Social media has taken over most conversations in the realm of communications and marketing. Some people think that social media will cure all. The truth is that the technology behind social media has just made it easier for professionals in the communications industry to connect with their audiences more than ever before.
60% of people need to hear a message 3-5 times in order to believe it…
This brings up the question of who is the audience. Today, that audience is vast. It’s no longer just the traditional media, but really, anyone who wants to exercise their voice. According to the 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer, people trust “a person like themselves” more often than anyone else. The survey also revealed that 60% of people need to hear a message 3-5 times in order to believe it.
So, how can you make the most of social media?
1. Listen – Listening is often rule number one. Learn how to listen and learn from multiple platforms online–blogs, YouTube, Facebook, forums and more. The better you listen and learn, the better you are going to be able to create a relationship with your audience. There are lots of tools to help you listen from free tools like RSS readers and Google Alerts.
2. Multimedia – Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month. If you want to reach people where they are, then use of video is a great way to reach a fast growing audience. More than just reaching your audience, it’s about allowing them to find you in search.
3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Today, we have to think about search in everything that we do. Understanding how people look for and find your information is incredibly important.
4. Share – If it is true that people trust “a person like themselves,” then we need to make sure that our content today (whatever form that content is in) is easy for people to share with their friends or peers.
5. Transparency – Today, more than ever, we have to be transparent in everything that we do. Companies need to be transparent about the messages that they are sending and conform to the platform you are on.
Finally, don’t be afraid to try something new. Social media for brands is all about experimentation. Focus on what your goals are before trying something and that way you can measure whether it’s a success or just simply time to try something else.