By Jodie Cain Smith, Content Editor, Clemson Road Creative
As a child of the 80s, I knew exactly how to deal with peer pressure – just say, “No.” As an adult, the monkey on my back has legitimate reason to exist. Social media, that glorious marketing fix, is both communication antidote and time management disease.
Businesses are continually judged by their social media presence or lack thereof. Even worse, we can start to believe that our social media efforts are real marketing.
How do we combat social media peer pressure? How should we respond to the demand we maintain Facebook, Instagram, Storify, Tumbler, and Twitter accounts?
Just say, “No,” to social media peer pressure and say, “Yes,” to a social media plan.
Save yourself undue stress and wasteful effort by considering these four questions before entering the world of social media.
- What is the message?
If all the contributors on your team are not using the same map, someone is bound to get lost. Create your message according to a style guide used by all contributors. The style guide should represent your unique brand, tone, and word usage. Insist everyone use the same style guide.
Be sure to follow web writing guidelines to create scannable, concise content with meaningful headers, common language, and active voice.
Lastly, resist the urge to like, share, cut, and paste without true consideration. Your message must be your own, even when sharing others’ content; social media messages should be in line with your brand.
- Who is the desired audience and where are they hiding?
If your desired audience is not on Twitter, why are you? Instagram works wonders for the YouTube stars, but does an insurance broker need to post pictures of safe driving?
Before committing to a social media platform, consider who your target audience is, what content that audience seeks, and what social media your audience uses.
For the local mortgage broker, her time may be better spent on a blog posted to a blogging platform such as Medium or WordPress and shared via an email list of existing or prospective clients. Various sites such as Facebook and Linkedin allow you to socialize content within your network. A Facebook business page can substitute for the company website if your audience is primarily on that platform.
- What is the goal of the social media effort?
Diving into social media without specific, determined goals is akin to driving blind at night in a thunderstorm. With all the clickbait and noise clogging the digital highway, specific goals will help your message reach your potential audience.
Ask yourself what the point of all this effort is. Do you want new customers? Do you need to interact with current customers? Do you wish to be seen as an industry leader and resource? With every “Yes” a new element should be added to your social media plan. Also, consider how your potential audience would want you to answer these questions.
If your social media has become too time-consuming, consider compilation platforms like Hootsuite to duplicate your social messages across multiple platforms.
- Who will manage the social media effort?
Although last in this list, this question is critical. Without a dedicated resource to manage all social media, your account presence will suffer. A neglected or abandoned account will leave customers feeling confused or frustrated.
“Hey look,” says Potential Customer. “Company Lala is on Twitter … oh, wait … their last tweet was from two years ago. I wonder what happened. Are they still in business?” Confused and disappointed, Potential Customer moves on.
So, if social media will be part of your marketing and communication plan, make a true commitment of time and personnel resources. Be honest when considering your resources. Do you have the ability to dedicate time and personnel to social media or not? Design your social media plan with your answer in mind.
Scale as you’re able, not as social media peer pressure might influence you to.
Right-Fit Your Social Effort
Yes, in the past, we could just say “no,” but today’s mobile world requires a more thoughtful approach to peer pressure, at least the digital kind.
You never know where or how someone will look up your company. Keeping accurate, up-to-date social profiles is the equivalent of painting your business hours on the window.