Let’s start with social media.
Facebook Isn’t Dead. Contrary to what many people may be saying about how Facebook is dying, it is still a great tool for the right audience. It is still has the largest social media audience and why would you turn your back on that? Figure out who you are trying to reach and see if they are present on the platform and Facebook away. Teachers are a great example of who still have a large audience on Facebook.
To Tweet or Not to Tweet? There really is NO question. You may notice that from a personal perspective I am not very active on Twitter. Primarily because I have spent most of my career writing and posting tweets for the companies I work for, but I have been selling myself short. Not only is it a good idea to be on Twitter, it is imperative to my career and to my company. Twitter is the KING (or Queen) PR channel! 140 characters can open a whole world. So, there really is NO question, just do it and here’s how.
Leverage Twitter Chats. So you’re on Twitter, now what? Join a Twitter Chat. Twitter Chats are a great place to start learning who is who, what are people talking about, and how they like to be spoken to. Once you are comfortable with how a Twitter Chat is run, start your own.
Instagram? Only if you have something to show. Don’t just have a social media account for the sake of having one. To really make it worth it, you have to be active, consistently active. Instagram is a great example of this. Instagram is GREAT, fabulous even, if you have images to share that are relevant to your brand. So many people fall into the trap of starting an account on the “hot” new social platform without the content or audience to back it up. Review the platform and find out if it is really worth your time, if not stop and revisit it again in six months.
Content is No Longer King. The king has been dethroned and been replaced by images and video. Our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text so it is not surprising that platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Vine have exploded. We have even seen the Facebook newsfeed taken over by images and video. A picture is worth a thousand words and in the world of social media, much, much more.
And now, strategic communications.
Integrated, integrated, integrated. The other day I was driving down the road and was listening to an advertisement on the radio and as I heard the final tag line, I looked up and saw a billboard for the same company with the same tag line and later on Twitter. Why is this important? Because I remember this product. I am not even in the market for this product, but here I am talking about it; remembering it. When creating a marketing communications campaign, it is crucial to ensure all channels are saying the same thing. Marketing pioneer Dr. Jeffrey Lant says it takes 7 touches for someone to make the decision to act on a message, don’t spend time and money on multiple messages, when one great message can do all you need.
Transparency Will Make or Break you. We are in a 24/7 news-cycle and with a large percentage of the world using some sort of social media, being truthful and open has never been more important. Ever notice a company on the nightly news when they admit fault immediately? Rarely. Be honest immediately and any crisis can be managed.
Blog about it. Gone are the days that we require media outlets to tell our story. Brand journalism has taken on a new form and it isn’t content marketing, nor is it sponsored content. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It is meaningful, quality storytelling. Own your brand and tell the story you want to tell on your website through a blog. Share your blog on social media and watch your brand, followers, and/or customers grow.
Mobile and More. 60% off all internet traffic is mobile and is rapidly increasing. Smart phones and tablets have revolutionized how content is accessed and consumed. So, if you do not have a mobile site, you need one. If your mobile site doesn’t have a lot of traffic, you’re not doing it right. If you are finalizing your plans for 2015 budgeting, include dollars for mobile, it will make a STRONG impact.
Personalization – Not Just a Teaching Model. Consumers increasingly demand a more personalized experience both online and in person. The millennial generation is a fast-moving group who embrace change and as they take-hold as the target sales market, we must be more flexible in our outreach efforts. Reach them on their level, how they want to be and when they want to be reached. Provide a true experience, even in your storytelling. Connect with them with your messages and they will come.