Mastering the world of social media marketing does not come naturally: experience, stamina, and endurance are key, as is keeping pace with evolving expectations. But as with the sports world, the right mix of social media training and skill can put you in position to compete in a field where success brings great rewards.
Facebook refers more traffic to business websites than any other source – and for many companies, there is nothing more important that they could possibly be doing than establishing a strong on-brand social media presence. However, maintaining continuous and effective messaging online can be a Herculean task, and many companies that want to try social media and digital marketing don’t even know where to start.
Hercules had his own Olympics, and companies today find themselves in an analogous situation: Success in both athletics and marketing means bringing home more gold than the other teams. But the Olympics is no venue for a single athlete, no matter how talented. If you want to win big, you need to be the best at a wide range of events – each of which requires a special skill set, but also yields enormous potential rewards.
Here are the Top 6 events at the Social Media Olympics. On your marks … get set …
Creative expression is at the heart of this sport, and you’ll need talent to impress your audiences. But a little-appreciated fact about gymnastics is that the floor routine springs from the tone of the music the artist chooses. Setting the tone is also key for businesses; before writing, you must consider: What is your style? Who is your audience, and how do you connect with them? Only within a carefully chosen framework can the athletes then show off their skills to have the greatest effect on the judges.
In gymnastics, the floor routine is like the blank page that writers face when they begin a new article or blog. But there is also a balance beam, rings, parallel bars, vault and many more – each one demanding special skills and techniques if the performers’ efforts are to bear fruit. In the social media world, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others likewise bring special rules and opportunities to the table, and a winning performance means excelling in each of these venues.
After creating new content, your company must target it at exactly the audience it is looking to reach. A near-miss might yield a decent score, but if you want to be a winner in this game, you will need to refine your targeting to achieve ultimate precision – otherwise you are wasting big opportunities to score points. Companies and archers alike will need to have a keen sense of which way the wind is blowing, and use all the tools at their disposal to hit the bullseye every time without misfiring.
Facebook is currently the sharpest and most dependable arrow for reaching the target audience, as audience demographics for sponsored posts can be fine-tuned to unparalleled levels, ensuring maximum return on investment for any well-constructed post. You’d be wise to have other arrows in your quiver to achieve the highest possible score, but an expertly-run Facebook account has the best chance of bringing home the gold.
Most writers think of a ‘hook’ as something to draw in their readers, and clickbait is the ultimate expression of this kind of a hook. But in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk sets up an alternative framing of how to use social media to knock your competitors out of the ring.
In his metaphor, a ‘right hook’ is the hard sell to the target audience. Too many companies on social media lose followers because they don’t know how to box. They’ll try right hook after right hook, and their audiences soon see them coming a mile away and those marketing punches never connect.
As any boxer knows, you’ll need a lot of quick jabs (entertaining articles and, excellent visual design, and clear branding) to lure the reader closer, and then, every once in a while – but not too often! – hit them with a hard sell. It’s true that your articles and blogs will often end with a call to action for the reader, and these can be seen as a kind of gentle hook, but they work because you’re not hitting your audience over the head with them all the time. Just like boxing, effective social media is 80% setup, and 20% going for the win.
Your marketing team needs to be highly synchronized if it going to make its way smoothly and effectively toward the goal. A good team needs to know exactly what the plan is, and prepare the right strategy given the conditions around them. Everyone must know their job and work well together; they are all, of course, in the same boat.
The copywriter sits in the first position, creating content that the others will need to present well. Graphics and video teams will pull their weight, making sure that the audience can get the full effect of a polished visual presentation. The social media expert will also be busy crafting and targeting posts so that each moves the entire group ahead of their competitors.
With everyone trained at their position, and ready to adapt at a moment’s notice to any changes in the current, your team will have all it needs to lead the way to victory.
Track & Field
Even today, many companies find themselves stuck in an odd and inauspicious social media cycle. They run at full speed, then get tired and let competitors pass them by … and then a few months later, they do another social media blast, only to burn out shortly thereafter. This approach might work in urgent cases where you have a short time to build hype for a product launch, but it’s not going to hold together in the long run.
Real success looks more like a marathon than a sprint. You need to keep pace with continuous output if you are going to build a following that enables the kind of consumer loyalty that will pay off for years down the road. Just keep in mind that every course has its own unique hurdles, and you’ll want to set aside some time at the outset to identify these in advance and figure out how you intend to get over them.
With the right SEO techniques, your web team can lift your company to the top of the Google rankings in its field. Some weights are heavier than others – raising a hotel to #1 takes a lot more muscle than raising a pet store – but the fundamentals are the same.
Your original web content is the spine, and does most of the heavy lifting. All the additional tricks with keywords, meta tags and code manipulation are there to add additional layers of support. The methods of effective SEO range from the intuitive to the highly technical, but if you want your company to attract attention, it will need to show its strength here.
According to legend, Hercules won every event at the first Olympic Games. He had a secret, though, even beyond his strength: He was the only competitor in those games.
Companies today, competing against thousands of others in every industry, must yearn for a playing field like that. Fortunately there is an alternative that is nearly as good. Lexicon in Bangkok offers a complete range of content production and social media and digital marketing agency services to our clients in Thailand. Outsource to our copywriters, graphic designers and social media marketing team to ensure you make the right impression with your target audience every time.
All the great Olympic teams have discovered that success depends on finding the right managers who know what works because they’ve devoted their lives to studying each of the key sports. Isn’t it time you did too?