A blog post by Lauren Schoener-Gaynor | Associate MarCom Manager | AH RedChair
Today’s world is one giant social network. People around the world are using social media to connect with one another more than they are doing it in a face-to-face setting. You are probably more inclined to peruse your social networks when you’re waiting for a train or standing in line.
Social Media is how people are getting world and local news updates and keeping in touch with their favorite organizations or celebrities. It is a large part of our world and if you’re not part of it, you’re missing out on huge opportunities to reach your audience. This study from Nielsen shows that in the US, the UK and Japan, social networks take up the biggest percentage of mobile phone use among people surveyed. Times have changed and organizations both big and small need to be engaged with their audience through social media.
In the past, consumers would ask organizations for a website or email address to get in touch with them – now, the question is “Are you on Facebook?” or “What’s your Twitter handle?” At AH, the MarCom team helps its client-partners to not only create social media outlets to engage with their members and supporters, but we also assist in maintaining their networks on a regular basis.
Here are five tips for beginning the process of getting your organization into the social realm:
1. Decide where you’re going.
Determine which social media outlets your organization or association will participate in and if you have the ability to maintain them. The most highly recommended networks are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Depending on what type of organization you are, your audience may be more inclined to use one network over the other. Doing your research is key to finding out what fits best. Other social networks you can explore are Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube. These are all niche networks meaning they deliver your message through either images, or videos rather than text like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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2. Consistency is Key.
Using a consistent look across all of your social platforms helps deliver your brand to your audience in a consistent way. Using your organization logo, color scheme and fonts (where available) will drive home your brand, making you recognizable to someone whether they are on your website, your Facebook page or your Twitter page. Using the AH brand as an example, each of our social networks aligns with the same look and feel as our website, making it recognizable to visitors.
3. Be a regular.
Updating your status on a regular basis is a must. You don’t have to check your accounts all day but you should be active on each one of your social networks a few times throughout the week. Using scheduling platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer make it easy to schedule messages to be posted throughout the day, week and even month. Just remember that while scheduling is great, making sure your messages are relevant is also key. If you scheduled something to go out on Wednesday about an event from Monday, it may not be relevant and your post will seem out of place. Scheduled messages should be accompanied by “real time posts” so you should be throwing in some manual posts about current events or including responses to any comments you get. People like to interact with people through social networks and giving your networks a voice helps to humanize your brand.
You have to engage to develop relevancy and to obtain more followers. Share, retweet, favorite and like posts – showing your presence on your outlets as well as others’ is an important part of being successful on social media. The more you engage with others, the more relevant you become – people will start to remember you and remember what kinds of posts you’re sharing and liking. They will associate you with your expertise based solely on your social engagement. This will (hopefully) ultimately lead to more followers and friends for you as people start to think of you as a trusted source.
5. Think Outside the Box.
Posts should of course promote the messages, events and information of your organization. However, take the time to spot and think about your consumer and what they want to see.
Learn more about optimizing your social through the resources in this article.
Is there something in the news that you can tie your messages to? Did you find a fun image or meme to post that you think aligns with your consumer? Post it! Being timely and relevant is a huge part of being successful on social media. If you are an organization that markets to the automotive industry, some NASCAR facts might be fun for a Saturday post! Always be open to new ideas and different ways of promoting your brand.
This blog post is part of “Your Definitive Guide to Lead Generation” blog series.
About the Author: Lauren Schoener-Gaynor is an Associate MarCom Manager at AH. Her specialties include media relations, social media, event planning, communications, brand development and creating and implementing programs to increase awareness of client partner initiatives.
Lauren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Rowan University. She is an avid cook, dancer and horseback rider. She is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Giants. Lauren lives in Cherry Hill, NJ with her husband, Martin, her daughter Mia Anne and her Border Collie-Golden Retriever mix, Sully.