When I started “doing” social media for a living in 2009, it was shiny, new and nebulous. New platforms kept springing up, only to be acquired by a slightly larger company. Every time we created a best practice, things changed again, and we had to learn and evolve.
But the things that make a social media strategy successful mostly stayed constant. And really, those success factors are remarkably similar across other marketing disciplines. Whether working in traditional web or social media, many of the same best practices apply. Together, they comprise a more digital mindset. This mindset prompts us to develop content and tactics to reach an audience that multi-tasks as they engage with our content. In a more digital world, visitors are coming via mobile devices, or through a single tab in a multi-tabbed browser. They may only have a vague idea of what they’re really seeking.
Reaching these often-distracted digital visitors means ensuring that their experience is easy, clear and well integrated. They need to be able to find content that meets their needs and answers their questions, succinctly. And they should have a similar experience, with a similar message, whether they arrive through a LinkedIn post, an email blast or a search engine.
A digital mindset requires working across the digital spectrum to develop an integrated approach. Whether your heart belongs to traditional website design or you’re experimenting with the newest social platform, we should work with our colleagues to take a unified approach, keeping a few mantras in mind:
1) Know your audience. Develop content with a specific audience in mind. If you’re targeting developers, don’t be afraid to go technical. If you’re selling to the c-suite, talk in terms of ROI and business benefits.
2) Keep it simple. No matter the platform, short and digestible resonates better than meandering and verbose. Sure, white papers and their kin serve a purpose when the visitor is ready for a deep dive, but keep your drive-to tactics short and simple. Twitter and other social platforms do this by their very nature, but it’s an important goal for developing web pages.
3) Measure and adjust. Whether you’re tracking the reach of a campaign-specific Twitter hashtag or click-through rate from a landing page, use metrics to determine what’s working – and what’s not. Make incremental changes, and measure again. Use your data.
As Kelvin Claveria noted in a recent LinkedIn post, the role of the “social media manager” is dying. This will likely continue as the market evolves and social media becomes better integrated into the rest of the marketing mix. But those who can take a more pan-digital mindset to their work will thrive.