5 tips to avoid drowning in social media
I am fortunate to be working in an agency environment, so I hear stories from various industries and brands related to digital marketing. It keeps me on my toes as it forces constant learning and hones my listening skills! One of the most common trends I hear and read about at the minute is how stressful and overwhelming people and brands are finding the management of "social media". It's my job in those circumstances to help give clients clarity and focus. I thought I would share my 6 tips for ensuring you don't fall into the same trap many others seem to.
I think that in recent years as more people in businesses have become alert to Social Media and even using it themselves it has forced it into the limelight for marketers. CEO's who want to have more likes than their mates and want "cool" content despite having zero brand personality, it isn't easy fighting the marketing battle.
1. Do the hard work on your brand and consumers
The brands and personalities that get Social media right have done a lot of work defining who and what they are as a brand, how they communicate and more importantly who to. With those two things well understood you can start to consider your creative approach to communicating online through content. An approach extremely well understood by the best advertising agencies (how to tell stories that entertain and inspire) and a requirement for Social Media. Only with the brand comms and customer motivations can you have relevant creative ideas for content. Don't run before you can walk, you are very unlikely to be successful by just "jumping in". At First 10 before we start to run clients content or social agendas we will go through a brand and content workshop which takes between 6-10 weeks and includes a lot of upfront research, 3 full day workshops (scattered) as well as write-up at the end. Only then do we deep dive into the detail of which channels, what kind of content etc.
2. Set clear commercial goals
The most useful way to manage upwards in any company large or small is to have absolute clarity on your goals for the activity and budget. Working hard to understand what you are trying to achieve and how that relates to business goals. I still ensure I utilise language that a non-marketer could understand at a top-level and then have KPIs underneath that. An example of considered enough goals for a restaurant chain for example would be:
- Increase football to restaurants from online (overarching goal)
- Online bookings from social
- Coupons redeemed from social
- Menu views from social
For the above if you can show where you are now, where you will be in 12 months and how that looks by month (remember unless you are using heavy paid media you are likely to see a curved year versus straight line growth)
-- If you were to do just two things to help reduce your stress levels when it comes to Social the two above are the most important. The rest of this blog is a little more subjective...
3. Be clear on what you are doing versus not prioritising on
It is okay not to be on Snapchat or Instagram or even Twitter... No-one said you can't be successful unless you are on every channel. If you are crystal clear on the first two points of this blog post you should now have a semi-clear idea on what your strategy needs to be... Don't chase the shiny object, chase your goals with an unwavering energy. You will be rewarded by helping to grow the company not because 500 people follow your half-baked images on Instagram or the likes.
4. Selecting technology as your best friend
You may have to arm wrestle a few people in IT but there are so many tools available to you now that make running and managing social media much easier, ensure you can take advantage of tools such as Dropbox, Google Drive/Docs. Be open to utilising things like Odesk.com & elance.com to find specific resource on tap at affordable rates. Having basic tools available on the move to will make a huge difference in your ability to react to social requirements, so tablets or smart phone is crucial. I have listed some of the tools that are maybe not as obvious for helping with Social Media MGT we use at F10 below as a starter for you:
- Dropbox - Utilised for media storage, filing reports / research
- Google Drive - Has our 3 core documents for running social on including, editorial calendar (30 day detailed view, annual key events / projects view & new ideas), issues / discussion list (used to document the ever-growing list of things to discuss, this weeks deliverables. All docs can be edited by anyone at anytime and even all together meaning no more revision problems
- Google Hangouts - Used to run weekly meetings, great to be able to connect with clients and also with the docs integration it makes it easy to collaborate on the key documents
- Invisionapp - Used to collaboratively work with clients on creative / design asset sign off. Works seamlessly with Dropbox and Adobe Creative Cloud
- Leftronic - Prefered dashboard supplier, utilised to display progress against targets as well as live social streams to display at First 10 + client offices
- Raven Tools - Used to pull various reports so we can worry about insights and actions than visiting various tools. Also very useful for any research requirements you may have
5. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)
I think social media and how it works with other marketing tactics is often over-complicated and because there is so much you could do we often replace doing the work with delaying it through planning the world... Keep a 90 day view on what you are doing but ensure you are always moving forwards, a well laid plan in social doesn't exist, things change too fast, so get clear on your goals and move with the industry. At First 10 we keep a live discussions document which we ensure every week we knock over as many as we can in 30 mins, it ensures progress without becoming too complex!