Monday, August 17, 2015

Rising Above The Noise

As someone that works in social media, we often hear how “noisy” it is. Naturally what follows next is people wondering how to cut through that, how to get heard in a social media atmosphere that more people are delving into each day with their own messaging. Personally, I don’t find social media to be noisy. Perhaps a topic for another blog, but I find that if you are analyzing your data and joining the communities you truly fit into, as well as spending the most time in the communities where you want to be heard in, you won’t find it noisy at all. I believe that the more people, brands and companies that join a “space,” the more credence it lends to being IN that space or industry, and the more it is able to grow and thrive.
Don't Be Afraid to Stand Out!

For many startup companies, I think the “noise” they are seeing can be pretty overwhelming. Brands and people come into social media with no concrete plan or strategy and that is when I recognize noise. That is when social media turns from a WE activity, to a ME activity. Here are some tips I’ve found to help combat some of that and work towards joining a community where you can be heard, as well as hear others:

1.      ABTà Always Be Testing: Your analytics are a goldmine of information. Paying attention to them will teach you when your target audience is online, what posts you put out get the most attention, and what topics your community most responds to. You can use that information to then tailor your content to fit into what your audience and community wants more of, they will begin to see you as the resource we know you can be, and you will begin to garner more attention.

2.      Let Go Of The Ego: Remember, a group of like-minded goal oriented people will always accomplish more than the one person that thinks they know it all and can do it alone. Grow your community by being the same person online as you are when you meet new people offline. You don’t walk up to potential friends and introduce yourself, then go on to pitch them on what you do for a living and how they can buy in, they’d get bored and walk away. Rather, you introduce yourself to people and ask questions about them, try to get to know them, see what they are interested in and where you have things in common.

3.      Focus on the Consumer: This is a bit of a follow up to #2. When people feel that they are important to you, they pay more attention to you. Thank people for posts or sharing your posts. Ask questions that help you get to know people better, and when you are asked questions, answer them honestly as YOU. We all know there are faces behind each brand, let your personality come out from behind the brand as well. Allow yourself to be the fun, engaging and relatable person you are offline, online!

4.      Do More Than Just Listen: Active social listening is one of the most important items in any social media plan, in my opinion, but you have to do more than simply listen and place people into little persona boxes. You have to have open two-way, mutually benficial conversations with them. I believe that is the only way to truly get to know people, find out what’s important to them, and find ways you can help make their lives better. We already know you’ve got the best product/brand/service in the world, how can you let your communities know that as well, without directly telling them?

5.      Add Visuals: Look at your own timeline, and take some time to scroll through. What catches your eye? The miles and miles of text, or a picture or video that pops out? I’m willing to put my money on the visuals! Use one-of-a-kind photos (best if you take them yourself!) that represent you or your brand and intersperse them with your text.

6.      Be Consistent: Keep your core values top of mind through all content mediums and platforms. Each time someone has a touchpoint with you or your brand, they should be able to recognize it as the same from another medium, without thought. Consistency also leads to reliability and reliability leads to trust. And trustworthy people and brands always stand out!

When you are able to put all or some of these items together, you can better create a top-notch user experience for your communities, consumers and potential consumers. People will begin to see you as helpful, responsive, someone who cares about their needs. When you speak to people as they like to be spoken to you will have no problem with any noise on social media.
What stands out to you on social media? What brands are doing this well? Tweet me and let me know @lucyrk78!

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