Thursday, 26 March 2015

Social media is mainstream - now what?

When I started Ariadne's Thread in 2009, social media was seen as new and untested by a lot of businesses. Now that its value and effectiveness is proven, it is an essential part of any marketing and PR plan. People have realised the value social media can bring to both promotion, sales and to customer service. It's critical not just in attracting new customers, but also in keeping your existing ones happy. I no longer have to sit with people for hours and "talk them into it", It's straight into the good stuff. Who should they target? How much time will it take them? What sort of content do they need? How will they create that content?

There are a couple of tactical issues that come as baggage alongside this broad acceptance of social media.

Firstly, there's a lot more "noise" to compete with. Some businesses are still under the impression that it's OK to treat the medium as paperless advertising, or as solely a mechanism to improve their Search Engine Optimisation. The rolling streams of automated updates can get overwhelming and the opportunities for meaningful engagement can be missed. Your content needs to be interesting, relevant and well targeted to rise above this inane cyberbabble.

Secondly, the range of social media platforms has greatly increased. Make sure you know the type of people you want to influence and research where they are likely to congregate online. Your decisions will be heavily influenced by your business sector and your ability to produce appropriate content.

So what can you do?

  • Select your social media platforms with care.
  • Create content that is useful to the people you want to reach and relevant to your business.
  • Take time to make a content plan, it really does help improve the results you'll get.
  • Evaluate the results you're getting and adjust your plan if you need to.