05 Aug How I Make Social Media Marketing Decisions
Owning social media for a university means I often have to explain what social media actually is and how it actually works to the uninitiated. I thought today I’d share a typical conversation with you that I might have with a client so that you can make better decisions with your own marketing efforts.
[5 minute read…don’t be scared.]
Client: Hi Greg, I wanted to ask you to help us promote our X on social media and was wondering if you could help us set up a Facebook page and hashtag. We’re really hoping people get excited about what we have to offer. Have you heard of Snapchat? That might be fun to try.
The launch event is in 6 weeks.
Me: Wow, it sounds like a really great X. Who is your audience?
Client: I don’t know. We haven’t thought about it.
Me: Ok. What are you planning on offering after the launch date?
Client: Nothing really. We just want the best launch we can find.
Me: Sure. Do you have any experts lined up to talk about X or answer any questions?
Client: Not really.
Me: No problem. Let’s take a step back for just a moment and think through this. I always try to imagine 100 people sitting in a room who are ready to say ‘yes’ to me. These are the perfect 100 people; people I have hand selected from anywhere in the world. What I have to ask myself, before I can decide anything else, is: Who are these people; what do they look like; where do they live; what do they eat and do for fun and spend their money on? Because, 100 teenage boys looks very different than 100 middle-aged-house wives of pro football players.
Once I have been able to decide who these 100 people are, I then ask myself: Where are they on social media already? With only six weeks, I don’t want to have to create an entirely new audience if I can avoid it, and I especially don’t want to have to ‘train’ a new audience on how to do something they aren’t already doing. I want to make this as easy for them as I can by going to wherever they are and try to meld my offer into what they are already doing.
Then, I have to ask myself: If these 100 people are going to say ‘yes’ to me, what is the one thing – and only one thing – I want them to say yes to? What is the single inflection point that will increase my desired result. For a magazine, that might be: Will you subscribe? For a car dealer, a buy may be too far away, but research shows that a test drive directly correlates to purchases, so I want that yes to be: Will you test drive our new car?
Client: Wow, we hadn’t thought about that. We think that our audience is comprised of dentists.
Me: Sure. No Problem. I’m not sure Facebook is going to be the best fit. A Facebook page is a great way to get information out to an audience over a long period of time. A Facebook page is very one-directional. If you wanted your audience to receive news or updates about your product regularly over the next two years, Facebook would work. If you wanted your audience to be able to talk to each other, maybe work through problems, a Facebook group may be a good option. If you had a regularly occurring event, for example, a group could be a strong way for the attendees and presenters to stay connected.
You also mentioned Snapchat. The demographic for Snapchat is quite young. Much younger than your target audience. Snapchat is also much more casual than what you may be looking for.
Client: How about a hashtag?
Me: A hashtag on Twitter can be a great tool for encouraging and maintaining conversations with people across the world. If you had a handful of experts who might be able to regularly answer questions or take part in scheduled ‘chats’ then I would strongly recommend that.
Client: We don’t really have any of those experts at the moment. We are hoping that some of the first dentists we talk to will be willing to help us promote X.
Me: What may work is us setting up a twitter account that either you or I can monitor to answer questions as they come in. This will also help us slowly and organically grow a twitter account that we can use to host a twitter chat down the road when you have a handful of experts ready to be involved.
Client: We like that. Is that all we can do or is there anything else you can recommend?
Me: I see that John Doe, your director, has been in the business for years and knows most of the people this industry in the Colorado area.
Client: Oh yes, everyone knows him. *laughing and back patting.
Me: That’s great. I think we start there. I suggest we optimize his LinkedIn profile and begin taking steps A, B and C to help him reconnect with some of the people he hasn’t spoken with in months as well as help him boost his image as an expert in his own right. We might even be able to set up an event with 50 of his closest fellows and promote that as the initial ‘launch event’. Then we can follow up with some of those attendees about helping us take this to the next level.
Does this help?
Client: Oh we hadn’t thought of that. Thanks!
Has this post helped clarify things for you at all? There are a series of decisions that need to be made if a social media campaign will be successful, but there is no reason for you to get overwhelmed. Just contact me with your questions.