WorkingPoint’s Social Media Secrets Revealed, Part 1
This infographic is from the book Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web. Now it’s my screensaver and as WorkingPoint’s Community Resource and Marketing Manager‘, I all stare at it all day for inspiration and guidance.
There is a lot of buzz around the use of Social Media. Amber Naslund wrote this great post on her website Brass Tack Thinking that to me highlighted just how popular the discussion of Social Media really is. By looking at the proliferation of pages about different terms as a barometer for the level of interest she was able to demonstrate that Social Media trumps other types of marketing at an astonishing rate. Her results:
Number of web pages Google finds for the following phrases:
“direct mail ROI” – 131,000
“email ROI” 55,900
“radio ROI” – 33,200
“TV ROI” – 12,600 (television roi is just 291)
“magazine ROI” – 3,150
“newspaper ROI” – 210
“billboard ROI” – 85
“social media ROI” – 796,000
796,000 people seem are thinking about, talking about, writing about, and possibly looking for ways to use Social Media! Never one to ignore a bandwagon I could hop on, I decided that WorkingPoint might also have something to add to the conversation.
As the Community Resource and Marketing Manager, part of my job is to implement WorkingPoint’s Social Media strategy. Part of my job is also to find and develop resources that our community of Small Businesses might benefit from. Since I think a Social Media Strategy will benefit most small businesses like WorkingPoint, I decided to follow my own advice and share all my secrets with you.
I decided to skip the part of the conversation where I convince you that using Social Media is worthwhile on the assumption that most likely if you are reading this you’ve already been convinced of the value of social media for your small business. If you need more convincing I suggest read this great article, “Why Small Businesses Shouldn’t Take Social Media for Granted ” which also points out that you could be part of the 24% of cutting edge businesses who were smart enough to use Social Media before your competitors do.
You’re ready for the next step, which is figuring out what to do. There are lots of articles that will give you detailed and complex suggestions for plans, platforms and strategies. These articles are really, really great and I absolutely recommend you check them out. Read as many of them as you have time for, and I promise to continue to post my favorites to @workingpoint and on the WorkingPoint Facebook page, but before we get into advanced strategies I want to start with the basic concepts of our Social Media Strategy.
This core strategy is our secret sauce and I promise they will make all those other strategies more effective and more fun.
The strategy is so simple it can be summed up in two words:
Generous and Genuine.
Social Media Marketing’s fundamental difference between traditional marketing, in my opinion, is that it’s about building community first and foremost. And building community is about being part of something bigger than just yourself. It’s really, really hard to build community if all you do is talk about your product. Just like it’s really, really hard to make friends if all you do is talk about yourself.
If you look at the Compass above the innermost circle, your connection to everything else, your first step, are all people. People you want to make like you. Advocates, Champions, Bloggers, Taste Makers, whatever you call them they are people, and if they like you they will use what you offer and talk about it. Moreover, if you can become part of their community they will talk about you a lot. Social Media is about the conversation and about building a community of people who will talk about you. You want to be an active and valued part of the community and it’s conversation.
One genuine way to be part of the conversation (more on that tomorrow) is show people that you care about them. Social Media provides an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate that you care about people in your community is by sharing. Sharing exciting news about your business and sharing useful things that you find that have nothing to do with you . Reposting, retweeting, sharing on Facebook. If you find something cool that has nothing to do with you, but you think will add to this conversation then use your Social Media platforms to share it with them. This is being generous.
In fact I’ve found an easy way to manipulate the Facebook post rankings on our page is to alternate a link from our website (usually to our blog) with a link anywhere else. You can watch the results change immediately, overnight, if you have only been using your Facebook page to link back to your own site. Since we started including outside content on our Facebook page, the number of fans has more than doubled, the number of interactions per week has quadrupled and the post quality fluctuates between 10 and 15 points higher than it did before. We also earned another star on Facebook’s page ranking.
Sharing useful information, ideas and products even if you can’t directly benefit from sharing them (and by directly benefit I mean instantly profit) is being generous. You become part of the dialogue. You position yourself as a member of the community with something to contribute. You demonstrate your expertise, become a resource or a “go to” and hopefully, that means people will “go to” your business.
The generous Social Media Strategy encourages you to give it up for free, like HubSpot’s Website Grader or David Meerman Scott’s incredible free ebook “The New Rules of Viral Marketing” which is where I personally learned about the Website Grader and the 150,000 unique URLS which were submitted for grading (each one a potential customer for HubSpots inbound marketing system). Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking engagements that David recieved as a result of his first free ebook “The New Rules of PR: How to create a press release strategy for reaching buyers directly” which was downloaded 250,000 times.**
It is in this vain that we at WorkingPoint have been working hard to spread the word about awesome content and helpful information that does not directly relate to WorkingPoint’s Financial Tool. Like I said before, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @workingpoint and I promise you access all the hottest articles and useful resources to make your business flourish no matter how big it is. Marketing, Inspirational Stories, whatever it is, if we think it will help you to be successful we are sharing it.
You can also visit our freshly minted, hot of the presses Resource Page which has our blog feed, twitter feed and also will soon be filled with lots of awesome resource guides, forms and our new 10 minute lesson series. 10 Minute Lesson on Basic Accounting and Terms is available now and I have to say, it’s a pretty awesome bookkeeping resource for a small business even if you don’t use WorkingPoint.
Stay tuned for Part 2: Genuine tomorrow and let me know what you think! I love to hear from you!