iGB Affiliate 55 Feb/Mar - Page 74

INSIGHT THE ULTIMATE CHEAT SHEET FOR SOCIAL Both targeted and affordable, social media is a channel you need in your marketing mix. Christina Richardson, co-founder and CMO at social-sharing tool Openr, asked their top users for their prime tips on getting going and driving results on social, compiling these into her ultimate cheat sheet. SOCIAL MEDIA CONTINUES to be the poster child for big brands and small alike, and understandably so. Social can be utilised irrespective of small budgets by organically growing audiences to increase awareness; whilst bigger brands see it as a route to deeper engagement. Plus, consumers are increasingly turning to social to run searches, which puts further pressure to be present in this space. However, it can be a massive time commitment which makes many scrutinise the return on investment. The desire is for social to drive tangible action, but fill newsfeeds with endless promotional posts and audiences instantly turn off, or worse - unfollow. So where is the middle ground that engages fans but still drives results? To commit to this extensive channel it’s inevitable you want to get off the starting blocks and driving results fast. Fortunately, we know a few people that know something about that - so I asked our top Openr users for their top tips to get going and get results on social, and compiled it into the Ultimate Cheat Sheet for getting results on social. 1. Be selective (and be proud) Don’t jump on the bandwagon of every social network - you’ll blow every hour in your week and soon find the majority don’t work for you. Your single most important cheat is to pick the right place(s) to focus your valuable time and energy. Then set out to do these really well by learning from others. Select your most-suited social network based on your target customers - quite simply you want to invest your time where you can reach the most of them. Consider their needs and wants when they’re on that network and select where they are both most prevalent, and most receptive 68 iGB Affiliate Issue 55 FEB/MAR 2016 to interaction. Start by researching what others in your sector use, and the customer demographics of each network to find your match. 2. Get the basics bang on Your social profile is a measure of your professionalism and impacts your reputation as much as your website. Furthermore, it’s worthless investing in paid-social to boost reach later, if your profile doesn’t look credible. So lay the foundations early and set up your profiles well. Add a professional profile image; a page header image that reflects your offering; and include an introduction that would attract your target audience to follow or like you. Be authentic and interesting and include keywords that are most relevant to your profession to enable others to find you via search. 3. Don’t be tempted by the shortcuts No buying followers please. It will only come back and bite you when they all disappear overnight because the social network did a purge of fake accounts. Just accept that a little bit of time needs to be taken to build your chosen networks organically, then you can utilise this free audience you’ve just earned in the future. Once you’ve set up your chosen networks, start a steady flow of following or liking each day to trigger others to follow you back. A good place to start is to find influencers in your industry, and your key competitors, and find and follow their followers. 4. Interact & reward interaction Social is... inherently social. It’s not about you - it’s only about your followers - but this works in your favour. Liking and retweeting others; replying to questions; and including others in your posts when you share their content, are three quick cheats that take 10 seconds or less (especially if you connect your mobile). This simple level of interaction encourages more followers, and increases your reach by placing you in their feeds too. Don’t endorse everything though, do it when you mean it to maintain authenticity. 5. Plan it out Like any other marketing channel the best results come to those who plan, and in fact mapping out a simple plan is key to keeping your social media management time to the right level for you. Create a simple spreadsheet showing the frequency and timing of your posts per week per channel. A quick bit of research will tell you the optimum amount for your chosen channel as well as the ideal timings for your target. Then overlay any key events, campaigns or promotions you Figure 1: When to share content by channel