Start. Stop. Start. No, not the sad lament of my now “vintage” BMW, rather the stuttering approach many agencies ascribe to their social media activity. Believe me, I get it. We commit with the best intentions only to be submerged by the tidal waves of deadlines, pitches, RFIs – enough said.
I’m not a social media expert but I do work with agencies keen to get things going, or to revive their flagging commitment. So I thought I’d share my learning with those of you keen to do the same.
Three things to consider:
Do less, better.
Yes, you could get active on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, YouTube etc. and some agencies can and do. But many lack the time and resource and once you’ve started, you need to treat your friends and followers with respect. Don’t start a party then exit. They won’t be eager to come back again.
Choose two or three platforms and be there. This means posting valuable, relevant and entertaining content – every day.
Get a social team in place.
A strong social media presence is a valuable agency marketing asset– building profile, reputation and relationships with the capacity to strike new business gold – leads. But this demands consistency and creativity – it can be a long haul from initial contact to something more meaningful.
To make it work, you’ll need to be both committed and enthusiastic –posting, monitoring and engaging in discussions.
Make it part of your overall marketing activity.
You have your marketing plan in place, right? Assuming you do, then working your social strategy in the context of that plan should be easy. You can re-purpose any number of thought pieces, reports, PR coverage, blogs, articles – you get the picture – for posting cross platform. This minimises the load and can be supplemented with curated content (see below).
Now some quick and easy tips for Twitter and Linked In, the two platforms most commonly used by agencies.
- Keep your content relevant – which doesn’t mean excluding the curious or funny. But use in moderation
- Repurpose your existing agency content and don’t fear re-publishing old material that worked
- Curate and share other people’s interesting content
- Very importantly, follow your clients and prospects
- Use the advanced search to pinpoint specifics, e.g. those with the title ‘CMO’ – remember, you’re using this as a new biz tool
- Follow all the usual suspects including those in your industry, journos, influencers, trade bodies, press titles etc.
- Twitter is a powerful search engine. Use the search function for phrases & engage in relevant conversations in real-time
- Post every day, including scheduling posts at weekends (if you want to have a life). These days we are always ‘on’ and you can capture traffic at weekends. I receive, and read, Spun On Sunday and Saturday Campaign Shot
- Use imagery wherever possible
- Hashtags are valuable for starting conversations, promoting events & keeping pace with breaking news. Just don’t overuse them
- It’s good to share an article but what makes it more effective is including an interesting fact from the copy, rather than just the title
- Always reply to people who respond to your post
- Always use your personal account for new biz purposes – this applies to all your team and of course senior management. These contacts are highly valuable as part of your new biz strategy
- Connect to your clients, prospects, trade press etc. as with Twitter
- The strike rate from invitation to connection is harder now. If you do connect send something hyper-tailored before you ask for a meeting
- Proximity is key. Connect with as many people as possible as this determines how many will find you
- Optimise your profile using target keywords
- Update your status every week and share your best blog content/webcasts on the publishing platform. Remember, this is an agency marketing tool
- Tag your connections in posts if they relate to them or if you think they are likely to share them with others
- As with Twitter, use visuals
- If you are prepared to commit to it, create and host a LinkedIn Group. There are many best practice guides available but be warned, this is extra work
Check out Adam Gordon, MD at Social Media Search. He is a renowned expert in social media for business development and strategic networking. He is a must-read for everyone serious about fully exploiting the potential of social for new business.