I guess it is that time of the year when we look back at our objectives for the year and see if we have met them. We also start planning ahead and set resolutions for the new year to come.
Instead of a personal reflection, I want to share the social strategy that worked for 2016 and what, if any, can be done differently in 2017.
2016 Social hall of fame
Quality #Content : No surprise here to start with the importance of content. In a previous post [B2B Social Pain Points] I have elaborated on how difficult it is to get such content and the resources that are not always there to produce it especially for B2Bs. But once it is available; the magic word is RE-PURPOSE. As in post and re-post on social in various formats. Add imagery, highlight various sections in multiple social engagements. Leave out for few months and come back to it and share across on multiple channels.
Follow Clients/Customers: With the vast number of social platforms out there; we need to identify where the clients and customers are and focus on those channels. Many say #LinkedIn is the B2B channel of choice, and yes; that is true – see this recent report from LinkedIn. But that does not mean we simply ignore clients who publish photos on #Instagram of training workshop they have taken with our training staff, or we do not reply to direct #tweets from prospects on #Twitter. The magic word here is BALANCE. If your organisation has internal resources to create content per channel, and that is important; the same content might not fit all social channels. Then by all means, work on multiple platforms and distribute posts accordingly. However, the reality is, most companies do not have the resources or the budget to out-source the work to agencies and need to be strategic on how to invest their efforts. I would also recommend a revision of the channels within few months to see if potential clients and customers are emerging at other platforms.
Frequency / Recency: The saying goes “Out of sight is out of mind“. Having said that, we do not want to just post for the sake of it. The magic word, you guessed it, is again BALANCE. My experience is that if you do not have enough content to post daily, then, spread it throughout the week but maintain a certain frequency so the audience can see how active you are, but at the same time they know that what you post even if after two or three days is worth their time. In terms of recency; social media is a daily activity but quality is more important. As such, aim to be active every week if limited by resources and great content that does not come out as fast.
2016 Hall of Shame
Repeated Posts on Groups: I have seen many aim to promote their content on multiple groups on LinkedIn, then from certain employees within the organisation. The main issue with this activity is that it has “Spam“, “Commercial“, “Pitchy” written all over it. The audience is just too smart not to see things like that. Social media was not born yesterday, it has been around for long now and if we are not genuine and naturally contributing; those spammy posts might just take us 100 steps back from when we first started. If you are thinking we have to promote our content across all possible channels, I would say “Yes” we must, but if you are posting on groups be true to them. Tailour the post to match the group main theme or topic. Dig through your content and highlight a different part of the article. When asking your staff to promote a new case study, let them say it in their own words so it does not come out as a product advert. The magic word here is, Be Creative. Do not repeat !
Global vs local: If you are a multi-national company with clients all over, you have to create content that fits those regions and aim to distribute accordingly. The tag Local vs Global must always be in your content calendar to understand the audience that would be best served with this. I know you are saying that many topics can be relevant to all; but if you care enough to limit posts about an event in London, for example, to neighbouring countries, your AP and US audience would be more receptive to content that relates to there needs and relevant to their regions.
Just on this point, Geo targeting is not always possible on Twitter organically speaking. As such, the magic word is to be STRATEGIC in a way that you do not over post content that is focused on one region and balance out by posting about all. Your true followers would understand that you are multi-national and aim to support everyone.
Would 2017 be any different?
This nice article from Econsultancy lists good predictions for 2017, including more use of videos, VR, AI, and automation through Chatbots. My take on 2017 would be; if a strategy is meeting the objectives it does not have to be revoked. It can be revamped slightly through AB testing of new ventures. So create a video case study and post the actual case study and measure the performance. Consider AI to automate but don’t forget social needs the “Human” factor. Try a new channel like #SnapChat with a focused campaign like an event or a webinar creating stories that relate to a smaller audience. The magic word here is INNOVATE early enough to keep up with what’s trending.
Share your social strategy for 2017 and what worked for you in 2016…
Hope 2017 be a successful and happy new year