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Deciding the Best Social Strategy for Your Resources and Strengths
By Heather Wied, Pubsoft
There are about 10 major social networks and counting where you can basically find all of the people you would ever want to buy your small business products or services, but who has the time to maintain 10 social networking accounts well? If you’re not a huge company with the resources to be able to pay teams to create amazing content and manage all of those accounts, often inevitably social pages become dead online space where potential customers might be sitting but you’re not engaging with them, and that’s bad. It’s bad because effective social engagement is about quality, not quantity. The more engaged and closer to your customers you can be, the more loyal they will be and keep coming back for more. And while Facebook having 1.23 billion users worldwide as of December 2013 is a staggering statistic, what good does that do if you’re not taking full advantage of how real engagement with Facebook fans can provide real ROE (Return on Engagement) i.e. actual sales. If you already think you’ve got a handle on your social presence, we commend you, but for the rest of us who have the job title of, One (Wo)Man Show, this post is for you, especially if you’re ready to regain your real social life from your social media life.
Often when it comes to talking strategy with people they just don’t know where to start, and with so many choices it can be overwhelming. There are five points to keep in mind:
1) Let your target market be your guide. While it’s a little oversimplified, consumer preferences are constantly changing, so you have to know the places where your consumers are spending more time. For instance, as ubiquitous as it is, Facebook is seeing increasing declines in the number of teenage users registering accounts and an increase in older demographics. Is that fact reflected in your social strategy? Do you have some kind of Facebook exit plan, while increasing your Instagram and Snapchat presence if your target market falls in the 13-20 age range?
2) Less Is More. In terms of breadth of platforms, less is more if you’re working with limited resources. If you want your social to be effective, keep in mind it’s a long term game, and you really have to own the space your in. By own, I mean really understand what you’re trying to accomplish on those platforms and know how to use all of the features available to you. Less is also more because people are dealing with intense information overload. We’ve all got our networks and our apps, and our heads are swimming in information and being bombarded by media from every angle. We’ve trained ourselves to tune out much of it, that really the only content worth sharing these days is content that produces gut-busting laughter or strikes a deep emotional chord. While digital advertising spend is growing, how many online ads have you really clicked on lately? And even if you did, did you actually buy anything? It’s all about making consumers form an emotional attachment to your content and your products and services through community.
3) Free Is a Relative Term. While it’s free to sign up for every one of the major social networks, keep in mind your time and ability to produce quality content for sharing when choosing the right social networks. If you’re strapped for time, stick to social channels that are more conducive to quick sharing, like Twitter and Tumblr. If you have more time and ability on your hands you may want to tackle a blog on Wordpress or Blogger, or maybe even YouTube. If you are a visual person, and you want to share images that resonate with people, try Instagram. If you have more time to edit and refine, and some basic image editing skills, Pinterest may be a good option for you.
4) Play to Your Strengths. Maintaining a strong social presence for your business is work, so choose the network that you will enjoy that plays to your strengths. If you’re a visual person and enjoy making images or editing video, stick to the visual social networks, if you’re more of a long form writer, stick to networks to highlight your wordsmithing capabilities. If you think you’ve got an infectious personality, try vlogging it up on YouTube. Why mire through something that you really don’t like if you have limited time and money? Your passion and genuineness will shine through if you’re developing content that you actually enjoy producing.
5) Don’t forget about the niche networks. Being a member of a highly visible social network means you’ll be swimming in a vast sea of people searching for different things, and you’ll be facing stiff competition from multiple different players. Depending on your product or service and your target market you may also be better served by joining a social network with a highly focused audience. It may take a little digging to find the right space, but you’ll be significantly closer to network users, and you can often translate those relationships into relationships on the mainstream networking sites.
The Mainstream Social Networks:
Heather Wied is the Marketing Director for Pubsoft. Follow @Pubsoft on Twitter.
Pubsoft is a digital publishing engine that is empowering the next generation of great publishers with an array of intuitive solutions to manage multiple facets of publishing and sales. The easy-to-use administration portal lets publishers instantly create and manage an ebook store for direct sales to consumers, drive social media-enabled marketing campaigns, deliver ebooks to mobile devices, manage authors and distribute royalties. With backend solutions that streamline administration and a unique interface that connects publishers, authors and readers with unparalleled transparency, Pubsoft is poised to change the way publishers operate in the 21st century. Learn more at www.pubsoft.com. Read our blog at http://pubsoft.com/pubsoft-university/
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