by Josh Miles
What’s the point of social media?
If you were alive and well in the marketing universe circa 2008-2011, there’s no doubt you were inundated with calls to “join the conversation” and “connect with” various brands, people, and social media consultants on a daily basis.
In its most simple form, social media is the promise of extending relationships beyond real life, into the digital sphere. And for many connections, these relationships may exist entirely online.
In the professional services world this seemed like a natural fit. For so many service businesses, relationships have been the heart and soul of business development. The attraction of building deeper relationships over social media was self-evident.
But how has that played out in your business? Is social media driving droves of new clients and opportunities? Probably not.
Many companies during this initial social media craze were quick to add giant, glossy buttons to the top of the home pages to connect on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. And you know what? All of that work to send traffic to your website, and within two seconds your visitors were off on YouTube watching cat videos. Gone forever.
The promise of social media was to connect and create conversations, but the converse took place. Why did that happen?
Your sales funnel was upside down.
At the very least, your sales funnel had some holes in it. You see, visitors to your website should be guided to the most important content on your website, not shuffled off to a social network. It’s time to change your perspective on social media.
Social media should be a place where you connect and chat with your clients, friends, and prospects. In addition, social media should help direct your friends, fans, and followers back to your website. Use these powerful social channels to funnel visitors into deeper interactions with your brand, not the other way around.
That means, when you create a great piece of content, or want to share an exciting new project, use those social platforms to send visitors from social media to your website, not the other way around.
Of course, every social posting can’t be a link back to your website, but it’s perfectly acceptable to share valuable content from your website via social media.
Likewise, don’t be afraid to share content on social media more than once. In fact, the next time you create a great piece of content marketing, try this simple formula. It will help you be clear about what the content is, where to share it, and help get anyone else on the same page regarding the strategy for sharing it.
Title: What is the piece of content?
Synopsis: What’s it about?
Audience: Who is the target—clients, prospects, or potential employees?
Goals & Objectives: What do we want this piece to do?
Media location: Where does it live today? (In this example, I hope the answer is on your website or blog.)?
Related content: What other people, projects, or articles could we link to within this post?
Social sharing formula (adjust to fit your social networks)
1. Post once to the author’s LinkedIn profile and check the box to share on Twitter
2. Share once on your company LinkedIn page
3. Encourage other team members to like and repost
4. Add a link to your company Facebook page
5. Share once on appropriate smaller social networks (Google+, etc.)
6. Reword 3-10 additional tweets, and schedule those to send at varying times over the next 2 weeks
7. If the post has interesting visuals, share them via Instagram or Pinterest, and link back to the original web post
Try this over the course of the next month and just see if your website traffic doesn’t skyrocket. And if you’d like a handy checklist version, you can download it via the form below:
And of course, share these links and posts as part of an overall mix of social posts. In other words, don’t just share stuff from your website.[tweet_box design=”box_01″]Social media should drive deeper engagement with your brand, not the other way around. @joshmiles#branding https://bizlockerroom.com/blog/ [/tweet_box]
Remember, you can do this!
If you’ve missed any of our previous challenges, check them out here.
See you next month for our final chapter in the Bold Brand Challenge, when we’ll talk about year end planning and goal setting. And remember to share your questions, challenges, and successes on your favorite social networks below.
Josh Miles is a caffeine and Twitter addict, and the principal and founder of Miles Design. He was honored as one of Indianapolis Business Journal's 2013 40 Under 40. Josh is also the author of Bold Brand: The New Rules for Differentiating, Branding, and Marketing Your Professional Services Firm. His expertise is highly sought after by professional services firms from coast to coast.