While social media offers wonderful avenues to share pictures with friends, laugh at trendy memes and hear about community events, it is also a great tool used for marketing and PR. Utilizing various online accounts professionally requires a fundamentally different language and process than we typically have for our own personal use.
When using social media as a marketing tool, we are sending out messages on behalf of a client or organization. This is the starkest difference between personal and professional use. Having said that, it is extremely important that you understand the language that supports the organization you represent. You can use and emulate the organization’s culture into your own writing.
Social media marketing is a delicate process of exposing your client’s information to current and potential consumers while simultaneously creating a buzz or interest. This involves carefully crafting your wording so that it reveals necessary information while alluring readers to pursue follow up. Journalists, advertisers and PR specialists create a buzz in this way by generating catchy headlines that draw readers in. A good example of this is the writers at Vox.com. Although similar, PR writing in social media differs from journalism in that you are often inciting action that is directed at target audiences.
Your call to action may be as simple as pushing people to visit your organization’s website, liking a post or retweeting a tweet, or you may ask for more explicit action like showing up to an event or purchasing a product. Whatever the nature of your post, it should maintain brand identity while encouraging brand awareness.
Often companies will opt for one form of social media over the other. Or in certain situations they might push content on one platform more aggressively than another. This is a mistake. It is important to have widespread visibility and to make sure that your presence is consistent among differing sites. It may seem like a pain or extra work, but it is integral to reach a wide audience and target multiple publics. Depending on the firm you work for, or the client you have, you may want to invest in Hootsuite, Spredfast, Sprout Social or another social media manager. If you freelance like me, you just have to take the time to update all the sites yourself. Just make sure you get to all of them.
Some people use Twitter more than Facebook, some prefer Snapchat to Instagram, and most use mobile devices over computers. Although young people are traditionally thought of as social media users, recent data suggests baby-boomers use it more than anyone. And women use social media in larger numbers and represent a larger portion of consumer spending. General demographic information is important to know, but understanding the demographics of the market that your organization is in is perhaps more important. This will help you to market your client’s product to the target audience that they are seeking.
For more information on digital marketing come to Thursday’s meeting where Libby Hall from IDMLOCO will be providing a workshop that will include hands-on experience marketing through Twitter and Facebook. Bring your laptops and be ready to become a social media marketer!