Defining Social Media. 7 Golden Rules to Successful Social Media in Business

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2 Defining Social Media Social media isn t just a handful of social networks, it s anywhere on the web where you can interact and share your thoughts with others, ie most of the internet. It s also not stand alone, but needs to be integrated with other marketing and strategies. If your social media connections are going to drive more traffic to your site, then you also want to be able to focus on converting that traffic as much as possible 7 Golden Rules to Successful Social Media in Business 1 Know your audience. 2 Define your desired outcomes 3 Develop your Social Media Strategy, include Editorial Calendar & Content Marketing 4 Create a working Social Media Policy 5 Identify Social media team, train them and execute strategy 6 Update your website to include Social Media Integration 7 Monitor, measure and review constantly 1 Know your audience Until you have clearly defined who your audience is any social media strategy will fall short of reaching it s goal. Be as specific as possible on who your audience will be, and where appropriate segment your audience and look at key buyers and influencers, and their motivations. By clearly identifying your audience in this way, you can tailor your message to suit each audience type and you can more easily identify which networks they re already using online and engage with them there. Identifying key influencers : So who is influential to this audience? Who are the mavens* and connectors** that we should be looking to connect with? In this instance any organisation or individual who is passionate about using technology to help an adviser firm and put the client at the centre of everything they do. Identifying key collaborators: Who else can offer information advisers will enjoy and gain value from, that ties into what you re looking to achieve? By collaborating with others in this way you automatically get into their database/audience as well as yours. *(Connectors know lots of people Sprinkled among every walk of life are a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack of making friends and acquaintances. They are important for more than the number of people they know, it is also the function of the kinds of people they know. They are people whom all of us can reach in only a few steps as they manage to occupy many different worlds, subcultures and niches.

3 **Maven one who collects knowledge The critical thing about Mavens, though, is that they aren t passive collectors of information. What sets them apart is that once they figure out how to get that deal, they want to tell you about it too. A Maven is a person who has information on a lot of different products or prices or places. This person likes to initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests. They are more than experts, they are socially motivated. The one thing the Maven is not is a persuader, their motivation is to educate and to help. Mavens are really information brokers, sharing and trading what they know. For a social epidemic to start some people are actually going to have to be persuaded to do something. Mavens are data banks. Connectors are social glue. ***Salesmen with the skills to persuade us when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing, and they are as critical to the tipping of word- of- mouth epidemics as the other two groups.) Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point. Identifying key questions: What are the barriers to either clients taking up protection policies AND advisers selling or fully advising on protection? What are your audiences biggest concerns? Effectively we re looking at identifying all of the obstacles (perceived or otherwise) that they face and how you can help them.

4 2 Define your Desired Outcomes What is it that you re looking to achieve with your social media communications, how can these outcomes be measured, what are the timescales that you re looking to achieve these Key Perfomance Indicators by? Drive visitors to the site Drive them back often Generate leads Get visitors sharing content (to attract new visitors to the site and raise brand awareness) Convert prospects into buyers quicker. In addition to the objectives identified previously, think about: Community Building Awareness Brand - Differentiation Thought Leadership Innovation Key Metrics What numbers are you looking for to call this project a success?

5 3 Develop your Social Media Strategy include Editorial Calendar & Content Marketing Think of your social media strategy as your company Playbook for online activity. You want your strategy to be a working document for your social media team and advocates to follow, and over time will include sections for FAQs, content templates, what works best, what doesn t work, links to training materials, presentations, contact information, and anything else that your social media team is likely to need. Once we ve fully identified: Who your audience is by sector What their biggest concerns are Your desired outcomes What KPIs you want to measure against It s important we put together your strategy so you can achieve your goals with the least amount of effort to get the maximum response. This includes identifying: Where your audience is on line Which platforms you will engage on and the best way to optimise each profile including company branding, and a fully completed LinkedIn Company Page including product and services page. Identifying key individuals, groups and communities to connect with What message(s) you want to be conveyed Your engagement style Integrating existing offline marketing initiatives How regularly you ll create your own content and how you ll share it How regularly you ll look to co- create content and how you ll share it How regularly you ll curate other content and how you ll share it An editorial calendar to manage content distribution by month, week and daily activity and across which communities to push this content out to, across which platforms Include what s happening in your world AND in your audiences world How you will regularly review what s working and what s not and update your strategy accordingly Which tools are to be used, eg Social Media Management, monitoring tools, etc

6 Content We want to create content around the key questions and concerns we identify in step 1. It takes most people to hear/read/listen to something at least 5 times before they start to take notice and action so it s important that we create content that can continuously be drip fed through. Once we ve decided on the content, we ll want to make maximum use of it and recycle it in different formats, ie webinar, video, podcast downloadable paper, blog posts, s. It s also good to co create content through interviews which can be recorded and again put together in different formats and then of course we can curate relevant content that s already out there and add our own comment or thought on it and include calls to action to drive traffic back to the website. All forms of content will also be shared across your social profiles and in relevant groups (as identified in Stage 1 Know your audience). Using our key influencers and key collaborators to share out the content across their audiences. As people come to the website we ll want to give them the option to sign up to learn more, so making the most of the blog and lead capture (linked to autoresponder) to the site will be important. marketing is critical to this conversion as it offers an effective way to nurture leads and increase current conversion rates, if done in a strategic manner. 59% of B2B marketers say is the most effective channel in generating revenue. The bottom line is that 90% of people aren t ready to buy, but many of them will be in the coming days, weeks and months. Lead nurturing through ensures your company stays in front of this 90% so that when they are ready to take action they ll remember you. Consistent branding and layout for the content will be important to help drive more traffic to your site, getting engaged users on the site, and being able to build your database of users. With every piece of content generated it s important to look at: Links to other related articles/resources within your website CTA Call to Actions Lead Capture getting hold of name and address of the prospect Sharing opportunities making sure that with the click of the button the content can be shared across the readers network(s). Your editorial calendar will map out which content is being sent out where and when and by whom. Roll out your strategy and begin executing it in bite size manageable stages, rolling 90 days works well.

7 4 Create a working Social Media Policy Your social media policy sets the tone and guidelines for social media use within your firm. Make the policy specific and relevant to your company and with the brevity and user friendly tone appropriate. It will address the purpose of social media: Why is your business using social media? Then what social media platforms will engage on ie LinkedIn, twitter etc. We ll establish guidelines for how employees (who identify themselves as an employee of your firm) should conduct and present themselves on their personal pages and include Protocols for crisis situations:. Let s face it: people are fallible and they say, it wasn t raining when Noah built his Ark. It s also good idea to address the company s stance on what to do if a local or national crisis happens. Do you really want marketing messages going out around this time? What procedures are in place to be able to turn off automated messages in a case of emergency? Think of the Boston Marathon bombings for example.

8 5 Identify your Social Media Team Members, train them and execute strategy This part might not be relevant as it s only you. But if you choose to bring someone on board you ll want to consider the following: Who do you want engaging with your community online? Choose those who are most keen to explore using social media as a powerful way to connect with new relationships and manage existing ones. Will it all be done in house, or will you want to outsource some of the day to day activity? The results from social media don t come immediately, you need to build your network and community to get the full benefits of this medium. It s about building relationships and trust and that takes time and effort. It s also about transferring the trust and relationships the company has already built up offline so it crosses onto your social profiles too. Once established there isn t any other opportunity that allows you to connect, establish trust and demonstrate your authority to a more targeted and wide reaching audience than online and social media. Of your team, how many will benefit from some social media training? Two types of Training are most effective. The first covers strategy, what works, how to build relationships on line, including online etiquette etc. Social media works when you have influence with your community, that s what you re looking to build. There are 6 key weapons of influence, as defined by Cialdini. Namely: 1. Reciprocation 2. Commitment and Consistency 3. Social Proof 4. Liking 5. Authority 6. Scarcity Training your team on how social media can be used to effect these weapons of influence, planning content and the editorial calendar are all key in becoming expert with your social media returns. The second type of training covers the mechanics of using the different platforms, social media management tools and apps that aide with the use of listening and engaging online as well as how to manage your time effectively. As social media changes on a daily basis, planned on going training is essential in keeping your team up to date.

9 6 Update your website to integrate Social Media Advances in technology mean that we re now able to engage in an interactive style across all of the internet, including company websites. Visitors to the site will want to easily connect with your networks and have a chance to interact both on the networks and on your website. Your website is an integral part of demonstrating expertise, adding value and showing your company as the leading software solution and the authority in it s field when it comes to the financial adviser community. 7 Monitor, measure and review constantly Clearly measuring your social media activity against your KPI s, using google analytics to measure your traffic, click through rates, lead capture, campaigns etc is key to measure what s working (and then do more of that) and what s not working (and do less of that). There are a number of different metrics to measure and as a result a number of different tools to use accordingly. As technology moves forward and social media use continues to grow, more and more tools become available to quantify and measure your social media success.

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