When it comes to social media there is a lot that has been written. There are blog posts about how to create a successful marketing campaign. There are articles about how to select the perfect social media software for your business. Many people have written about bringing value to your conversations.
This post is going to add to that cacophony of information by discussing the tactics you should employ in each social media situation.
Nine-tenths of tactics are certain, and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and that is the test of generals. – T. E. Lawrence
The 5 Tactics of Success
Listen. If you have been reading about social media then you are quite aware that listening is one of the most important things you must be doing. It is going to be talked it about in any reputable writer and user of social media. Yet how does one listen when most of social media is written?
If you have set up searches on your brand, competition, and key words that you are interested in then you should be receiving data. As you sift through what you are reading you need to be aware of what must be responded to, what should be responded to, and what can be ignored. With your priorities in place, to listen you need to give your brain – or your team – time to digest the information. Do not be too quick to respond without actually understanding what you are responding to.
Engage. Once you have made the choice to respond or create comment you need make sure that it will create engagement. You want a response. By response you want something that will generate a conversation where you can learn, inform, and build a relationship. If you think it is easy to do just think about this static from the Yahoo R&D Team: 96% of all social media content never gets forwarded or responded to.
Assess. Measure your conversations and other social media content against the goals you have set out in your social media plan. This assessment will change depending on the platform(s) you are using for your campaign. While most people are focused on followers, you should really be assessing how people actually engage with you in social media. You should be assessing your retweets, interaction with your fan page on Facebook, commenting on your blog, and those who are reacting to your answers on LinkedIn.
Respond. Oddly enough some companies just only respond to the negativity of their company or their brand. If you are listening and creating engagement then you should be responding to positive as well. This can be as simple as thanking someone for forwarding your link. You need to respond, no matter what it is about, to be seen as a source of value.
Notice. One of the greatest things you can do is to call attention to others. If you see something you like you should share it. If someone has written a wonderful article, made a really creative video, or is simply a key resource… draw attention to him or her and make others take notice. Those good deeds will be returned with more attention given to you as well.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. – Sun Tzu
Using The 5 Tactics
The five steps or LEARN should be used with every action you take in social media. While it would be best to have them all used with each social engagement, it is not always the case. Regardless the five steps should be used. It makes for a richer interaction for you, your fans, and the social media community as a whole.
By John Hester