Using social media successfully remains challenging (especially if one grew up in the long ago pre-social media world…can you imagine such a time?) and is probably one of the most discussed topics among our clients. It brings to mind the old tale of the group of blindfolded individuals who are asked to describe an elephant based on the part of the animal they touch; a leg, a tusk, an ear, etc. They do so, each answering very differently, but each partially correct in their own way. Similarly, depending on to whom one is speaking, there are a wide range of perceptions and opinions regarding social media, its purpose and how it can and/or should be used. So, what can your organization do to be more effective in using social media? Some general guidelines:
Understand your market segment(s) – Figure out who your market(s) are and target appropriately. Is it retail, high-net-worth, institutional? Each of these segments have very different expectations from social media that may require multiple presences. For example, many organizations have both a corporate/institutional and a wealth management LinkedIn page.
Decide what you are trying to accomplish – Are you trying to recruit, build awareness of your involvement in the community, “advertise” products or special offers? These are all very different objectives targeted to different audiences; trying to jam them all together in one social media site can be confusing and distracting to the follower.
Keep it going – There is nothing sadder than a social media presence where the last post is months ago or posts are few and far between in terms of timing. A concerted effort to get out proprietary posts as well as reposting other relevant information reinforces a perception of your organization as “in-the-know” and up to the minute.
Track it – Most social media platforms can give you valuable analytics; use it to refine and target your efforts. That’s the beauty of social media – there’s always another chance to reach out!