The link-bait title is only half tongue-in-cheek.
Last night I attended a great little seminar on improving business-to-business social media use run by Bath and Bristol Marketing Network [I cheated a little – it’s a network for “marketing professionals” rather than “marketing amateurs”]. The speakers were Noisy Little Monkey – a digital marketing agency [who I now respect even more knowing they have an office in Shepton Mallet].
The main points that filtered through my fatigued post-5.30pm brain were:
- Identify your audience.
- Use images/graphics as well as text.
- Plan, test, measure, evaluate, repeat.
- Social media is not about conversion
- Identify the Twitter geeks who are going to push your content.
- Use editorial and event calendars to generate a content plan for a year.
Here’s some more detail:
Identify your audience
- Even better, categorise it.
- Identify 5-10 groups and write a half-page “persona” for each group.
- E.g. Michael Smith – manager of a software company – 45 – lives in Hereford with 2 kids.
- Bear these “personas” in mind when writing content.
Use images/graphics as well as text
- As above.
- Use http://search.creativecommons.org/
Plan, test, measure, evaluate, repeat
- The tools are there – e.g. X Analytics, Twitter analysis tools like FollowerWonk etc. – build evidence and base strategy on it.
- Prepare a monthly report that gives traffic/demographic/content statistics.
- Systematically experiment with variations on format and content and use the above statistics to evaluate. E.g. What topics pique interest? Do images actually make a difference to engagement and sharing?
Social media is not about conversion
- Sales come from phone calls, website visits, face-to-face encounters. Social media is the noise that pushes people into the sales funnel. It does work.
- That said the pressure on pushy sales is removed.
- Educating and entertaining become more important.
Identify the Twitter geeks who are going to push your content
- As in most things, only 1-5% of a group actually drives conversations.
- For example, on Twitter there are key individuals that are followed by many – if you were looking to get exposure work out what they like and what makes them tick. Find out what their interests are to aim content at them for retweets, comments and blog conversations.
- You can identify individuals using tools – you can sort by individuals who have a large number of followers in areas you operate in who are likely to retweet URLs.
Use editorial and event calendars to generate a content plan for a year
- You might know when IP events are going to be held. You might know when technology events are to be held. You can plan your content (e.g. blog posts) around these.
- Also you can find out magazine and newspaper editorial calendars (just google “magazine name” + “editorial calendar”) – you can have a yearly plan of when articles are published and fit blog articles into this.