by Tony Vidler
As professional advisers are more often than not still contemplating how to use social media as part of their overall marketing and client communication strategies 3 huge questions dominate their thinking:
1. Which social media platform should I use?
2. What should I post or publish?
3. How often should I put information, or posts, out there?
There are numerous books, blog posts and examples out there now that provide answers to these questions of course, and seemingly a gazillion social media guru’s or consultants offering an answer. Are the questions really that hard to work out the answers to though?
Here’s the succinct advice in 60 seconds:
a. use the social media platforms your target market clients are using, or heading into using soon.
b. publish information that is relevant and adds value to your target market. In other words, publish stuff that interests them – not stuff that interests you necessarily.
c. post often enough to be visible and create top of mind awareness, without being a nuisance. You ned to create a constant presence in the places where they are gathering information.
This is just common sense really isn’t it?
THAT is one of the key points for new users to grasp: the medium might be a new method in the marketing of your business, but fundamentally the rules of marketing and communicating with prospects remain the same. Put your message where your target market is most likely to be; give them good value and useful information that highlights your expertise and ability to help them; and do it regularly without trying to dominate their life.
So which medium to use? Well it depends….are you after consumers, or business clients? How hard do you want to work and what sort of budget do you have for content creation? These things all make a difference to the effectiveness.
Before any of these considerations need to be taken into account though, it should be obvious that the best medium to use is the one that your “target market” uses.
That means you do have to get a clear idea about who your target market actually is in the first place. If you wish to maximise the impact of your message, and give it the best chance of resonating with the potential clients you most want to attract, then you have to be very clear about who that audience is. Be aware of what their issues and concerns are, and know where you can add value or provide answers, and then be able to deliver effective information that resonates with them.
A key objective of any marketing you do will be to create a position of credible authority for yourself. So finding the social media channels that your desired audience are using is part of the equation, but so too is showing an innate understanding of them, their world, and their issues.
With that in mind, the one platform that every professional should be using in my view is a blog. Despite the abundance of content and bloggers, it is even more important today given the way “search” has changed. Consumers are looking for key phases and answers to specific questions now, not just searching by a keyword or two.
Considering that a blog is a controlled medium, where you can determine the message, style, tone and frequency of your published content, it becomes a compelling platform to consider. When you add in the ability to establish a personal brand built around credibility, transparency and authority (or subject matter expert) that is overlaid with your personality, it becomes the ideal vehicle for creating presence and demonstrating expertise and value. Pre-empting and then answering your audiences questions and concerns via your blog will get you noticed, and will engage prospective clients if done well and regularly.
Once a decision is made on where to begin, just concentrate on that initial medium first. Generally speaking you will be far better to select a single platform to begin with, and work on getting that right and delivering effectively rather than opting for (say) 5 platforms and doing all of them poorly.
If there are (say) 3 platforms you’ve identified that would work well for your business, then establish your presence on one, and do it well. Then incorporate the second and do that well….and so on.
As the old saying goes, the best place to begin is at the beginning….and then get each part right, and build up your reach and content creation methodically for a truly effective digital marketing platform utilising the power of social media.
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