This post is from the bay area’s HUB Communications Lab. The HUB, a 3p partner, is a place-based and online community for changemakers to access the knowledge and tools they need to build solutions for social and environmental change. The HUB Communications Lab provides marketing advice and other resources for all HUB members – as well as this column, in partnership with 3p.
By Lisa Cain
Is your business on Yelp? Foursquare? Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? YouTube? Being everywhere all the time is like the old spaghetti on the wall analogy. A targeted social media effort builds brands that stick. And it won’t take up all your time.
To get started, think about:
- What you want to accomplish. Different goals lead to different strategies and tactics. Are you focusing on building awareness, driving traffic, or signing up new clients?
- Your ideal customers and where they hang out online. While statistics show volume (60% of online users in the U.S. have Facebook accounts; there are 100 million Twitter users worldwide), finding your peeps means researching sites and discussion groups where your audience regularly engages. We tap audiences through targeted Google ads, Facebook ads, key search words in posts, and joining conversations in related groups.
- Your differentiated brand story. Assessing how you do your work — not what you do –is a first step in identifying brand. To energize and make your brand real, you’ll need to find your authentic public voice and develop posts that align with your goals and brand.
- How to connect. The days of telling and asking are over. There’s definitely an evolving etiquette that no one can afford to ignore. Inviting people in (instead of talking at them) and giving them something in return for spending time with you, applies to social media. Plus, a little creativity with pictures and video can help your posts show up more often on other people’s sites.
- How to get work done while managing your social media. Tools like Hootsuite and SocialOomph are designed to manage and schedule the content. (Think of them as timed-release capsules.) They allow you to spend more energy creating and less time posting.
The good news: the length and the life cycles of posts and tweets are very short. It’s what you say over time that matters most.
Lisa Cain is with PagePoint and will be leading Branded Social Media for Small Business on November 17th from 6 to 9pm. If you’re interested, reserve your spot here. And be sure bring your laptop so you can set up your Facebook and Twitter business pages and create branded content that on the spot.
If you have a question you want answered by the HUB Communicatiosn Lab, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org and watch this space.