How to Master Your Social Media Swing
By Voices Heard Media, Knoxville
Founded in 2007 by former NFL player and broadcaster Will Overstreet, Voices Heard Media is a leader in multi-platform user engagement tools.
Perfecting your social media strategy can be as difficult as mastering a golf swing like Jack Nicklaus's (he set the "Golden" standard), but it doesn't have to be.
The trick to nailing down your social media strategy is engaging your fans. If there's not an opportunity for users to talk to you, they're not going to. You have to provide an outlet for them to communicate, give them a reason to engage and make them excited to come back. Like the perfect golf swing, good social media strategies also have a formula.
1. Prepare. Setting a good, solid, foundation will get you off on the right foot for your social media campaigns. First decide who's going to be the one responsible for posts, promotions and communicating with fans. Once you set up a strategy, stick to it. Ask yourself what promotions you are going to have in the coming months and think about upcoming holidays or events that you can leverage. Asking these questions, and knowing the answers ahead of time, helps prepare you for an effective social media campaign. Arnold Palmer would be proud.
2. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Social media planning, like everything in business, requires a keen sense of awareness about what you do well and what needs improvement. Like your golf swing, knowing the areas you need to improve will help you tweak your social media strategy and avoid a Tiger Woods-sized PR nightmare. If your sales are down on the latest product, offer a promotion; if you want to raise awareness about your company, give them a reason to like your page - or follow you on Twitter - by offering special discounts. Think about your weaknesses and how you can put a positive spin on them while engaging your audience.
3. Be consistent. Consistency is everything. To engage your audience, fans or consumers, consistently post useful information, and create posts that encourage engagement and feedback. A good example of this is HGTV. They constantly post questions on their Facebook page to spark conversation while linking their audience back to their website. On their website you can find links to other social networks, like Twitter and Pinterest, as well as useful tips and information. Fans know they're consistent and HGTV is always on their side.
4. Make it uniquely YOU. Jack Nicklaus may have coined the golden standard, but each professional golf swing varies just as much as the players themselves. It's the same way with social media; just because everyone is on Facebook doesn't mean that it is the only place you can engage your fans. Taking advantage of the endless space on your website is something most companies have forgotten about. Posting polls, contests and promotions on your site is a great way to bring users back. For example, Travel Channel created a poll to select the best college town to be featured in an episode of Man vs. Food. It didn't take long for thousands of fans cast their votes. Man vs. Food drove traffic from their Facebook page to their website, while the Travel Channel promoted the poll on their television commercials. Good promotion is always key in successful events.
5. Follow through. The golf swing doesn't end when the club hits the ball; it continues until it is high in the air and over your shoulder. Golfers know that they have to follow through and finish with exquisite form, and this is another lesson to be applied to social media. After a successful event is over, follow through with your audience. Ask them what they liked or didn't like, and use this feedback to improve and strengthen your approach. Deliver what you promise, repeat what you did well and fix what didn't work. If you do this, your fans will support you again and again. Finishing strong in a social media campaign is just as important as the follow through in your golf swing.
Founded in 2007 by former NFL player and broadcaster Will Overstreet, Voices Heard Media is a leader in multi-platform user engagement tools. Its Engagement Engine technology platform powers a suite of embeddable applications that spark engagement and build communities on your site -- and across mobile and social platforms. For more information, please visit www.voicesheardmedia.com.
Published April 3, 2012