Throughout my journey discovering social media one aspect that really stood out is how important your authentic voice is to the brand. As a marketer I quickly realized that it is better now to have more of a casual conversation with your audience that they understand rather than being formal all the time like I was taught years ago to do. You need to be transparent and real to have your audience want to engage in the conversation with you. I found this video on Youtube that goes in to detail as to why your voice is so important for your brand to have social media presence:
A social media expert once told me ” think of how you would talk to a friend or colleague face to face would you have more of a conversation or would it be formally structured?”. This was the best tip ever from this expert: Be your unique yourself! Be who you are! After recently taking a Social Media course the most important take away for me was finding just that “my authentic voice”. At first I have to be honest the process of finding my voice in my writing was a bit of a struggle, but as time went on it got easier. It got easier simply because I just focused on the way I usually communicate in conversation with people face to face. After doing some research online I found this interesting blog that reiterates the tip above: How to find your voice on Social Media
In the world of social media your clients will decide if they want to build a relationship with your brand or not based on your authentic voice. It is key in connecting your audience with your brand. Do you feel your voice is important to your brand?
Youtube:Your Unique Voice: Social Presence – 6-Step Strategy To Profitable Social Media Marketin, by docstocTV
How to find your voice on Social Media, Leading Indicator – Reema Ibdah, Social Media Specialist, CMA Ontario
Image – Find your voice – www.socialh.com
The power of social media drawing you in to use it is unbelievable. It is like nothing else even TV doesn’t compare. I often see this unbelievable power by watching my oldest child on her mobile device texting or updating her statuses on the tools she is using regularly. I have learned by her example, most of her friends are on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter if they were not would she be using them? Hmm.. No way! I stop and think about this example everytime I am considering using a specific social media platform or tool at work for specific tactics.
Here is a brief video I found on YouTube on the benefits of social media listening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKrGSP2Uzc8
Listening is the first step I took in developing a social media strategy, it assists with development of a content calendar and choosing which platforms as well as tools you will use for tactics. Rather than focus on using a number of social media tools I am using three as part of my strategy simply because that is where our target audience is. Some of the free tools I am using everyday for listening are Google Alerts, and Hootsuite, however there are a number of others.
Check out this blog I found on the Huffington Post: 5 Social Media Tools that every business should be using
Are there other tools not mentioned in this blog that you are using for listening?
Youtube video Social Media Listening by TNG Interactive
Huffington Post blog 5 Social Media Tools every business should be using
I remember when I first started my social media accounts thinking to myself, eventually this is going to become tedious and time consuming to manage them all separately. Especially if, in the future I was thinking about adding other Social Media tools to the mix. The content calendar is a fantastic tool to use for organizing your posts, however I still had to sign in to my accounts separately to post. Recently, I went to a lunch and learn at work and they talked about a social media dashboard tool called Hootsuite. You can use it to manage up to five accounts for free, and you sign up just as you would for any other social media account. All I can say is this TOOL IS AMAZING for managing multiple social media accounts and has key features you can use to be more efficient and save time when communicating with your audience.
This short story in this video highlights some of the key features of Hootsuite:
I haven’t used all the features of Hootsuite yet, however I have used the auto scheduler for tweets, monitored my mentions in Twitter so I can respond or retweet quickly, and I love the dashboard to be able to see at a glance what messages are coming in on my home feed, sent tweets and any direct messages . If you are the person sitting on the other side of me on the bus and you’re using Hootsuite what other features would you recommend?
Sources: Social Media is Sweet: A HootSuite Story – Youtube, Giant Ant (http://www.giantantmedia.com) for producing and filming the video, Jon and Roy (http://www.jonandroy.ca) for the catchy song, G&F Financial (http://www.gffg.com) and Nelson the Seagull (http://www.nelsontheseagull.com) for providing a filming locations. Hootsuite image – Super-fast Content Curation: Add Scoop.it to HootSuite and Go! www.business2community.com, Page by Liz Wilson
As I began to use social media platforms for marketing I was a little worried about ensuring I had compelling content to share regularly with my audience. Where am I going to gather all the content for the posts and what about timing? How often should I be sharing content? How can I share content about events or promotions that are happening over the weekend or in the evening? One of the social media experts I work with recommended using a content calendar to assist in pre-scheduling and organizing my posts. It is just a simple Excel spreadsheet with the following headings:
- Channel (the social media platform you are using)
- Content category or theme (i.e. Did you know or promotion)
- Character count (14o for twitter)
- Visuals (i.e. for Facebook)
- Link to include
- When you want to schedule the post
- Any other notes
Check this video out for reasons why having a content calendar is a great strategy:
Using this calendar along with the auto scheduling in Hootsuite has made managing the accounts and content so much easier. It ensures that I am connecting with my audience regularly, providing them with interesting content, keeping them engaged and meeting their needs. Do you have any other social media content strategies that you could share?
The Importance of Sticking to a Content Calendar by Magnet Minute – Youtube
Now that I am on the social media bus I had to figure out what would be the best tool to use in communicating with our target audience. I started by investigating around my place of work to find out which tools were currently being used. There were also numerous presentations going on at the time regarding Social Media mainly about Facebook and Twitter. I thought to myself these sound great, but what are my goals, objectives for using the tools? What’s the time commitment required to manage the account? Is there a tutorial? Unlike my children who find another Social Media tool, try it and use it, I needed a bit more handholding. After further investigation I decided that I wanted to pick one tool and manage it well before I added others to the mix. After defining my target audience, segmenting and realizing I wanted to connect with the audience quickly, on a regular basis, and expand my audience reach potential, I decided on Twitter. However, I needed more than one account as I had 3 distinct communities I wanted to connect with. Now that I had the three accounts, how was I going to manage all of these profiles separately? Through one of the presentations I found out about this amazing tool called Hootsuite where you can manage all your social media accounts from one dashboard. Is anyone else considering using Twitter as their Social Media tool of choice? Here is a great article I found written by Ken Krogue from Forbes, for more insight on how to best use twitter for business called: 31 Twitter Tips: How to Use Twitter tool and Twitter Best Practices for Business http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenkrogue/2013/08/30/31-twitter-tips-how-to-use-twitter-tools-and-twitter-best-practices-for-business/ The social media Twitter campaigns you come up with could have huge, viral, reach potential check out this unique campaign: Hidden cash Scavenger Hunt, CTV News, check out the clip: http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=369571 I thought about the risks associated with Social Media before creating the Twitter accounts and quickly realized that the benefits of connecting with my audience and expanding my reach far outweighed the risks. I also felt that if I received negative feedback, I would look at it as an opportunity for us to respond positively and improve the overall experience for them and for others in the future. Sources: Image – graphicartsmag.com 31 Twitter Tips: How to Use Twitter tool and Twitter Best Practices for Business by Ken Krogue from Forbes