I was fortunate to hear @prsarahevans speak at Search Exchange Charlotte (#SearchEx) last week about elements of a successful social media strategy. She started by saying that she had made a commitment to herself to not share others’ case studies but to prove through her own client work that there is an ROI in social media. I appreciate that approach, as Dell, Zappos, and other large brands seem to be irrelevant examples for most small business or B2B marketers. I am sure you can find her case studies on her blog, but I am just going to highlight my notes from her Eight Elements of a Successful Social Media Strategy.
Here we go:
1. Find an opportunity to showcase what you do best.
We often take our core strengths for granted. Find that one thing that you do well, that others may struggle with, and share topics and tips regularly.
2. Intercept a conversation and offer an opportunity for people to connect.
With so many conversations occurring in so many communities online, it is not hard to find one where you can offer great insights and extend the networks of all of those in the discussion. Invite your connections into a new community for conversation, and they will most likely do the same.
3. Meet a need in an innovative way.
@PRSarahEvans has a great example of this with her weekly live chat on Twitter called #journchat. Every Monday night, 200-300 PR and Journalism professionals come together to chat about topics and trends. It was a spontaneous event that fit a natural need and has far exceeded the six-month shelf life that she expected. A few tips for a similar success:
a. Be spontaneous, when appropriate. Afterall, perfect is the enemy of better.
b. Ask permission to be a moderator
c. You may want to host on a different platform than twitter
d. Add question numbers and set ground rules for each discussion
e. Save all sale pitches until the end and give 5 minutes for those that want to sell
f. Voluntary moderators will quickly weed out those that do not stick to the plan
4. Provide quality content.
a. Audio, video, presentations, blogs that all showcase #1.
b. Guest posting provides opportunities to partner with other content creators to share exclusive content for your network and theirs.
5. Stand out online.
Partner with other content creators to provide and share exclusive content for your network and theirs.
6. Share, acknowledge, and give.
a. Tips, tricks, and tools.
b. Trade secrets? Throw them out the window and share.
c. Re-tweet, like, comment, post, engage.
7. Think like those you are trying to reach.
a. What should we tell them online? Why don’t you ask them first?
Surveys and polls provide quick and easy feedback. Check out http://www.kissinsights.com.
b. Your content should be portable, personalized, participatory. Mobile is mandatory.
8. Get sourced. A lot.
a. Sign up for http://www.helpareporter.com.
b. Follow journalists on twitter.
c. Identify story opportunities where you are the best source and pitch them.
d. Scan national headlines and find a away to make it a localized topic.
e. Focus on traditional media, bloggers, and online influencers as different audiences.
f. Bonus: use http://www.pitchengine.com for your press releases.
8.5 Add your best insights here, let me know what tips you have!