I’m still very new to the social media game, but have made a few observations by reading other people’s articles and watching individual & groups like Starbucks & others. If you or your organization blog, use Twitter, Facebook or other social media, you better have a social media strategy! Regardless how long you’ve been engaged in social media, you can always learn and ask yourself or your organization basic questions to get better at what you do! These questions may or may not be new to you, but they are fairly fundamental to anyone using Twitter or other media in connection with their blog or organization:
1. What am I trying to accomplish with Twitter or other forms of social media? If you don’t know what this is, you will be unclear about your message. Spend some time figuring this out and you’ll have a much better chance of crafting your tweets and updates to bring clarity to what you produce. Do you have a cause? Do you want to educate people in a particular area? Do you want to drive people to your site? Do you want to build relationships? Do you want to simply express creativity? Become crystal clear with what it is you are trying to accomplish & then craft your communication around this objective.
2. Is my message simple & clear? After you’ve identified what you are trying to do, are you clear about it in your message? Is it clear to others? What are you asking people to do? Read your entry? Go to your blog? Ashton Kutcher’s recent partnership with malarianomore.org produced a very clear , twitterable message: “Every 30 seconds, a kid dies of malaria. Nets save lives” - and a clear call to action: $10 buys a net. The goal was to drive people to Malaria No More’s Web site to donate. The result: 90,000 nets donated for those at risk of malaria. The message was simple, “go to the website, save lives.”
3. Am I interacting to encourage personal involvement & buy in from others? How much do you engage others? Starbuck’s twitter page has consistent question & answer tweets to their loyal followers. Their social media team is highly involved through twitter in meeting the needs of latte drinkers, particularly in regards to their new “My Starbucks Rewards” program (read about their use of Facebook & Twitter this Christmas). What has blown me away is how in touch they are with their followers! Corporations around the world are rapidly following suit to try to meet people where they are (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and preserve and build their brand. Are you engaging others?
4. Is my content good? Are the articles or content you are posting about any good? Here is another corporate example: Nestle has also recently partnered up with Kutcher to put on a 16 week web-based video series to help sell Hot Pockets (entitled Katalyst HQ). Katalyst is Ashton’s swankified production company, whose recent parody of the media mogul’s firm has had over a million replays on Facebook, with each video reaching an average of 65 friends. They are certainly on to something. You may have seen the video on Facebook. Kutcher calls it influencer marketing. Why has it been successful? I believe one main reason: good content. (by good I mean, accomplishing it’s purpose of entertaining. Learning from someone doesn’t mean you agree with everything they do). So, how can you create a following with what you put out on the web? Create great content. For Kutcher, the answer is entertaining content. For you it could be teaching someone something, inspiring them to do something or helping to shape their personal values. It should be built around your answer to the first question above. Whatever you are trying to do, do it well and other people will find out about it. (Questions 2 and 4 are formed from info in a great article on Kutcher from Ellen McGirt: more info here). How good is your content?
What are you trying accomplish? Is your message clear? Do you develop interaction with others? Is your content engaging? I’m sure I missed a ton, what are some other tips you’ve picked up? What individuals or organizations do you learn from? What’s missing? Love to hear feedback!