Digital Darwinism is the inability of companies and individuals to adapt to the rapid changes in digital technology.
Social media marketing is not a cute trend that will eventually go away. It’s a massive paradigm shift in the way business is conducted. It’s already funnelling trillions of dollars into users accounts, and it’ll double in the next 3 years.
If you aren’t actively engaging your prospects across multiple platforms, at some point in the near future you’ll begin to lose business to more savvy marketers who are.
Your clients aren’t looking for you in the yellow pages. They aren’t even Googling you any more. They’re searching for you on their phones – “In App” – using the internal search engines of several different social media sites. They expect you to be on 3-4 of these sites minimum, and they’re judging the legitimacy and competency of your business by the quality of your network and your posts.
It isn’t enough simply to have a Linkedin page. You need to be posting to it regularly. And you need to be visible on all those other sites that your clients might use.
There’s many ways you can interact with prospects, including shares, likes, comments and vignettes, all of which help build a relationship. Much of this is spontaneous and reactionary, but for the purpose of this post, I want to focus on the more structured aspects – the blog posts – where you showcase an aspect of your business of relevance to your market.
If you’re serious about engaging your audience, you should be publishing at least one significant campaign a week, and in some cases, many more. But even if you’re only hoping to hold your head above the communications tidal pool you should consider 1-2 campaigns per month.
It’s easier than many think to get broad exposure from one idea. Here’s four aspects I suggest you use to develop and implement your campaigns:
1. The brief
In order to get buy-in from management, sit once a month and discuss possible topics. More often than not this involves going through the photo files looking for events that would make a good story. A quick Google of the story keywords will give you an idea of how to structure your story.
2. Campaign development
Whether you’re lucky enough to get a written brief, or are just winging it from hastily scrawled notes, the most important part of the campaign is developing a story which your market will read and engage with. You should be paying attention to:
- Sticking to the objective: Write with the goal in mind. It might be simply to educate and inform readers (a noble reason for posting), or drive a distinct outcome (eg. a download, or a subscription).
- Optimise the visuals: One of the biggest growth areas in 2015 was in use of visuals, particularly Video. Rarely will a raw image or video be optimised, both in terms of quality or composition. And there’s no standard size for all sites, so you must be prepared to do multiple renderings. The number of photos you upload, and the order in which you upload them also has a marked impact on how they display on several different sites, most notably Facebook.
- Structure the copy: You need to draw readers in with benefits-laden copy written from their point of view. Also redirect readers back out with appropriate calls to action or information (hyperlinks). And write conversationally, and be entertaining (put those complex descriptions and dry facts in the hyperlinks). Keep it brief – 300-500 words only – because according to latest web research, humans have an attention span less than a goldfish (ie. If something hasn’t caught our interest inside 8 second, we’re moving on).
Approval process: Prior to publication, the story needs to be ratified. In this digital age, errors are easy to fix, but even easier to spread.
Post to your blog: If you’re running a WordPress website, then you have one of the most potent blogging software already built in. Make sure you’re linked to your social pages, and much of the hard work will be done for you. If you’re not already running WordPress, then I recommend Tumblr, which is both easy to use, and well respected by the social media industry.
Link your post to your Pinterest page: If you haven’t already got a “Pin It” button on your browser, then install it now. When you click on your blog post, share the hero image onto your Pinterest page, as this can lead a lot of new traffic to your pages.
Duplicate post on Linkedin Pulse: For small businessmen, their personal Linkedin page is an extension of their business. And Pulse is where you get to showcase your knowledge. So having gone to the effort of publishing an article, copy and paste it into Linkedin Pulse so people searching for you find relevant material without even needing to go to the company page.
Repurpose the images to Instagram: It’s a highly engaging site, and if you’ve used appropriate hashtags, can reap quite large audience gains. Although you’re no longer restricted as to shape, Instagram is still optimised for square images, so work out how your image looks best when cropped, and use the filters judiciously to lift the appearance of your images (resist the temptation to use the more creative filters, as these are likely to distract from your professional image).
Use auto-posting routines: If your social media network is set up properly, then you should be able to deploy your campaign without further effort to:
- Linkedin Corporate page
- Google Plus
- Photo Blog
- Image archive
Evaluate each campaign against other campaigns and against competitors to determine the relative effectiveness of each. Use this information to refine your choices for your next campaigns.
By taking care of these core campaigns you’ll quickly develop a strong and engaging professional platform and a rich network of followers and friends who will likely be the drivers of your business in the future.
John is Founder and Content Director at Digital Normal. For more information, or for a complimentary personal consultation, please contact John here.