Social Media. It Matters.
The average person will tell forty-two people about a great social media experience (1). Forty-two. And yet, only 36% of people report their problems being solved when they inquire via social media (2). Most marketing and sales specialists understand the power of a conversation. From the first time a customer encounters your brand -- maybe it's a billboard, an article in a magazine, or a post on Twitter -- your brand is beginning a conversation with that customer. So, where is the disconnect?
Conversations started on social media platforms are special. A billboard can't be tagged when a question is asked. Your magazine ad can only talk at the audience, it can't hear a comment and respond. On social, however, the very same voice that shares a product blog and totes the versatility of a great feature can start a conversation with a potential client. That voice can thank a loyal customer for their good review, post a coupon code to say sorry for a bad experience, and make new friends.
Things That Matter (Like Social Media) Need Strategy
If social media matters, then why don't we show it? More often than not, a young and inexperienced employee is in charge of an entire social media strategy. Let me clarify by saying that interns rock. And, young hires can be smart, resourceful, and in-touch with trends that help them give great advice. But, companies don't generally hand public relations, marketing, or customer service strategy to their most inexperienced team members. And neither should you. Leaving an entire social plan of action to those that are not invested in your brand will result in mistakes. Really public ones.
It's clear that social is a full-time job -- as it should be. So, what happens when the budget won't allow for a new hire? What happens when your entire team consists of one person?
At Story Collaborative, we strongly believe that there is no way to make time for strategy unless you're managing all of your social media from a single dashboard. Since posting is only half the job, there has to be time to listen and respond to customers. Otherwise, your efforts will be fruitless. There are some great free dashboards, like Hootsuite. But -- they will let you do little more than schedule posts. I could spend the rest of this blog talking about how incredible and affordable our Lamppost system is. But, I won't. I'll just mention it.
Many have written on the importance of content calendars. However, content calendars can't be written until content pillars are defined. A content pillar is based around the idea that tens or hundreds of small posts can be written -- that stretch across all social platforms -- from one single overarching product or topic. Check out this great example from KapostAcademy. It can be time-consuming to write these pillars. Don't stress! Give it a little time; before you know it you and/or your team will be thinking several weeks out.
1. American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer
2. NM Incite