Social Media is undoubtedly one of the most powerful yet misunderstood digital tools available to us. Unfortunately, there are some organizations that create a social media existence because it’s something they’re supposed to do. Everyone else is doing it, right? So we should, too! This is sadly the answer to too many organizations’ social media why. They really haven’t grasped how to effectively use social media to accomplish their business goals. There is too much focus on the latest programs and tools and not enough emphasis on the basic ideals in social media success. The number one reason your organization is failing at social media is because you lack a social media strategy. You’ve taken part in social media simply because it has become a norm to, but you lack vision and direction. Know Your Why. Start by revisiting your organization’s mission statement and departmental goals. Would you like to increase sales this quarter, create exposure or hire a new team member? Your overall social media strategy and editorial calendar should reflect this! Social Media is so much more than status updates, pins and tweets. Your social media strategy should consist of authentic, targeted content that converts.
Authenticity, Transparency and Value
A successful social media presence takes time to build. It consists of increasing engagement by building authentic relationships with your community. Dave Kerpen said that transparency breeds trust and trust breeds business, but transparency and authenticity equals nothing without providing value to your community. Your customers, donors, volunteers and stakeholders want tools and information that helps them solve a problem. Give it to them and watch your community grow like wildfire. Treat them like tally marks and watch your community never take off in the first place.
Know Your Community
There is nothing worse than marketing to a demographic you don’t understand. Sure you may know your average customer’s income, race and age but it is absolutely imperative to understand their informational needs. If cost is a common barrier for student enrollment, create content that helps them seamlessly navigate the financial aid process and provide them with information that will assist them in covering cost.
Because some organizations still carry social media in such a nonchalant manner, it is too often disregarded as the nonessential part of marketing efforts. Social Media is not separate from marketing, but an integral and essential part of it that should work in tandem with broader marketing goals.