How You Need To Change Your Social Media Marketing NOW
For social media marketers, Social Media Marketing World 2016 (aka #SMMW16) is manna from heaven.
Social Media Marketing World is a fire hose of the latest insider tips for all things social media and hobnobbing with the social media digerati. (No, Zuck wasn’t there!)
Social Media Examiner’s Mike Stelzner and Phil Mershon curated an amazing, comprehensive selection of content and presenters. (Thank you for including me!)
But when 3,000 social media geeks converge in one location, you get TONS of content from LOTS of different perspectives. The information flow goes multi-directional.
The challenge most attendees face: What does this mean for my business?
With the amount of information shared across various social media platforms, even the best marketer can have trouble translating it into a consistent customer-focused social media strategy.
(Here are my takeaways from SMMW15.)
3 Social Media Marketing World 2016 tactics
Boiled down to its essence, 3 key themes resonated throughout Social Media Marketing World 2016 for me.
These 3 Social Media Marketing World 2016 tactics revolve around one key marketing challenge: Attracting audience attention.
Vayner Media’s Gary Vaynerchuk defined it best:
“I spend my time trying to understand attention. I go where the attention is at its height, but the rest of the market underestimates it.”
1. Start using livecasting video
When I asked Mike Stelzner what he saw as the key 2016 social media trend. He had one word for me: Livecasting. By contrast, I view video livecasting as the evolution of social media video.
Livecasting is to social media video what reality television is to television shows.
Compared with older forms of social media video, livecasting is fresh, raw and real. Your audience knows within 2 to 5 minutes whether they trust you.
Blab’s Shaan Puri frames the difference as: “Blab is rough and YouTube is packaged.” Members are on Blab for 82 minutes per person per day.
By contrast, Joel Comm says, “Livecasting is ‘real’ reality tv.”
Like reality tv livecasting comes in a variety of flavors:
- Facebook Live
Contrary to what you may believe, livecasting isn’t about you. It’s about your audience.
The livecasting bottom line: Show up and be real to connect with your audience. Shift how your audience buys.
Think of your livecasting like an infomercial in Kim Garst’s words. Ideally it should be 20 to 30 minutes long.
Facebook expert Mari Smith advised marketers to move from 5 minute Facebook Live sessions to longer ones (30 minutes or more) since Facebook rewards you with organic traffic. Of course, expect this Facebook reach gain to be short term until they build their audience and can monetize it.
Problogger’s Darren Rowse took Mari Smith’s advice to heart. Here’s his #SMMW16 roundup on FacebookLive.
Actionable Social Media Marketing Tactics:
- Do your livecasting with strategic intent. Ask: “What is the take away for your audience?” Provide value to your audience. Take your audience behind the scenes and show off your personality. Skip the c-suite—Face it, they’re boring and disconnected from your customers!
- Repurpose your livecasting video into other content. This is a telltale sign of the beginning of contextual marketing. Mari Smith pointed out that marketers can edit and re-envision live video. Reuse it for YouTube, Slideshare, blog posts and more. Don’t forget a call-to-action (CTA)!
2. Find your buckets: Audience self-segmentation
Speakers talked about putting their hand raisers into buckets.
No I don’t mean this:
Get your audience to decide where they belong.
I found it interesting that a number of different sessions focused on knowing your audience and segmenting them.
Facebook expert Jon Loomer surprised the audience by saying that he kicked people out after a month. He gives people about 4 days per step of his process. (Why waste budget if they’re not qualified after a month?) Interestingly, Loomer uses the same content just presented in a targeted way to the beginner, intermediate and advanced user.
What does this mean?
On a macro-level, assigning audience buckets signals marketing maturation. Despite their best efforts, marketers attract smaller and smaller followings.
Attention has a price.
Offer them quality content in return for audience focus immediately or they’re gone!
On a micro-level, to be competitive provide tailored customer experiences. Distinguish your offering and allow prospects to self-identify for different information.
While this may seem like more work, it’s the flip side of people doing their own research before you know they’re in market. Let them select the information best suited to their needs without a salesperson. This improves your ability to measure results.
It’s another sign of contextual marketing. Beyond better customer experiences, you’re extending the life of your best content by making it easier to find and access.
Romance your prospects and customers. A member of my blogging workshop wanted prospects to buy after reading a single blog post. (Yes, I can’t make that up!)
The bottom line: It’s more important than ever to know your audience and put yourself in their shoes. If you don’t your competitors and close substitutes will!
Actionable Social Media Marketing Tactics:
- Make it easy for prospects to let you know what information they need. Just ask them. I ask email registrants what’s their biggest marketing challenge.
Offer visitors a choice in next steps. Think micro-steps. Like Jon Loomer, you have to tailor the communications but your core content can be consistent.
- Warm your leads. Give them the information they need to decide. Don’t rush them. Loomer allows about 4 days between each step of his process. It extends over one month.
- Cut prospects loose if they’re not interested after a reasonable period of time. You don’t want prospects hanging on too long. Keeping your list clean translates to better response rates, open rates and conversion rates. The non-active names on your list are dead wood.
3. Be authentic
Be yourself. For those of you who’ve been active in social media for a while, this isn’t a new refrain. (Here’s what I wrote on the topic in 2011. BTW, it’s still relevant.)
People want to connect. People gravitate to Face-to-Face (F2F). You have to fill that need.
At its core, social media is about relationships.
But now, it’s different. It’s how you get your prospect relations to the next level. You must build a basis for their trust or they’re not buying.
I didn’t expect to walk into a keynote panel and hear leading edge social media leaders talking about how they had to evolve.
Yet sitting center stage in her bright red dress, Kim Garst calmly said, “You have to release that perfectionism.” You need more self-confidence.
You have to be real. Yet understand that being real is hard.
Backlamp’s Brian Fanzo stated, “Perfection is impossible and nobody believes it.” Translation: You don’t need to fully control your brand message. (You can’t.) Instead, you need to give your audience access to your brand.
I talked about authenticity in my blogging workshop in terms of writing “morning pages”. Unlike social media, this exercise is personal. It’s geared towards clearing your mind.
BUT understand that without being authentic, you can’t build trust!
Actionable Social Media Marketing Tactics:
- Learn to be your authentic brand. This isn’t about your logo. Your core audience craves brand experiences. Create them. Owning your brand is an illusion—let it go!
- Re-think your brand in experiential terms. Move beyond your organization’s two-dimensional representation. Instead integrate your brand into every aspect of your content and business.
The Social Media Marketing World 2016 tactics bottom line:
Social media is no longer something you do outside the core of your marketing plans strategy.
Social media has grown up. Social media is core element of your marketing mix.
Stop being afraid of loosing control of your brand by being authentic and real on social media.
Your customers always owned your brand. In the past, they just let you think you did.
Give your audience the face-to-face experiences they crave.
Let them choose their bucket.
It’s a win-win.
Just take that next small step.
I know you can do it.
They’ll love you more for being your brand-self.
If you were at Social Media Marketing World 2016 was your biggest takeaway and why? How will you change your marketing as a result?
Content is highly important, but widely ineffective. What does that mean for the modern marketer?
Experience matters more than ever before, and what enables experience is content–the content your buyer engages with can make or break a sale. Are you prepared to give them what they want?
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Photo Credit: Heidi Cohen – 2016