As the cliché goes, the only constant is change. For social media, that definitely holds true. From changes to News Feed algorithms, changes to content types, changes in which social networks to use – social media is in constant flux. But, if you stick to the five C’s, you should “C” success in your social media marketing.
Content – Yes, this theme was true in 2014, but content holds an even higher place with the rules coming into effect with Facebook’s stance on promotional content started in January. If you haven’t seen the notices, take note. Facebook has clearly stated, brands that put up promotional content in their feed will feel a smack down to their dwindling organic reach. In the eyes of Facebook, if you want to sell, advertise. Develop content that engages, informs and leads to people wanting to learn more about how your brand fits into their life.
Capturing – I try to eliminate the military terms of marketing. People don’t want to be targets or be part of a campaign. They don’t want to be captured either. However, in this case coerced doesn’t sound any better. The people in your social media community are only going to see and interact with a very small amount of the content you create and share.
The key becomes how do you direct them to a place where they can see more and engage more in a space you own – email, your website, an online community – then share with their friends and trusted circles back in the social community? Finding a way to capture their attention and captivate them in an experience where you have a little more control over the experience can provide countless benefits.
Conversion – Social brand advocates and enthusiasts provide a great, sustainable community that branches out and benefits every element of your organization, but there is still a place for paid media. When using paid social media, your goal should be simple – convert.
If you’re advertising, focus on efficient creative that gets the message across and drives clicks. When they get to landing pages your audience should be converting machine that drive to your end result. What you shouldn’t do is promote posts simply to increase visibility, engagement or build follower counts. Convert to sales, convert by getting an email address, convert by downloading a white paper. Don’t put dollars into a post just because of a 1 percent uptick in likes, so more people should see it. There are better ways to grow engagement and reach.
Conversation – People want to be engaged by brands in the same manner they want to be engaged by celebrities or athletes. You can argue about the validity of humanizing brands, but I know when my favorite bike brand responds to a post I made or a comment on a thread, I feel momentarily special. Yes, you do too. So stop broadcasting and start building the conversation. People are far more likely to talk about brands they feel a connection to, and the people they speak to are far more likely to trust their friends than a brand’s ad or content, so the effect is multiplied.
Community – Ignite your brand’s best social connections and let them become a community. Let these people get the inside scoop on special things with your brand, ask them for thoughts, provide a two-way experience, but most importantly — let these people with a shared passion for your brand become a community and share their experiences, excitement and ideas with like-minded people. Certain things we all want to feel – special, included and knowing there are others like us.
You don’t have to focus on all five. And if you remember that it’s all about people, conversation and community you’re almost all the way there.
Jeff Ernst, co-founder and COO of Smync, has built, grown and managed sales and marketing organizations in businesses of all sizes, with over 20 years of marketing and management experience. A lifelong entrepreneur, Ernst has worked over 10 years in tech including B2B startups in webcasting and web conferencing. Connect with him @TheJeffErnst and on LinkedIn.