How to get started with Social Media

I’ve featured the work of Jeff Bullas lots of times, and once again he has come up with a fantastic post for anyone on the outside considering getting ‘into’ Social Media.

Jeff often goes into explicit detail and this post is no different, even containing a slideshare presentation detailing furrther thoughts on the topic. (You can read what I have had to say about slideshare here.)

But the main strength of the article is the strategic insight on offer combined with the tactical nous Jeff provides. His work is of the finest quality and he is one blogger, if you are interested in social media, you should be studying.

The article has loads in it as I mentioned, and you should get over to Jeff’s blog to check it out, but in the mean time here is a flavour of what he had to say.

The Challenges

Jeff kicks off by giving us a view into the problems facing organisations when considering implementing social media. This includes the overwhelming volume of information created on a daily basis. Jeff trots out one of my favourite stats, attributed to Google CEO Eric Schmidt who says that we produce more content every two days than was created in the entire time between the dawn of civilization and 2003 – or words to that effect!

Why use Social Media Marketing

Here Jeff lists some real punchy arguments for including social media into your marketing mix:

  • It  accelerates the speed of your brand message and story. Tweets can be sent in a second while publishing a brochure takes weeks.
  • It is networking on steroids (It takes you beyond the Dunbar limitation of 150 connections on a global scale and empowers weak ties)
  • It makes self publishing easy and intuitive
  • It enlists the power of “World of Mouth”
  • It facilitates trust

Core Social Media Marketing Principles

Another bullet point manifesto, and another square hit:

  • Create “Liquid” (Content that flows and is easily shared) and “Linked” (content that is linked to your core brand values) content
  • Publish to multiple social networks with your core content residing on your website and blog.
  • Create compelling “Multi-Media Content (not everyone wants to read a 400 word article but would view that same content on YouTube or Slideshare)
  • Embrace visual communication marketing with images and videos published on Facebook, Google+. Pinterest or Instagram
  • Make it easy to share with sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+

Some tips and tactics for social media marketing

Jeff suggests a two fold approach. First create a social media strategy that defines your target market and and state your goals. Secondly, implement tactics on multiple platforms in line with that strategy. Sounds simple, but this is not simplistic advice.

  1. Blog – Create a home base for your content that you own
  2. Facebook – include visual content when publishing to your timeline and use it to build engagement with your fans
  3. Twitter – Learn the art of the headline as you only have 140 characters to tweet (including the link)
  4. YouTube – Create short videos (2 minutes was the norm but Old Spice videos moved the gateposts and 15-25 seconds is much more common
  5. LinkedIn – Embrace the power of “Groups” on LinkedIn to position you as an expert and thought leader
  6. Slideshare – Make your PowerPoints a visual marketing medium that people will download share and embed
  7. Pinterest – Create boards that suit your business product categories and have some visual sharing fun
  8. Instagram – Make it personal and humanize your brand as social media is about being human

And one more tip from the tactical perspective: Keep giving away free content till it hurts!

And finally…

Jeff advocates patience. And in my experience this is one of the under rated skills all marketers need to have. There is no good to be found in adopting as new plan like this, then throwing the whole thing out in a few months if you aren’t seeing the results you’d like. If the strategy is sound, and the principles well researched its going to work. It will however  take time.

The last word goes to Jeff. If you want to read his brilliant book ‘Blogging the Smart Way: How to create and market a killer blog with social media’ click here. If its anything like as good as his blogs, it will be well worth it.(Disclosure – I have no affiliation with Jeff Bullas nor am I receiving any payment for this article)

I know this stuff in particular is Jeff Bullas work, but let me know what you think? I look forward to hearing from you.

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