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Just Being Social

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When we talk to some clients about content and social media marketing, you would think we were describing the latest Stephen King movie. The look in their eyes? Pure fear.

Of course, some of our clients (especially the larger ones) have the whole content marketing conundrum figured out already. But, they have an unfair advantage. They have big company budgets, big company staff. It isn't hard to commit to social media when there's actually a warm body committed to social media.

So, for our small- to mid-size clients, here are some tips to get you started ... and keep you going.

  1. Treat social media like every other kind of marketing.
    That means have objectives, goals, and a strategy in mind. Don't think of social media as a necessary evil. Think of it as another way (and it can be a very powerful way) to engage with prospects and customers.

  2. Check out what your competition is doing.
    The idea isn't to copy them, per se. Instead, see where they may be missing opportunities and improve upon them. Also, make note of where they post and how often.

  3. Think about your audience.
    Where do they "hang out" online? What would interest them? Don't limit yourself to posts about your product. Think bigger — how can you entertain them, educate them, or help them solve their day-to-day problems?

  4. Create a schedule and assign writers.
    Be realistic. Don't assume you can go from zero to sixty (you can't). Start with expectations that are manageable — posting, consistently, once a week, is better than posting three days in a row and then taking a six-month break.

  5. Look for articles, research studies, and news items that can spark ideas.
    Your customers will value what you bring to their attention — even if it started somewhere else. Just be sure not to plagiarize. Cite and give credit whenever you repurpose content.

  6. Make sure anything you post encourages response.
    Social media is a two-way street. Finish posts with open-ended questions; motivate readers to tell stories of their own. And, always suggest that they re-post and share your content.

  7. Be professional, but not stuffy.
    Social media content should feel less formal than more "official" communication vehicles, like corporate brochures, annual reports, or your website. But, don't use offensive language or slang. And, by all means, proofread!

  8. Test, test, test ... and then test some more.
    Test types of content (interviews, informal research, testimonials, use cases); test which platforms work best; test day of the week and time that you post. Then, fine-tune your strategy based on what your tests reveal.

Social media marketing can be a great addition to your integrated marketing strategy.

If you and your team are still a little afraid of it, let us know. (We'd be happy to hold your hand.)

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