5 ways to use tactics to win in the social battle

03D04286The concept of winning comes down to one of two things; being smart, or being lucky. Call me pessimistic, but I just don’t believe that people ‘get lucky’. Despite what Daft Punk might think. If I ever win the euro millions, I may have a different opinion. But until that day, I’ll go with the fact that I strongly believe you make your own luck in life.

Like it or not, we’re all in a battleground of competition, and there is an on-going fight to be the top dog. Whether you’re fighting to get there, or fighting to stay there, it’s still a battle, and let’s face it; luck isn’t going to play any part in placing your company ahead of the competition – strategy and tactics are.

When thinking of social media marketing, everyone wants to know about the ‘L’ word. Leads. Possibly the biggest misconception of social media marketing, is that it’s a quick fix for leads. For those of you with this mind-set, allow me to burst your bubble. Social media is far from a quick-fix. It requires effort, resources and patience. Now while this may not be selling it to you, it is a fact that must be acknowledged if you are to successfully implement a social media strategy.

I’m not out to dismiss lead generation entirely. But it is a result of something bigger. So, when it comes to social media, you have to look at the bigger picture; and if you can’t, you’re going to struggle.

Dorothy might have got home merely by clicking her heels, but anybody else would’ve had to walk there. Or drive. You get the picture. The point I’m making is that in order to get from A to B you have a process. And social media marketing is a process, and a complex one at that. Think of it as a relationship channel. A continuous process, with the purpose to nurture leads through a range of different tactics.

If you’re still with me this far, you probably want to know what these tactics may be. What exactly you can do between A and B. Well, lucky for you here are a few examples of what to do and what not to do when it comes to tactics. Actually, scrap that, you make your own luck remember.

Be THE thought leader

Or at the least be A thought leader. If you can’t beat them, join them. Your prospects and customers want value, and if you’re not going to give them it then someone else will. Potentially you’re competitors. Position yourself as an expert in your industry by establishing yourself as the go-to for your customers’ needs; this will enable you to stand out in a potentially crowded marketplace. Try and mix it up with your own captivating content, as well as good quality curated content.

Add value

Phase one, identify the industry influencers. This is where you’re just gonna have to use your social intelligence. Once you have mastered this skill, you will be in the position to add value to their posts. While it can be easy to dive straight in and comment, please refrain from writing just anything for the sake of commenting. Instead, contribute something thought-provoking and interesting. If you can make these influencers think you’re interesting and worthwhile, you can make the many people who care about their opinions take notice. Occasionally you just do need the middle man.

Quality above quantity. But don’t forget quantity.

The key is to aim for a balance. Every company will be different, so what will work for one company won’t for another. This also comes down to the choice of social media channels. For instance Twitter may potentially require more updates than LinkedIn, but despite the importance of a certain frequency of social updates, quality is key, and quality is what will establish you as a thought leader and a valuable source of information.

Avoid being a jack of all trades

Everybody has an opinion on this; and not all opinions are the same. The fact is there are umpteen social media channels to choose from, but 1) not all of them will be right for your company and 2) even if they them are, focus your attention on a select few. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “don’t spread yourself too thin”, and this most definitely applies to social media activity. If you’ve got a whole social media department, knock yourself out, but most companies won’t have this luxury, and if you want a shot at being amazing, you’re just going to have to invest your resources in fewer channels. If that means waving goodbye to Facebook, then so be it.

Don’t Neglect Opportunities

Social media is constantly evolving, and this is opening a whole array of doors in the form of new platforms, features and techniques. I’m probably not alone in being resistant to change, but the honest truth is; if you’re to succeed in social media, or anything digital for that matter, you’re going to have to leave your resistance to change at the door. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it’s no good just integrating social media into your marketing mix; you need to remain alert to the volatile world of social media, and act accordingly.

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Author:Mike Maynard

Mike Maynard is the managing director of Napier Partnership Limited. Mike is a self-confessed geek who loves talking about technology. He believes that combining the measurement, accountability and innovation that he learnt as an engineer with a passion for communicating ensures Napier delivers great campaigns and tangible return on investment.

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