If you think social media marketing is simply a supplement to traditional advertising, think again! With the increased prominence of social networking platforms over the past decade, companies who aren’t investing in this crucial area are missing out.
Both tactics are valuable – when used appropriately – but in order for them to be effective, you need to first understand the key differences between them:
Depending on your priorities, you may want to consider incorporating social media marketing into your overall communications plan. Check out the benefits below and decide if they align with your organization’s current goals.
Social media is an opportunity to foster brand awareness with consumers. The more consumers see and become familiar with your brand, the more they will come to trust you – and the more likely they are to use your services.
But, with brands running to social media, it’s important to be strategic and creative to stand out from the competition. Stay consistent with your brand, but try to embody your company’s unique culture so that consumers stay engaged!
These days, social media platforms have robust analytics tools that allow you to track performance and make adjustments on an ongoing basis. As long as you clearly identify your goals before getting started, you can prove the return on investment for your activities, sharing that information with key stakeholders in your organization.
Beyond the Numbers
Two-way communication through social media marketing allows companies to connect with consumers on a more personal level than traditional advertising. This humanization between brand and consumer helps to build brand loyalty, but it can be tricky to execute. Make sure you have a style guide and social media guidelines in place so that those speaking on behalf of the company are appropriately representing your culture and ideals.
While traditional advertising is still very much alive, social media marketing has taken strides to advance businesses of every size in recent years. If you need assistance to ensure that your social media tactics best support your overall strategy, let our team at GMP help!
In our latest blog, we discussed the importance (and benefits) of spring cleaning your company’s social media accounts. Now that you have that taken care of, you should turn your focus to your personal profiles – especially if these are linked to your business pages.
It can be easy to neglect your profiles, but given that they represent your personal brand, you want to make sure that your information is up-to-date and, depending on the social networking site, professional. It’s also a good time to check out the newest features on each platform and consider if they are useful to you.
Check out our tips below to get started.
Take a scroll through your past Facebook profile pictures. If you see a progression of photos from your pre-teen years all the way to present day, you may want to do something about it. While these can be funny reminders of the past, they may no longer be appropriate or convey who you are today. The same may be true of past photos or videos you’ve shared (or been tagged in).
If you don’t want to delete these photos from your profile, you can go into your privacy settings and hide certain individuals – co-workers, friends of friends, etc. from being able to see them. Keep in mind that your current profile picture can be seen by everyone, including those who you are not friends with on Facebook (this is true on all social channels).
For social media channels that only allow one profile photo, choose a high-quality image that you’re comfortable with your followers viewing and potentially commenting on. On different platforms, you may have a different type of audience, so consider that before making a selection.
While we don’t advise that you share every last detail about yourself on social media, identifying your educational background, current city, and a few other personal details can increase your networking opportunities on channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn. On platforms with shorter character counts for profile sections (like Twitter and Instagram), try to insert some personality into your description. Remember, you may not often read your own profile information, but other people likely read it on a regular basis.
When it comes to LinkedIn specifically, we recommend updating your profile more frequently, especially the sections regarding experience, education, and accomplishments – you never know when someone is looking for an individual with your skillset.
This is also a good time to review who you’re following on your profiles – people, groups, and pages. Quickly evaluate who you’re following and add/delete people as you see fit. This will help curate what you see in your feeds on a daily basis – and maybe you’ve recently made some new connections in real life that you need to carry over to the digital world.
Liking and following groups and pages is a good way to share your interests, while being kept in the loop about your favorite organizations. But, you may have followed groups/pages in the past that are no longer relevant to your interests. Go through any groups/pages you’re following and consider if they are still worth your time.
Once you’ve sharpened up the basics of your social profiles, take a look at your past content – is there anything that is no longer on-brand? Now is the perfect time to delete anything offensive or, again, unfollow pages that no longer align with your interests and values.
Keep in mind that as you add more friends or create a larger following, more people will be able to see your content. While a personal profile should speak to who you are as an individual, you should be smart about what you’re posting.
Social networks are always adding new features, including new privacy options. During your clean-up, give your privacy settings a thorough check. Rather than letting everyone on the social networking site see your information, you may want to give access strictly to friends or “friends of friends.”
Millions of individuals use social networking channels, but the key to protecting your personal brand lies in investing the time necessary to maintain quality profiles on each of those channels. Share the best version of yourself with regularly updated information and content that reflects your interests and values, and take the time to evaluate and use new features and functions that will help you more successfully use the platform and protect your brand.
By: Sarah Weddle
Lately, we’ve really been enjoying the new podcast from Buffer, “The Science of Social Media,” where Buffer team members chat with social media professionals from various industries and companies. Part of what makes social media so different from other marketing strategies is that it is constantly evolving, and with so many available platforms, the social strategy from one company to the next really varies. This makes it interesting to listen in to each episode and learn how social works in that person’s organization – and seeing if any of those tips can apply to what we’re doing for our clients.
One of the episodes of the podcast that really caught our attention was with John Yembrick, NASA’s social media manager. NASA has more than 500 social media accounts and reaches more than 15 million people – and the social team is close to 200 people across the agency.
John started out at NASA in a more traditional communications role, but he was excited by the conversation made possible via social media. As he points out, with a traditional media hit – even in a well-known publication – you never are certain if people are reading it and what their thoughts are, but with social media you get direction interaction with the public and real-time feedback.
John and his teammates run the flagship NASA accounts. It’s a small team of people who are largely responsible for themselves – there is not a lot of oversight or internal review for their content. To that end, he offered some valuable insight into how his team runs its social accounts, most of which can be applied to any organization.
John’s conversation with Buffer shows the value of social media and the relevancy it has in today’s marketing environment. With the proper strategy and support, social can have a major impact for any organization. If your organization is looking to revamp or develop a social media strategy, we’re happy to help craft a plan that supports your goals and reaches your intended audience.
At Graham Media Partners (GMP), we provide hands-on marketing, social media, public relations, communications, and design services for small-to-midsize businesses. Unlike larger agencies or in-house staff, we’ve developed a highly personalized client engagement model that leverages our combined expertise to deliver tailored solutions that raise awareness and build brand equity for our clients.
We pride ourselves on providing clients with transparency throughout an engagement. Whatever your need – marketing, branding, social media, or public relations – we implement our fine-tuned client engagement model to develop a unique strategy and execute a customized plan to ensure you achieve your goals. Here’s our process:
We begin each engagement with in-person strategy meetings. These sessions enable us to better understand your business’ challenges, goals, and objectives. We use the information gathered in these meetings to tailor appropriate social media, marketing, PR, or digital campaigns to meet your goals.
Situation and Competitive Analysis
We analyze your current situation, including press coverage, marketing activities, branding, and perception in the marketplace. We also perform a competitive audit to better understand your company’s position in relation to others in the industry.
We craft the strategy and tactics to best achieve your goals and ultimately grow your business. We then work together to make refinements and finalize the plan. In preparation for launch, we build a custom framework for delivery. For example, if we are delivering public relations and outreach services, we create targeted press lists during this step and begin initial outreach. If we are delivering social media services, we develop the calendar of posts, including a recommendation of which channels to post on.
We execute the final plan, making adjustments as necessary based on the feedback we receive from our target audience. As the plan is executed, we make any necessary adjustments for maximum effectiveness and remain in close contact with you.
We monitor the success of the plan, keeping track of key metrics and measuring our progress against pre-determined goals.
We believe that plans need to adapt to changing environments. As the context surrounding your business changes, key users change, or any business goals change, the plan is fine-tuned.
We believe that small-to-midsize businesses are underserved when it comes to developing and executing comprehensive marketing, communications, and social media strategies. So we started GMP to help these businesses establish a presence using these services that may have otherwise been unavailable to them due to the size of their staff. If you are looking to grow your businesses brand awareness or need assistance within our scope of work, do not hesitate to contact us!
If you feel like you’re constantly keeping up with your social media presence, here are some tips to stay ahead of the game.
Twitter allows you to create curated groups of Twitter users to organize your interests. Under your profile, click More à Lists à Create a New List. Name your list, set your privacy settings, and you’re done! You can always add users to your list later. Once you are on the user’s profile page, click the “gear” icon and select “add or remove from lists”. (more…)
You’ve just set up your company Facebook page – now, how do you drive traffic there? How do you build the number of people who “like” your page?
This one seems obvious – adding a profile and cover image to your new business page will likely be one of the first things you will do. But rather than adding any image, make sure it is relevant to your business. A common option for your square profile picture is your company logo. Since this image shows in people’s newsfeeds each time you post, it not only gives you a chance to show off your new logo, but it also reinforces your brand. For your cover image, a large image without too much detail works well in this space. Some companies will add text to these images to take advantage of this static space that is always visible when users visit your page – adding their Twitter handle, vanity URL to drive traffic for marketing campaigns, or bullets on their products and services. (more…)