamonds from India and his prices are 25% cheaper than other wholesalers in the UK. He only sells to retailers.
He needed help creating a Social Media strategy. Here is how the conversation went:
Me: So what are your objectives?
Him: I just want to grow my likes and fans on each channel.
Me: How many channels do you have an account on?
Him: All of them!
Me: Errrrrmmm, ok, do you think your customers use every social media channel?
Him: I don’t know! I just post there anyway. The problem is my followers aren’t growing quickly enough.
Me: So do you have a strategy to grow each channel?
Him: Oh, yes, of course I have a strategy. I post the same image or video for the forthcoming week using Hootsuite on all of them. Job done!
Here’s the thing: Every marketing strategy has to include Social media for 2 reasons:
- Audience building
The reason Social media channels are fantastic for marketing is that they come with “built-in” audiences. Undoubtedly it is the easiest way to seek out and communicate with a group of potential customers.
In the case of my friends business, he is selling to a very niche audience. There are probably only a few hundred businesses and individuals that he can proactively target and try to communicate with.
Many small business owners I speak to believe that they have to be everywhere all the time.
What most fail to realise is that a strong and focused effort to build an audience on ONE channel is far more effective than taking a machine gun approach to all channels.
Every social media channel requires its own strategy.
Yes, it’s true, each Channel needs its own strategy.
The reason for this is simple:
Every social media channel has its own strengths. Each channel has created it’s own user experience and because of this, the users have different reasons and ways of interacting on each channel at any given time.
If your goal truely is to use each channel to build an audience and create a distribution network, then developing a strategy which delivers ROI back into your business requires a lot of work.
Generating “Likes” or casual fans of your business is not enough.
Every channel has its strengths.
LinkedIn (122m users): B2B business networking and news.
Twitter (136m) users): Easily shareable content, networking, promotion and written storytelling.
Instagram (150m users) Pinterest (150m users) and Snapchat (150m users): Visual storytelling.
Youtube (1bn users): Educational, entertaining and episodic
Facebook (1.1bn users): Intimate, shareable, easy to connect and disproportionately larger than other networks
If you are able to focus on one, while producing consistent and unique content, you will be able to successfully build loyal fans, create new customers and grow your business exponentially.
How to create a successful strategy for each channel: Who is doing it right?
As mentioned above, LinkedIn is great for business networking. This means that it is a good place to share resources such as industry news, trends or downloadable reports and documents.
Financial Planning firm BlackRock produce industry leading investment advice for their audience on LinkedIn. Their strategy is to focus on delivering high-value content to c-level personnel every few days.
Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat are all visual platforms. Visual storytelling works particularly well on both of these social networks.
Companies like Charity Water tell amazing and powerful stories of the people and communities who are benefiting from clean water.
With over 1 billion active users, Facebook is the daddy of social networks. Out of all of the channels, Facebook users consider it to be the most intimate network. This is the space where they connect with their family and friends.
If you want to build an audience on Facebook then you should consider showing a more intimate side of your business.
Many brands focus on using Facebook to offer their audience behind the scenes content.
This includes showing your fans your working space, your planning or creative process and also user-generated content, such as images or videos that your fans make whilst using or wearing your products.
If you have a particular habit or ritual which takes place in your offices on a designated day of the week, do a Facebook Live video every week showing what you get up to.
Adobe has an impressive suite of software products and an equally impressive Facebook company page. They have built a loyal audience of over 370,000 professionals from the digital creative industries and their mission statement is to “change the world through digital experiences”.
They often post creative images of work done by customers who use their software tools.
Recently they produced a series of video interviews with directors at the Sundance film Festival, titled “Pillow Talk”. How is that for intimate?
How to choose the best network for your business.
Low Hanging Fruit: Ask your current customers the following questions:
- What social media channels do you use?
- How do you use each channel? (business, personal, entertainment, education, etc)
- What do you enjoy about each network?
- How would you feel about seeing (your business name) on (name the social network)?
When you ask these questions, you will find that some of your customers only use Snapchat to film social events like parties, concerts or eating out at restaurants. Then they use Facebook to interact with friends and family. Some will use youtube if they want to learn how to do something.
Outcomes Matter: Whether you are fulfilling a desire or solving a problem, your product or service helps your customers to achieve a specific outcome. Look again at Adobe’s Facebook strategy; their products help their customers to create beautiful graphic art. Then they promote this to their audience and encourage them to achieve the same outcomes.
Think about which platform will help you to present those outcomes.
If your products are visual then focus on the platforms available which will help you to tell the best story.
If you provide services which are best communicated via a report or a video then choose the platform that will help deliver the most ROI into your business.
Have a Target: If your plan is to have a thousand followers on your chosen platform, then think carefully about how you plan to achieve that.
If you currently have 100 fans, send them a private message asking if they could kindly share your page with their family and friends.
Alternatively, you could put a small budget behind your company page and promote it using the networks advertising channel. They will put your content in front of a relevant audience generate interest in your business.
Are you ready to go all in on one channel?
How do you plan to use social media to grow your business? What are your objectives over the next quarter to grow your audience and convert them into customers?
If you need help developing a strategy then drop me an email and I would love to help you on your journey:
kris (@) revolutioncontentmarketing.com
Also published on Medium.