Updated: Jul 13
A lot of people believe that using social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn for their marketing is ‘free’. Well, it’s not like buying an advertisement. And you’re not paying a retainer fee as you might for a PR consultant.
But social media is far from free. The currency you pay is time. And a lot of it if you don’t know what you’re doing. Twitter and LinkedIn need regular posts in order to optimise their impact. They require a constant stream of words, images, thoughts, re-posts, links, hashtags. Some say three Tweets a day should be your goal; and once a day for LinkedIn. What really matters is that what you’re putting out on social media is gaining the attention of the right people – your potential (and existing) clients.
If you buy an advertisement to place in the trade press, you have to think about the content and images. You work with a designer and produce a print-ready PDF that slots onto the page. That can be used time and again. It’s a process that has a clear start and finish. Social media is a never-ending conveyor belt and you’ve got to find something to put out there all-the-time.
A daunting task, but not impossible. The key is to create a single piece of content that can be used in many different ways. Some people call this ‘evergreen’ content. LinkedIn refers to it as ‘slicing the turkey.’ Make one big bit of content and then carve it into many Tweets, LinkedIn blogs, infographics, videos or even podcast discussion points. Promote it via email newsletters and drive traffic to your website for downloads – collecting more email addresses on the way.
The right piece of content will not just feed the beast that is Twitter, it will also provide something useful for your audience – and that really is the whole point, after all. A guide to a piece of important legislation or technical issue is something that your potential customers can use. They will regard you as a source of helpful insights and keep coming back for more. People are far more likely to do business with a helpful partner in future.
Of course, a large piece of content also takes time. But your effort can be focused in one direction and then your plan for Tweets, blogs, videos… can be built easily on that foundation.
Social media is a great way to dissipate your marketing energy – going in all directions at once. But if you get to grips with your content, it can all fall into place much more easily, and put you back in the driving seat.
(Image credit: Adobe.com/onephoto)