It’s Social Media Week in Washington, DC with dozens of social media informational events taking place. Perhaps the most intriguing presentation I have attended or followed was titled Social Media Trends In Communications For 2013. Here are some of the basics!
Be An Active Participant!
– do not approach social media like a bulletin board (posting items and walking away), treat the platforms like a cocktail party
– your work isn’t done by simply creating a company/organization Facebook or Twitter page
Remember/Identify The 4 Types Of Communication
1) talking (you to supporter)
2) listening (supporter to you)
3) sharing (supporter to outsider)
4) engaging (supporter to supporter)
– many places spend too much focus on talking, not enough time on other areas
– goal is to move communication towards engagement
Well, What Do I Talk About?!
– set/define goals for your online platforms, then develop strategy
– to help achieve above objective, identify your audience and expectations of you
– in many cases, organic web traffic is in decline so use social media to help drive traffic back to your website (don’t post or share all your content exclusively on social media)
– set aside time each day to read industry news and what others are saying on social media, then share relevant content with your audience
– recycle social media interactions as content for your blog or website
So Many Sites, What Do I Do?
– Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are 3 most popular
– ask yourself “where do my followers want me to be?”
– use SproutSocial or IFTTT (among others) to help manage multiple accounts and/or platforms
– remember to automate with care, don’t “set it and forget it”
– tweak posts to fit various platforms (don’t copy and paste the same text to Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
– use the Lists feature on Twitter to help sort relevant content posted by others
Have Reasonable Expectations
– while social media can provide valuable metrics/insights about followers, a direct monetary return on investment may be slim, if at all
– social media provides instant communication/gratification, success on social media is often gradual
– use online presence to convert customers/followers to brand advocates (telling others about your brand, free and positive publicity!)
What About When Things Go Wrong?
– followers will sometimes leave negative comments; that’s ok, your audience has never had the platform they have now
– a beneficial mindset to negative postings: “it’s better to know than not at all”
– institute a protocol of how to react to negative posts, U.S. Air Force Social Media Protocol is a great example
– it is essential that organizational hierarchy should flatten during events warranting crisis communications and a pre-arranged communications plan should be followed
Other Items To Take Away
– stop the “let’s push this info out to our followers” mindset
– integrate social media into your business, don’t view it as an add-on
– for your content to reach understanding by broadest audience possible, avoid acronyms and industry jargon
Speakers At The 2/20/13 Event Were From These Organizations
Other insights from Social Media Week in DC to come!