I know what you are thinking!
It’s easy for startups or companies with sexy products to be visible on Social Media.
They have so much to say…
But my company deals with everyday technologies and processes. What possibly I can talk about on Social Media!
The answer is… A LOT!
You just need to look around.
There are plenty of so-called boring companies who are killing it out there on Social Media.
Blendtec is a famous example, who makes, you guessed it right, blenders!
According to George Wright, Marketing Director, Blendtec, the company had the problem of “Great products + Weak branding = Weak sales.”
To counter the issue of visibility they choose Social Media over traditional and came up with a video campaign called “Will it Blend.”
The series featured Tom Dickson trying to blend crazy things like iPhone, iPad, Pokemon, and even a skeleton!
The first few videos generated millions of views and Blendtec had to never look back again. Today they have produced hundreds of such videos which helped them to achieve 700% increase in sales.
Another great example is Maersk Line, a container shipping company. Doesn’t sound too exciting, right?
But one look at their Social Media pages and you’ll realize that they are doing a wonderful job.
I work for an IT Services company and with a 100K+ followers across Facebook and LinkedIn we are not doing too bad either 🙂
The best part is that these companies have achieved success with activities you can do with a limited budget, in-house.
In this post I will try to break it down how you can also establish your brand on Social Media with limited budget and resources.
So, let’s get started.
Step 1: Decide why you want to be on Social Media
Start with asking what do you want to get out from your Social Media initiative.
The trick is to match your goals with your initiatives.
Let’s look at some common goals.
Awareness: You want more people to know about your company. In that case that you have to focus on a strategy that creates a brand recall. Your measure here will be the number of views, likes, and shares.
Employer Branding: You want to convince job seekers to join your company. In that case, you need to work on a strategy that highlights the uniqueness of your company, its culture, the benefit it provides and so on. Your measure here will be the number of applications you receive for open positions.
Thought Leadership: You want to be perceived as the leader in your industry. In that case, you need to focus on creating content that delivers in-depth value. Your measure here will be the number of downloads of your white papers, number of attendees in your webinars/events and so on.
Sales: This is probably the easiest to track. You need to focus on a strategy that minimizes your Cost per Acquisition (CPA). You start with defining the Life Time Value (LTV) of your customers and figure out a way to keep your CPA lower than the LTV.
Step 2: Deciding what to talk about
Once you are clear on your goal, articulate what your brand wants to convey. It will help you in formulating a solid content strategy.
Look at your website, Intranet, internal communications, wall art, posters, publications, brochures, product manuals, executive speeches etc. and identify what are the recurring themes.
Come up with a simple table like this after this exercise. In this example, we are trying to build employer branding. You can do the same exercise to generate topics for your campaign.
|About Your Company||About Your Company
About Your Business Lines
Life at your Company
Jobs & Career Opportunities
|Posts related heritage, value, culture, and facts.
Posts featuring business verticals, technology, expertise and achievement
Posts showcasing what employees think about your company, work environment, and facilities
|CSR||CSR activities||Posts related to your CSR activities and its impact.|
|Employee Generated||Content generated by employees related to their passion||Photographs, literary works like poems, artwork like paintings by employees|
|Event Updates||Internal event coverage
External event coverage
|Posts highlighting key internal events/external events|
Step 3: Deciding how to talk about your company
Once you are clear about what you want to convey, the next step is to figure out how to convey it.
You have already identified the topics you want to talk about in the previous step.
Now your job is to translate these topics into conversational elements.
You will need to further customize these conversational elements as per the Social Networks you select.
These pieces can be in the form of links, posts, videos, presentations, images, just about anything.
Make your content visual.
Researchers at Xerox found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
So, if you want traction you must make your content visual.
Today, you don’t even need a full-time designer to create visual content. With some imagination and do it yourself design tools like Canva, you can easily create world-class visual content on your own.
You can read some of my earlier posts to know how to create visual content without any help from a designer:
Don’t feel pressurized to be on every Social Media channel.
It’s alright to start with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are “super platforms.” These platforms alone will give you a pretty good idea about your audience and what they like.
Once you get a hang of your audience, feel free to venture into more niche networks.
Like everything else in life, Social Media marketing needs consistency. A lot of companies start with a flurry of posts and then become silent. That doesn’t work.
You need to be consistent and patient. Share some interesting content every day, add value and after some time you will notice that you are getting traction.
Step 3: Setup Governance Model
A lot of times Social Media efforts fail for the lack of an execution model.
In this stage, you need to answer the following questions
- Who champions your social media initiatives?
- Who’s responsible for overseeing day-to-day operation?
- Who will write content?
- Who’ll design the posts?
- What is the review process?
- Who’ll approve?
- What is your posting frequency?
- How will you react to positive comments?
- How will you react to negative comments?
At the end of this exercise, come up with a SIMPLE process flow like the one below.
Step 4: HAVE FUN
Social Media is supposed to be fun.
Initially, when I started handling Social, I used to write in an official sounding language while answering to comments. A user whacked me saying that I sound like a robot.
That made me realize that I was acting like a robot! And a lot of companies still do.
Be authentic, accurate, and polite but not a robot.
Talk like humans do and your followers will also treat you like one.
Hope you found this post to be useful.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Connect me on Twitter to take this conversation forward.