My brand name ReallyLeila has evolved from people constantly saying, “Really, Leila?” In many different tones and for different purposes, to developing into a Really Easy way to explain the basics of social media. Although on social media my main focus is on Twitter and Influencers, I do look for the most efficient way to do holistic social media. The REALLY method is, in my mind, the best tool for analyzing social media in a holistic approach or you can use the REALLY method for each social media application. As long as you’re constantly Researching, Engaging, Analyzing Analytics, Listening, Learning and being YOU, social media will be easy for your brand and its success.
The greatest aspect of social media is that everything is public for the users of the Web 2.0. However, most companies also think this is a problem. As I mentioned in my Turning Negative Customers Into Brand Evangelists blog, negative customers are actually a blessing in disguise. As long as you’re paying attention to what is being said about you, your competitors and influencers on the Web, you will be golden. Well, that and a good product or service.
The most important part of social media for getting started is to do research. To make social media easy for you in the future and during the process it is beneficial to understand the social media landscape you hope to enter. The Research portion of social media can be a blog post on its own, but this is a basic framework to create a holistic social media approach. The research should include what I like to call the TIGOMA (an acronym inside of an acronym). This stands for Target Audience, Influencers (and competitors), Goals, Objectives, Message and Analytics (this is in the REALLY framework twice because it is that important). It is vital to any social media strategy, social media campaign and even each blog post to define each. TIGOMA is very important, but can be a blog post in itself. My next blog will explain the TIGOMA approach, but for now, knowing these basics are needed for research will help make social media easy.
What drives social media is the ability to create content and engaging with your community. Many think that the size of your community is the most important part of social media, however what is more important is engagement. To create clout on the web, engagement such as users replying to you, retweeting your information, using your hashtag, commenting are more helpful on social media then the number of followers you have. Followers are static. Engagement from your community members will create awareness in their community through posts and shares. Even if you have a large community and your followers or page likes are not mentioning you on social media you are losing the brand awareness through word of mouth.
As mentioned earlier, analytics are the key to success on social media. To make social media easy, it is important to track engagement, community, interactions, target audience and platforms. Through analytics your brand can see a number of factors such as the time your audience is online, the type of content they really like, the content that has the most engagement, other platforms that your audience is coming from. By knowing your measurement and analytics on social media it enables your brand to customize the information to fit your target audience. Why do more work on social media, when you can make social media easy for yourself? Sign up for various analytic tools and understand what it is that your community enjoys hearing about, not what you think your community wants to hear about. Some good tools to use are: Simply Measured, Social Bro (my favorite), Analytics from Twitter and FB Insights.
Whether you want to be on social media or not, your brand has a footprint. That’s why listening to what people are saying on social media is necessary to win at social media. There are a number of listening tools on social media tools that helps social media become really easy. Through the listening tools, they either notify you when you are mentioned somewhere on the web or you will set up a stream on one of the listening tools for your to monitor. For instance, Google Alerts will alert you if you are mentioned online. Whereas tools such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite will let you monitor what people are saying. For listening, it is also important to monitor your influencers, competitors and industry to see what their communities are discussing, what they’re not discussing and filling any voids that Influencers and Competitors are not filling on social media.
Through research, analytics, engagement and listening, you are learning about your brand, your industry and your consumers. If you are not learning and implementing what you are learning, then you are doing your brand a disservice. Social media is a vast tool that enables brands to understand the landscape that they are using, without having to shell out large amounts of money. Use the information about your brand that you have learned and make social media easy for your brand.
Social media is all about YOU! Whether you are a brand or creating a personal brand, it is important to put your voice, your personal experiences and your brand image into your social media. The great thing about social media is that it is personal. Your community doesn’t just want statistics and information, they want real responses and brand experiences. If you are now showing the behind the scenes or are just a robot, then why would users want to follow you? What is in it for them? If you’re funny or a humorous brand, then be funny. If you’re not funny, then don’t try to be funny. Be transparent on social media. Be different and interesting, but always be yourself. One more thing, if your competitor or an influencer is doing it, doesn’t mean that it will work for you.
Social media is a simple tool to use. Why not make social media easy for your brand? And let your competitors and influencer’s struggle.