You’re the One that I Want

With the introduction of Vine in January, business owners and managers have all the more reason to ask, “What do I want out of my business’ online relationships?” Take Valentine’s Day as a reminder to think about what social media outlets and features are the best matches for your business.

Admiralspalast Berlin / Foter / CC BY-ND

Here are five points to follow to keep successful relationships with your customers or clients on social media:

1. Social is Seductive, so be Selective

Social media can be seductive with the amount of platforms out there, and all of the various tactics one can use to reach a customer – from hashtags to video. We only see this increasing in 2013 and beyond. But, this means businesses – both B2C and B2B – need to be more and more selective about what social networks and services they include in their social media strategy.

Businesses should also focus their social strategy because users will more often pick and choose which social networks they want to pay to join. As seen with YouTube, social media will continue to be monetized. Developing the verbal and visual content that make the relationship between a business and its followers work takes time – and money. So, choose your accounts carefully.

2. Find your Social Media Sweetheart

Just like magazines and newspapers have varied demographics for readership, so do social media channels. In the crowd of companies and organizations online, you have to choose the best ways to reach your audience.

Plus, businesses don’t want just any number of followers – they want the right ones. Social media is just another powerful tool to engage the important customers and decision makers that affect your business. Don’t waste your time on Facebook if all of your potential fans have moved their attention to Twitter. To find where you want to attract followers, and what to expect from some social media outlets throughout the year, here are a few insights. Forbes shares specific stats for B2B businesses.

3. Ask, What are you Willing to Share?

In 2013, consider sharing content that is visual. More than ever, online users don’t just appreciate visual content, they expect it. Social media speaker and author Mari Smith called 2013 the “year of the video.” Before the New Year even began, we also saw social media becoming increasingly visual.

Now you have a surplus of options for visual content strategies – from quarterly infographics to a monthly Google+ Hangout video series or weekly original photos. If Vine is any indication, developers will continue to expand the multimedia possibilities that businesses can take advantage of online.

4. Fine Dining is Better than Fast Food

Image aside, be sure that any content you produce is original with substance. Consistently allotting time to develop quality content on one or two social outlets can pay off more than publishing watered-down content over eight platforms.

As Social Media Strategist Jason Miller writes, “The cookie-cutter SEO driven, keyword stuffed, generic regurgitated content is becoming a sort of white noise that blocks all of the real quality stuff from surfacing.” Remember to also give time for accuracy, grammar and punctuation (“If Your Writing Sucks, So Will Your Content”).

5. Be a Matchmaker

When pursuing your social media outlets, always integrate them with one another to ensure you’ve hit all of your target audiences. And, keep in mind how your social media sites will appear on all forms of mobile devices, as this is where your readers will live, more and more. According to the Nielson State of the Media report, consumers’ time spent with social media on mobile devices increased 63 percent in 2012.

The Social Media Examiner predicts that a new social media platform that “no one saw coming” will surface in 2013 (#16 on this list). If this does transpire, just consider if the social media site will marry well with your business plan before you start yet another online relationship.

Photo credit: Admiralspalast Berlin / Foter / CC BY-ND

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6 thoughts on “You’re the One that I Want

  1. Great post, I like how you compared dating to social media.
    My favourite tips are #3 and 4 because I think that quality content is important, especially when *everyone* is using social media. This makes it important for brands to put a lot of thought into the content that they produce and make sure that, as you said, it’s not watered down.

    • Thank you Kamilla. I agree, putting thought into content is key for brands. Let us know if you have any points you would add to the list!

  2. This is a great post, really thorough. I can relate to many of the things you mention here. I agree that companies should not try to have an established presence on too many social sites. At a certain point, it becomes counterproductive. Nonetheless, when done properly, companies can still have their strategic content distributed on sites in which they do not participate. This is where the value of brand ambassadors and influencer relations (not to mention quality content) play a key part in helping to amplify your message.

    I would also say that while some social sites have certain demographics, at this point I think it is more about understanding the culture of the platforms rather than solely the demographics. There is a wide enough range of demographics on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook that most industries can find an interested audience on each. So yes, we should start by identifying the demographics we want to reach on each site, segment them, and then focus on engaging that demographic. The culture of the demographic on each site will tell you what type of content resonates best – video, whitepaper, visuals etc. and what is shared, liked, and spread with most frequency by your demographic on each social platform. With this information you can repurpose and re-imagine your content in a way that is most effective at engaging the users of that platform.

    Finally, I totally agree, 2013 is the year of visual. I wrote a detailed blog post about how this influences content strategy for brands and how to best adapt to it. What used to be communicated in a white paper can now be communicated in an infographic for example. Readers want bite-sized pieces of information that is powerful enough to leave an impression in the short time that they are paying you with their attention.

    I enjoyed this post and found myself nodding my head constantly as I read through it.

    Cheers,

    Kwan

    • Hi Kwan,

      Thanks so much for your reply. We appreciate all your thoughts.

      I think you bring up a great key word, “counterproductive.” Too many social media sites can affect the audience a company is trying to reach, as well as waste their time and money in managing the networks.

      And you raise the important point of understanding the culture of the platforms. This is very true.

      I also read your blog on how visual trends influences the ways brand must strategize for 2013, and enjoyed this line: “We’ll begin to see existing assets re-purposed visually and new content created specifically with a visual component in mind.”

      Like you said, what could be written in a white paper can be condensed in an infographic.

      Thanks for taking the time to respond.

      Best,

      Jeannette

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