Most people understand the value of social media but, many simply fail to execute it successfully.
I get it, it’s hard.
It takes lots of time to be active on social media and it requires some skills and talents that not everyone has.
When it comes to skills needed to be effective on social media, should work to develop these ones, if your social media is going to have any role in helping you grow your business.
Let’s dive in.
1. Ongoing Strategy & Planning
Marketing today must be agile.
A big shift is happening in marketing away from big bang campaigns to lots of short targeted campaigns designed for specific audiences with specific measurable goals.
Check out David Armano‘s diagram below and you will get an idea of how things have changed in the marketing project world.
Things change fast and in today’s fast paced world, you need a new strategy now, not in 3 months.
An understanding of the big picture, goals and objectives is important but must still remain fluid to changing markets and consumer reactions and engagement.
An understanding of how search, content and social media all works together is also very important. Nothing works in a vacuum as marketing campaigns are becoming more integrated across many channels. You will need to outline your goals, define your target audience and know what platforms will help you scale your efforts and get your message out to the right audience.
Social media marketing is more complicated than most people realize and it requires the right tools to do “social at scale” and automate certain tasks.
2. Ongoing Tactics & Execution
The tactical execution is everything to the success of any social media strategy. Social media can be a 24/7 job depending on your business an target audience. Consumers are online all day and all night and expect a prompt response. This means you need to have a good attention to detail and be highly organized and use the right tools to help you.
This again is where the use of task management and automation tools can help significantly.
3. Proactive Community Management
Social media can be boiled down to creating, observing and responding to conversations within your brand community. This includes, monitoring tweets, likes & comments, responding to Facebook posts and engaging with brand advocates, customers and prospects. It even means knowing how to best respond to negative feedback and angry customers.
It comes down to part PR and general commonsense with a dash of wit and humor sometimes.
4. Understanding how content works on a social web
Social media delivers and amplifies content, both from the business and its audience. You need to know what content works and what doesn’t for the target audience on various social networks. It also means understanding which different media formats such as text (articles), video, images and webinars resonate with your buyer personas.
You need to know how to make content get shared, liked and maybe even go viral across Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram and the other social networks.
5. Content & technology optimization
Social media is an entire ecosystem of content, mobile and search that needs to all work together in harmony.
Guiding customers through your sales funnel from discovery and engagement, through conversion to sales requires some particular skill sets. You need to understand the essentials for optimizing content for SEO, so search engines rank your content high for the keywords and phrases important to your business.
You also need to know how to convert the traffic that lands on your landing pages into leads or customers.
Marketing has changed a lot but at it’s core still requires an enormous amount of creativity.
You need to understand your audience and create fun, informative and entertaining content that will reasonate with them and engage them. With the flood of content on the internet, this is an ever increasingly difficult task.
Never underestimate the importance of creative visual content in your marketing. Be willing to experiment and test out ideas and formats in an agile, adaptive way. There are so many content types today from video to text to meme and photography.
You should take advantage of them where and when it makes sense for your audience.
7. Writing & Communicating skills
Messaging is so important when it comes to social media. This includes the art and science of headline writing, engaging introductions and structuring your text in a voice and tone that is easy for your audience to consume and understand.
People skim and scan content, so headings, subtitles, block quotes, bullet points and numbering should be used properly to keep your audiences attention.
8. Staying up-to-date on latest digital marketing trends
Social media is not a silo.
The social web is made up of intersecting trends as it evolves and adapts. These mean understanding things like the rise and role of mobile, the emergence of “pay to play” with Facebook reducing it’s organic reach and the rise of visual marketing as Instagram, Vine, Periscope, Snapchat and other new channels.
9. Analytical skills
When social media first started, there were no tools to measure the impact of your campaigns and marketing initiatives.
You saw what worked by monitoring each of the streams, posts and pages. It was hard to piece it all together and know what was working and what wasn’t
Today, you can measure what works and what doesn’t in real time and can track a customer from their first tweet click to completing a sale and every interaction in between.
I know that it takes lots of time to be active on social media and it requires some skills and talents you may not have.
Don’t worry, you can and will learn as you go and you will get better over time.