Friday, 23 January 2015

Upgrading our social media marketing in 2015

Three take-aways from 'The Art of Social Media'


I have just finished reading the fantastic ‘Art of Social Media’ by +Guy Kawasaki  and +Peg Fitzpatrick. I honestly, as a social media editor, couldn’t have kicked off my year with a better book.

So I want to share some of my take-aways with you on the tips I plan to use this year for my job promoting My World of Work. And also on some of the more basic but often overlooked ways social can be used to enhance how you promote your business.

I'm not going to give away the actual content (go and buy it: here) but here are three key pointers from Guy and Peg.

Using Pinterest

+Pinterest is already a wildly popular social network with its many users, there is no doubt about that. However, it might be fair to say that among businesses, particularly in Scotland, it has yet to grab attention. That is certainly the case in the public sector, where our My World of Work account was among the first pages (in our peer group) and where making money is not the aim of our business. However, whether or not your business is about marketing for sales or highlighting free services to help people, Pinterest should not be ignored.

So far our Pinterest ‘strategy’ has been to post on almost weekly basis with the majority of content being re-pins of other user’s content. This is about to change and thanks to tips in this book our content will include far more created pins. We have a ton of content on our site to share and it totally makes sense to present this to our followers in a much more visually appealing way than simple text.

Takeaway #1: If you have a blog, or a specific offer to help people, use a simple image creation tool to design a pin. Make sure to include the link to your content with the pin!

Social events

I now have a greater knowledge of Google’s Hangouts on Air service. I guess you could also use other services such as Microsoft Skype to broadcast your event but Google has the upper hand: YouTube. Oh and it's free too.

Although, YouTube video plays on Facebook are declining; on YouTube and Google+ they are rampant and YouTube as a social network continues to be a powerhouse. Hangouts on Air streams your broadcast via your Google+ page AND your YouTube page with the added option of streaming via your website. The genius part is the post-event archival to your YouTube page and hey presto, awesome social content.

This year, live Twitter updates for our events are no longer going to cut it. Again, making things more visual to our 'customers' is key and broadcasting events is the next step. That’s not to say don’t use Twitter at your events but it doesn’t have to be the only way to show the folks who can't make it what's happening.

Takeaway #2: Do you have a unique selling point and interested followers? Invest in some (relatively) inexpensive recording equipment (camera, mic, space) and start a Hangout on Air. If you don’t have a huge following on Google+, embed via your website.

Check out how I used Twitter for Scotland's Modern Apprenticeship Awards last year on my +LinkedIn Pulse article.

Blogging and social

On a personal note, I want to build my own professional reputation and blogging is going to play a large part in that. Up until now, for all the blogs I've read, I hadn't felt a clear strategy to a) write a blog and b) publicise it using social media.

The advice give in ‘Art of Social Media’ can be applied easily to pretty much ANY business in ANY industry. The key points are; know what you are talking about, provide helpful information for others and share it with everyone who cares. Do you worry that your industry is not exciting enough for social media? Let me tell you from my own experience of managing a corporate Twitter account – every single interest, profession or hobby is accounted for on Twitter. And probably Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn too.

If you want to begin or sharpen up your blogging strategy then I recommend this chapter the most; if anything for the ‘Peg It’ list.

Takeaway #3: What can you tell others about your profession that will help them improve theirs? Define that, and then write about it. That is what blogging is all about. It’s (mostly) not about directly generating sales or advertising your latest offer. Set up your blog on the relevant site and publish on a fixed schedule. And make sure you share the hell out of it via business AND personal social networks.

I've also since came across some fantastic resources by blogger +Mike Allton, which you should definitely check out here

So...go get the book or read on your tablet and let me know what you've taken from it and how it'll benefit your 2015 on social media!

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