The first time I visited a boutique’s page on Facebook and saw it littered with duplicate posts, I blamed a service or an app. Why would a shop choose to repeat a post, three or four times in a row? I overheard a rumor that using duplicate posts might increase the chances information would appear in followers’ news feeds, but whether we are discussing SEO or social media marketing, I do not recommend trying to “game the system.” Instead of racing to beat the next filter or algorithm, get intentional about your communication strategy, including your social media presence.
My initial tip for any of my clients trying to sift through all the fads, facts and fiction? Hire a social media manager you can trust.
Next, whether you work with a social media manager or maintain the accounts yourself, inventory your recent messages (or general themes) and current delivery tools. Ask yourself a few key questions:
What do my customers WANT to know?
Different groups of customers often have different needs. Create a “persona” or avatar – a fictional character, with a set of needs, desires and obstacles – to represent each customer group. Let their priorities and their challenges guide you. What matters to each of them?
What is my current communication/marketing STYLE?
Think conversation. Anticipate and answer questions. Entice and invite. For all the hype about the end of “buckshot marketing,” today’s automated posting tools make it easy to overpopulate your accounts. A competitor who likes to scream across multiple platforms does not require an automatic increase in your own volume. A balanced, authentic and edited approach can cut through the noise with meaningful signals.
How are my customers EXPERIENCING my messages?
Other ways to ask this question: What is it like to be my customer or a potential customer encountering my social media accounts (or website) for the first time? Am I giving my customers the information they want, using the vehicles they prefer?
Which communication tools are under my full CONTROL?
As you design an optimal customer experience, emphasizing the vehicles your customers like and use, do not overlook the power and stability of communication methods you own. Social media sites can change their rules and algorithms at any time, and your marketing approach must be equally agile. Since I specialize in writing and editing for highly-regulated industries such as financial services, I hear a lot about the potential benefits of a “diversified portfolio.” I advise clients in any field to be diversified in their approach to social media and online marketing. Do not neglect your website or email marketing tools while you chase only the newest or biggest social media trends. Build your email list, and feed your subscribers useful content.
Even if you’re trying to “go viral,” remember to build and maintain a stable, solid online presence – with a relevant Call to Action – where all those new followers and fans can land.
Candace Schilling, publicist, offers PR Communication and Training to spiritual teachers and faith-based communities. For more inspiration as well as tips about marketing and strategic communication, check out her articles or find Candace on LinkedIn.