Social media is becoming an increasingly important element of any PR and marketing strategy. We’re delighted that PR consultant Nicky Rudd of Padua Communications has agreed to write about how to develop a social media strategy.
Let me ask you a few questions. When did you get into social media? Do you like using it? How often do you use it? Do your social updates fit in with your marketing strategy?
It dawned on me last week that people who like social media and in particular Twitter are the people who, when they go to parties like helping themselves to wine and talking to anyone and everyone. For others, this is sheer pain. Can you guess which group I belong to?
Being active on social media is a little like this. For some people talking or communicating about their brand or company is easy. For others, there is more of a struggle to recognise what their key messages are and who their target audience is. The good news is that Padua Communications can help with this.
It’s true that it is currently difficult to measure the ROI of a social media strategy. I get regular comments from business owners who say things like, “what a waste of time social media is” and “who cares who’s just had coffee?”
Having said that, 76 per cent of b2b marketers said that even with the difficulty of measuring the success, they will be boosting social media in the next 12 months. Social media is here to stay and ignore it at your peril!
When we work with customers at Padua Communications, we have a back to basics approach. The first thing we recommend you do is profile your target audience. Social media is useful for a whole host of reasons, SEO at least being one of them. However, if your target audience is not using Twitter, focus your marketing efforts on where they are and more importantly make the content you put out there relevant to them.
Twitter in particular is great for giving an open window into your business. What’s it like? Who are the people that work there? What would customers like in new products? These sorts of conversations can help give your brand more personality, and this is what users like. If they feel they know a company, they can build a relationship with it and ultimately trust it.
So what makes great content? I try to get my clients to think of the emotional response that their content will inspire. Will it infuriate, question, raise issues, make them laugh or cry? Content that triggers an emotional response is usually the best, but it’s also important to position yourself as an expert in your field. After all, you are the expert on your business. So, take the plunge, create a conversation and show what you know.
Padua Communications runs regular social media and content calendar workshops, which aim to transform social media from a chore into an easy chatty conversation at a party. During them, delegates work in small groups to explore the importance of social media for their brand and create a calender of updates and tweets.