I was recently invited to give a presentation on Social Media Marketing to a group of Marketing Executives. Through my research and preparation for the talk, I learned from an Ipsos Global Study that the average online American spends 2 hours a day on social networks. You may think that number is skewed by all those young folks spending countless hours on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. However, the PewResearch Internet Project found that 65% of internet users ages 50-64 actively use social networking sites (46% ages 65+, 78% ages 30-49). In 2006, these percentages were below 10%. Today, they continue to be on the rise.
There is a significant amount of data out there to encourage individuals and businesses to jump on board the social media trend. As you develop your own strategy for doing so, I would like to take this opportunity to outline The Covenant Group’s Five C’s of Social Media Marketing to help you better understand the social media landscape and how you can actively play a role.
People often say that social media is all about communication. The problem with using the term communication, is that communication is often one way. The real value in social media comes when you create a conversation.
How can you create a conversation? …
One of the main ways you can create a conversation with your audience is by creating and curating content to share via social media. Do you write your own content? If so, posting it to social media sites helps to build your brand. This content should be utilized to demonstrate your thought leadership and expertise. For content creators, another C I will throw in is CLARITY. You want to make sure your content is clear. Clarity is a big piece that is often missing from people’s communications. Make sure you are focused around a few key messages that people can understand. If you are curating content from other sources to share, pick a key point to question or comment on.
Content also refers to the content your friends, followers, or connections share. It is VERY important to not simply broadcast your own content, but also to dedicate time to seeing what others are sharing and working to create a conversation around THEIR content.
This will help you most in addressing the third C….
By working to create conversations and share meaningful content, you are working to connect with others – establish trust, deepen relationships, and stay top of mind. You may even be surprised by how social media can help to revive dormant relationships and re-connect you with old friends, colleagues, or classmates.
By conversing, sharing content, and connecting with others, you can engage your audience in a meaningful way and, ideally, build your community – whether prospects, clients, or centres of influence.
Working on building your community helps you to cultivate new and existing relationships. Establishing a web presence through social media also helps to enhance your searchability which in turns makes it easier for people to find you. In this way, you are making it easier for OTHERS to help you grow your community.
You are working to grow your pipeline and convert members of your community to be clients or, from a recruiting standpoint, potential new hires.
As you work to formulate the best way to build your brand by integrating social media marketing into your strategy, consider conversation, content, connection, and community all part of the effort to convert your prospects.