OK. I have a confession to make. I’ve mislead you. I don’t have 12 Hardcore Social Media Tactics to share. I just have 7.
The reason why I said I had 12 for you in the title will become apparent if you read the rest of this post and get to number 7.
This morning I’ve been at SMX Advanced. The brain child of Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman, the event in Seattle this week helps seasoned marketers get to grips with the latest tips, tricks and what’s next in search and social media.
As I run social media for Microsoft Advertising, I made a beeline for the hardcore session kicking off the conference that featured Vince Blackham, Director of Social Media at 97th Floor, Brent Csutoras, Social Media Consultant / Entrepreneur at Kairay Media, Monique Pouget, Director of Content Marketing at Thunder SEO and the fabulous Marty Weintraub, CEO of aimClear.
In a whirlwind tour of various platforms and tools, Pinterest featured highly as the panellists agreed that “visual content is king” when pinning, but also on other networks like Facebook, where Weintraub suggested having the correct Open Graph tags on your site to give you more control over what image appears on your page feed.
For SEO, the written word obviously affects ranking in a more dominant way, but for many social destinations a picture can tell a thousand things about what you’re trying to say. This advice is backed up by research the Bing team did a few years back which stated that the human brain can process the information in an image forty times quickerthan text.
In a session peppered with other sites to think about – StumbleUpon, reddit and so.cl – there were notable absences like LinkedIn and Google+ (which the panellists suggested was inextricably linked to Google rankings so you’d be advised to tread carefully).
For me, Brent Csutoras’ advice leapt up and got my attention as he said as everything is moving towards social signals, content marketing is now more important than ever.
This all goes back to our mantra of making content discoverable and shareable i.e. writing in such a way that search engines will index it and people can find it, but also in a way that people will feel compelled to share and make that content discoverable on other social networks to like-minded audiences.
In his presentation, Brent talked about “being prepared to succeed”:
- Have a plan! Social media marketing isn’t just about writing a blog post, programming a couple of Tweets and Facebook updates and leaving them to do their thing. They won’t. You need to nurture your network and community and, to be efficient, you need to have a plan!
- Have a dedicated person! See above. It isn’t a job someone can do in their spare time to be effective. Find someone who can live and breath your community, someone with a good likeability factor who is swift to respond and engaging. Social media is a discipline. It’s an on-going relationship with your customers and potential customers. You can’t do it part time.
- Understand targeted communities! It’s important to realise that different communities want different things, act in different ways and respond differently to different triggers. You need to understand the playing fields you’re operating on. Strike the wrong tone and you can do difficult-to-repair damage. Design personas for each community and stick to refined outreach based on your research.
- Establish accounts! Make sure you have established accounts on all the major networks. Be an early adopter of others and build up followings and relationships based on the bullet above.
- Plan for when you do succeed! Brent didn’t mean take a bow either. He meant be quick to capitalise on those successes. Find more opportunities through those positive occasions and build for the future.
- Never know what will succeed or fail! Sometimes the biggest surprises happen where you least expect them to. Be open to things going right or wrong in the most un-obvious of places and be quick to resolve any conflicts. If something good has happened, then see the bullet above!
- Oh, and 12 is optimal for lists in social media says Vince Blackham. His research says 10 is too little and 15 is too many for good virility, hence this post’s title.
Was he right?