Today, you can own all of your own media channels. Yes, with absolutely zero experience in how to actually “run” a media channel, you can get one (or several) for FREE and just blast out your lovely marketing messages to a whole bunch of people. But…you shouldn’t. Social media, defined as computer-mediated technologies that allow the creating and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks can be an important part of every communications strategy, but just like guns, you’d better know how to use them correctly before you pull that trigger. With that, I’ll present my quick list of things that work using various social networks out there. Note: Once again, there is no “one-size fits all approach” here so make sure YOUR choices are tailored to YOUR business needs.
- Facebook’s Facebook — getting your brand’s friends/fans to share cool things about the brand. Also a good place for your events, content, etc., but it has to be great, informative and relevant (which is a sliding scale depending on the user).
- Private Investors’ Twitter — news related to your brand or your space, blog posts (only great ones) and useful content for YOUR audience.
- Google’s YouTube — great videos produced and/or curated by your brand that can be shared – show people something great, something unexpected and of course something useful to them.
- Microsoft’s LinkedIn — news, original posts (great ones), useful, non-salesy stuff, infographics, definitely more business-to-business in nature.
- Facebook’s Instagram — photo moments (and now albums) that tell/contribute to brand stories without those annoying “words” getting in the way.
- Private Investors’ Pinterest — digital boards filled with images, short vids, infographics. Obviously, be visual about it, but also focused on YOUR storytelling.
Tips for Mastering Your Social Channels
- Realize you’re going to have to earn attention with your great content (and that’s “great” in audience’s eyes, not yours)
- Make sure you listen with your social channels at least as much as you talk — You can gain some great insight from this.
- Your brand doesn’t have to be on every channel known to mankind — choose wisely and with intent.
- Be sure to amplify any news coverage or great reviews using YOUR channels — tag, hashtag appropriately.
- No matter what, don’t EVER delete your posts or accounts — That just oozes guilt/shame and can tear down all of the positive bricks in the brand’s wall that you’ve built over the years.
Social media is important, yet there are ways to be great and ways to really step in it. You have all the power in the world at your fingertips, but you need to use that power responsibly in order to do great things. The marketing profession is on a laser-guided mission to pollute and destroy all social media — they’re trying with sponsored posts, salesy “discount offer” messages, unwanted ads and a host of other maladies, but YOUR social feeds can be exceptional if you listen to your audience and give them the things they want and need.