How do you determine if someone is a consumer of social media? Would you know a social media consumer if you saw one? Guess what? Well... if you're reading this, you are a consumer of social media. How do you find like-minded consumers and convert them to customers? Social platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook let you move content toward those who need it. So if you have a message, how can you make social media work for you?
Create a Social Media Indentity
The first step in a social media plan is to establish a presence for you and your brand. Determine the location of your customers and meet them there. Create a profile that is obvious and consistent with your marketing goals. Make your username an obvious extension of your brand.
I've created a social media branding class that provides an opportunity for you to explore options for a social media identity. As an example, my online identity is mattrsullivan. Go ahead and search online to see who Google says I am. The results are a collection of content and social interactions that I've developed, all tethered to the mattrsullivan social media ID. During my class we use online tools to explore the available options for you and your brand, and show you how to save time by automating the creation of those profiles across relevant networks.
Here is where originality counts. During the recent WritersUA conference in Palm Springs, I had to create a PowerPoint presentation for each of my three sessions. Since I'd already put in the work, I recorded a quick overview of the conference, complete with:
- an intro video
- lower-third titles (like on a newscast)
- logo branding
- cuts between:
- the slides
- my video
- an overlay of video and slides
Though it sounds tough, I already had everything but the five minutes of video and 30 seconds of intro on my machine. In about 30 minutes, I'd produced my introduction video (in MP4 format).
Once I'd posted the video to my YouTube channel, it took me mere moments to create a WordPress post, which contained a few paragraphs of text and the video. I also placed my slides on Slideshare, along with the video. Of course, the missing piece here was broadcasting the content beyond people who are currently subscribed to my YouTube, WordPress, and Slideshare accounts. For further social media outreach, I used twitter to broadcast to #writersua attendees and #techcomm watchers. I also posted regular updates to my LinkedIn account, relevant LinkedIn groups, and FaceBook.
Be efficient when repeating your message across your social media accounts. There are a number of social media aggregators available (I use HootSuite). During the WritersUA conference mentioned earlier, I used HootSuite to schedule twitter and other messages to occur in the hours leading up to my presentation. I also scheduled teasers from my presentation that were automatically made public at the same time that I was giving my presentation. (This little trick made me look like some sort of magician to those people who were attending my session live.)
What Did You Have For Lunch?
Unless your lunch was truly epic, you should assume that people who consume your social media offerings for business really don't care about your dining habits. Above all else, you need to produce content that's interesting and relevant to your readers. Every situation is different, so carefully consider the appropriate mix of personal and professional content to keep your audience engaged.
If you'd like to learn what it takes to make social media work for you, consider attending my social media branding class. By the end of the day, you'll understand what it takes to:
- create an effective social media ID
- identify and reuse content
- cross-promote content across networks
- use an aggregator to increase effectiveness of incoming and outgoing content
I hope to see you in class!