Hootsuite: Notes from the A to Z of Social Media Strategy

These notes are from this free course provided by Hootsuite, which I mentioned that I would be starting to work through in this previous post.

Companies are rushing to catch up on digital output, which means that digital and non-digital often aren’t in sync with each other as far as goals are concerned.

  • You need a unified and sound social media strategy.
  • A unified strategy will help a company achieve it’s goals better (see this post for notes on marketing goals.)

It needs to clarify and provide guidance, as well as adherence to best practice.

Personal Note: This has applied to all of the social media accounts that I have managed over the past few years:

  • To ensure that company staff changes over time won’t affect the social media platforms
  • To lay out roles and responsibilities
  • To outline policies and appropriate uses.
  • Also particular tone and style – not doing this can confuse followers and may make it obvious to the public when different people post.

Components of the Strategy

  • Do an audit of your accounts
  • Outline your objectives
  • Figure out your brand and voice – a style guide for social media is something that I’ve seen before, and may be a good idea
  • Also need to set up measurements and goals, and figure out what does and doesn’t work.

The analysis of your existing social media is the first thing. Your social platform engagement should be logged frequently to see clear growth/decline/changes over time.

  • Look closely at your competition!
  • What strategies work for them and how can you incorporate them into your own?

Important point – Be Honest! – or you won’t have the best answers to move forward.

That last point would be bolded more if I could, since it can be too easy to put a positive spin on your figures, especially if presenting them to senior colleagues or clients. But it’s important to remember, if they aren’t as social media savvy as you, they’re relying on you to provide them with clear guidance for their long-term ideas. And if they are, they’re likely to know what they’re looking at… even if it’s not the answers that they wanted, this is the first step to social media improvement, which is the most important point.

The impersonality of Twitter Moments

Twitter moments are impersonal.
I discovered that this weekend when my tweet of a political event was included in twitter’s news coverage. After a short while the number of notifications, while nowhere beat viral levels, was starting to annoy me, so I turned them off until this morning. When I finally turned them back on, I had a shed load of likes and retweets, but also a couple of replies. I braced myself for the likely rude comments. 
Instead, while the comments were people opposed to the event, they weren’t addressing those comments to me, just generally commenting. It struck me that while my account etc is still visible in the scrolling newsfeed, Twitter moments make it seem less like it’s coming from a personal account (unless it’s someone extremely famous) and people are more inclined to treat it that way. Some food for thought when using Twitter moments as a tool.

Quick Blog: Learning Updates

I haven’t done any Future Learn courses for a while, but I’ve decided to try and kick start some learning in other areas.

I’ve continued to work on my French via Duolingo, and it’s a slow process but I’m able to make it part of my morning commute. The XP system in Duolingo is a great example of Gamification, as I’ve got a daily goal to hit and I’m mostly managing it.

After originally not getting into Highbrow, I’ve decided to give it another try, and I’ve realised that the problem last time was probably the course content. I’ve started something very different – a email course that sends you and explains a short new business case study every day. The case studies come from University courses, and while they’re too short for it to feel worthwhile writing a blog on it right now, I definitely feel that I’m picking up ideas from them. Once I’ve done the whole course, I might write a post reflecting on it.

So the next thing I’m looking at is Hootsuite Academy. These seem like much more involved courses, but they’ll probably be much more valuable to me career-wise in the long run. It seems like there are online quizzes/exams at the end of each course, but unlike FutureLearn, they can be started and finished at any time, so while I’ll be making sure to put sure time aside for it on the regular basis, I can also take my time to really get in depth with the course materials. I’m printing out the first pdf. of questions as I write, and I’ll see how this goes.

A Few Things I do – Social Media Management

So I’ve been managing various social media accounts for over two years, and I wanted to make a few notes on things that I’ve learned. (A lot of this is probably super-obvious, but I just thought it would be good to write it all out, even just as reference for myself later.)

Use more than one platform for Twitter

Twitter is the medium that the organisation I work for is most active on, unsurprisingly since the lifecycle of a tweet is that much shorter than that of Facebook. I can’t now find the article to quote from (my life :S) but I definitely read something that the average lifecycle of a tweet is less than a few minutes, whereas a Facebook post gets about an hour and a half.

However, the native Twitter web platform seems to have regular bugs. particularly sometimes not showing replies which is a huge problem if you’re a public-facing service! But personally, I’ve found that Hootsuite can be slow to update and show retweets and likes (you are less spammed with notifications of course, but if it’s a quiet period it’s sometimes good to see those in real time, especially if you’re trying to see when engagement is happening). Therefore I tend to keep both open, that way I can ensure that I don’t miss anything.

Have a list to curate from

In my current position we’ve not sharing a lot of other people’s content except through pre-arrangement or when it’s directly relevant to us, but in previous roles it was important for engagement to show lots of other third-party content that followers would find interesting. To keep from having to spend a long time looking up content, you need an easily accessible list of places to look. It needs to be relevant, but from big enough range of sources that your content doesn’t get stale.

There’s some tool that Hootchat has recommended me (#Hootchat is a twitter convo from Hootsuite that’s really good to follow if you work in this field) that I’m planning to try them but even just keeping a list of bookmarks is a good idea. There’s also plenty of sites and apps that can helps with this such as Diigo or Bitly.

Have people to engage with

It’s a great idea to try and make connections via DM with other similar accounts, or if you’re at networking events, try to link up with their marketing/social media manager and see if there’s ways that you can help each other out and promote each other. Reciprocal marketing is something that I deal with a lot, even if it’s just ‘you tweet about this and I’ll tweet about that’ because it’s a great way to get your content/product/whatever out to a new audience.

twitter-analytics

FutureLearn: Digital Transformation of Businesses – Notes Part Three

This post is a continuation of my previous one covering my Digital Transformation of Business. Again rather than a post on a single topic of this FutureLearn course, it is a collection of important points from the course notes and some of my thoughts on them.

Sensorial marketing
– this is about marketing stimulus. When you see, watch or hear an advert, it has an effect on you. It might call upon certain emotions or memories. 

Personal note: this is why multi-channel marketing works!

In digital marketing, people make purchase decisions much more quickly, so that stimulus is important. People using social media etc. are getting a huge amount of stimulus, so yours has to ‘create a rich experience’ to stand out. Also communication via mobile platforms should be a priority esp if marketing to the under 35s.
Also note the sheer level of competition against you, and that in social media all brands have a level platform to advertise from. So something about your brand needs to be able to stand out both to draw in clients and to keep them.

 (note from previous post – it’s also easier to keep current customers than to create new ones so it’s good to keep an eye on the competition. You will need to know what they are doing and whether they might have something that could entice people away from you.) User testing your digital customer experience is also important- checking that you’re creating a good purchase experience. The steps within the customer experience are called ‘Service components’.

A Useful Links Round-up for Social Media

Recently I’ve started to try and follow more social media expert accounts and blogs, so I’m making a short list on here of good articles that I’ve found in the past few days. 

There might be a couple on here from Hootsuite, because unsurprisingly their blog is pretty good. This one is kind of lengthy, but it’s a comprehensive glossary of social media jargon. Also, did you know that the correct term for a hashtag is an Octothorpe? I can’t imagine busting that out during the Monday morning marketing team meeting…

This post from Socialquant covered some stuff that I’ve talked about before, like choosing social media platforms carefully etc., but I like that it makes one point very clear – people go online to be entertained, so make your content at least interesting, and if possible funny.

This post about content re-using was interesting to me as it’s something that I do a lot at work, and do try to plan for. I work in live music, so bringing back concert footage as a #tbt or #otd tweet years later, or when an artist that we’ve worked with previously returns is useful and engaging content filler for us.

Another Hootsuite post – on the best times to post, is one that I’m going to be returning to quite a few times, as that is something that I’ve often felt has been a bit of a stab in the dark for me sonetimes, and while through experience I suspect I get it right most of the time, it’s helpful to have access to statistics that can help you plan. Also, slightly depressing fact:

Despite Twitter’s move to a quasi-chronological timeline, the average half-life of a Tweet isn’t long. According to an analysis by Wiselytics, it’s only 24 minutes.

Time is fleeting on Twitter, so don’t spend too long worrying about the tweet content – it’ll be gone soon.*

*unless you made a typo. People love to point out typos from a professional account. So, try not to do that…

FutureLearn: Digital Transformation of Businesses – Notes Part Two

This is a continuation of sorts from this post – I’m continuing to make notes from my latest  FutureLearn course. Some of these aren’t entirely connected- instead I’m making comments on what I think are the most relevant points of the course material so far. I’m planning to get a few more posts out of this, but I’ll likely be alternating them with other content.

The Importance of producing content (e.g. Blogposts, video etc)

Producing great content leads to inbound marketing. This is the opposite of the standard advertising model, where you are reaching out to the customer. You should be doing both, along with earned media, which is recommendations, and data collection/analysis.
The difference between product marketing and service marketing: 
The primary factor that distinguishes a service from a product is the fact a service is intangible. However, both products and services are built around the idea of use.

Service marketing is therefore the combination of all processes related to client and partner relationships, often referred to as CRM and PRM, as well as social networks.

Client relationships, social network and data analysis all have to work to together to create a seamless customer experience – so that every digital action that the customer has is easy, quick and a positive experience. 

A service position is what will come to define the company’s style and public persona, so it’s important that the entire company, especially those in sales and customer facing positions (but not just those people) understand it. 

(Personal note: this is where a company/organisation) could benefit from a style guide laid out in inductions and regularly updated, much like a branding guide. Does and don’ts when communicating online etc.)