What To Remember In Social Media Marketing & PR

PR Through Social MediaNow, when we talk about marketing & PR, we are not only talking about the traditional way to do it. Taken into consideration how much social media have affected the way we do business, the same is of course valid within these disciplines as well.

More than ever, businesses have realized that they need to reach their customers by being present where they are, and here social media play a great role by offering great possibilities for connecting and engaging in dialogue with stakeholders.


What to do?

When starting to think of practicing marketing & PR through social media, there are some specific elements that are worth taking into consideration. Here, I will provide a few points which first of all could be very important to keep in mind:

1) You need to make it clear why social media is the right way to go for you, and what goals you are expecting to obtain by this. In other words, an elaborated plan is necessary before throwing yourself out there – and especially also to establish who has the responsibility of social media within the organization and what kind of budget is available for your business to make an (improved) effort.

2) When having established a plan or strategy of activities on social media, it’s a very good idea to produce a social media policy for internal use in your business. This means that all employees are informed on how to handle a social media presence and in this way you also minimize the risk of making unfortunate errors.

3) It’s also a good thing to start monitoring and tracking of your brand, so you can be updated on when somebody mentions you and be aware of what is creating traffic to your site. This can be done by using Google Analytics and Google Alert, just to name a few, both of them being great tools for doing this.

4) By keeping yourself updated on what your customers are saying about you, you can figure out which communities and platforms they are active in and how they engage with each other. This also means that you are able to identify who are the most important stakeholders for you and your brand, and examine what is in their interest in order to reach the ones who have the most influence.

5) Use the information from your stakeholders within the organization as well, and share this with the other employees to get the best insight and feedback. Afterwards, it will be easier to know what is most appealing across your social media presence – and how you could enhance your offerings for customers.

By listing some of the most important things, you hopefully get an idea of how to get started with social media – or improve your current effort. Just remember to never do something that is not thought through, and keep the keywords of listening and engaging in mind in each one of your efforts. Then you’re basically good to go!


Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!