Ten Ways to Adapt to the Evolution of Social Media

Social media is going through a rapid evolution. As a new facet of everyday business, it forces us to rethink, relearn and question everything.

From creative to messaging and to measurement, we need to apply more sophisticated and meaningful programs to combine social media channels into a powerful form of engagement and leadership.

Inspired by Brian Solis’ presentation at the Ragan Social Media for PR and Corporate Communications Conference earlier this year, here are ten ways to keep your social marketing up to date as social media for business evolves.

1. Add meaning. There’s an average of 340 million tweets per day. To a lot of people, it’s just noise. Craft your messages so they are as relevant as possible to your audience. How do you stay relevant? Take the time to listen to the things they like, things they dislike and news that is trending. Stay on topic with your posts, provide new insight or related content.

2. Add sophistication. Just because social media is more informal than most corporate communications doesn’t mean you should go party-girl crazy on it. Rules of thumb for a brand: never use profanity, always spell correctly (no shortcuts like U or R) and stay as far away from controversy and internet trolls as possible.

3. Add creativity. Text is never enough. Multimedia makes social media a rich experience and users crave it. Photos, videos, memes, infographics, infodoodles, whatever it takes to portray your brand creatively will benefit you.

4. Add consistent messaging. Again, the informal nature of social media shouldn’t change the mission or message of your brand drastically. If it does, this will confuse your current customers and cause prospects to question your credibility. Perfect your mission, boilerplate and brand message and drive it home through social media.

5. Add measurement. Everyone’s talking about measurement. Why? Because you need to show that social media is worth the effort. Though fans and followers are a good place to start, quantity doesn’t always mean quality – you want a close knit network of engaged users who are advocates for your brand. So focus more on share of voice in your industry. Here’s a good starter on measuring social media success.

6. Demonstrate value to your execs. This will probably come in the value of buzz (PR) and sales. Show your execs that industry influencers have you on their radar and are on your side. Tracking sales through social media gives you extra brownie points.

7. Don’t be anti-social. If you’re not going to commit, then don’t join the club at all. There’s no point in holding a social media account in silence – it won’t benefit your brand but will give the impression that you don’t engage or respond. Speaking of which…

8. Engage on the regular. I know, we’re all busy. How do you make time for this social media thing daily? The Vocus Marketing Suite makes social media recommendations for engagement and you can do it all in just fifteen minutes a day. You can also use it from your mobile phone so there’s no reason you can’t take a couple minutes in the line at the grocery or on the bus to work.

9. Emerge as a thought leader. This one is tough – but not impossible. Do you want your product or service to be the industry leader? Pay attention to news, figure out trends, make predictions and gather data to share. People will look to you as the “expert” when you’re a step ahead of the curve.

10. Repeat. Figure out what works for you, and repeat it. If it doesn’t work, try something new. Figure out your social media stride by trial and error.

Ready to take your social media to the next level? Take a free trial of Vocus Social Marketing software here.

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