Social media is constantly keeping you and your audiences busy, it’s the escape for all of us…although keeping audiences engaged is a whole other challenge. How can your company create effective social media channels without spreading yourself too thin or losing bulk portions of your audience? The answer is being implemented by some of the biggest companies in the world right now.
The concept of the “effective channel” is based in creating valuable content for a company’s audience based on their specific interest. Especially with millennials, they don’t want to be sold to – they want to be educated and entertained. A recent Gallup Report shows that 87% of millennials find development more important than a job. With so many diverse interests and backgrounds, it becomes a wonder how anybody can find their niche in development. However, the power behind effective marketing is a lot simpler than you may think. The idea can be broken into two simple rules.
#1: Limit yourself to two types of social media channels: interest-based & geographic. Period.
At the end of the day, this is the litmus test that will determine if your content is effective. The audience needs to be able to find the value in a social media channel before subscribing to it. Keeping your company limited to these two types of channels will both keep them engaged and coming back for more content. It also works perfectly on your company’s end of things as well. Having organized, interest-based specific content (articles, blogs, videos, infographics, etc.) will make it easier to delegate jobs, schedule tailored, posts, and create that perfect niche group that is essential to keep an audience coming back for more.
As said before, this is already being done by companies you subscribe to without you even knowing it. Take Accenture’s LinkedIn page, for example, which has a flurry of specific, yet extremely organized channels. Their approach has been largely effective. Viewers of one channel can easily make the transition to another. Geographic channels can subscribe based on that commonality and then introduced to more specific content, leading them to the topical channels. Granted, there’s a few more metrics involved in this, but the beauty of this model is that you get to determine what those metrics are and how they will be most effective for your audience. This is a similar approach we’re continually adopting at Gallup, driving a social media strategy based on content and creating niche based channels, such as education, to provide the most value to a specific viewer. The challenge that remains, however, it continually creating reliable and valuable content for the users of these channels and reconnecting that content to the business objective.
#2: Never be afraid to condense low performing channels to broaden horizons.
Social media marketing is an ever fluid game. Being one, it’s natural that channels won’t latch on to as many viewers as one would hope for. The most successful companies are the ones that are taking in these metrics, analyzing them, and actually condensing those channels with commonalities into general platforms to redistribute users.
One of the most successful companies that were able to implement this is McKinsey Consulting Group, which lays out their LinkedIn channels into 4 concise, yet dynamic categories.
McKinsey’s model goes even further, as their condensing approach has combined topical channels into what we’ll call: consumer-variation channels. Here we see Digital McKinsey, for the average consumer, McKinsey Analytics, for someone looking for more advanced materials, and McKinsey New Ventures, which is specifically tailored for businesses.
However, it’s important to remember this: if you’re condensing your audience, it’s important to have the end goal in mind of retargeting audiences through paid channels. Even though there are condensed channels, targeting tools must be implemented to redistribute your audience through paid media. At Gallup, we adopted this model by breaking down channels using the condensed model, but then using paid advertising to redistribute users and creating new value for them. If there’s one thing to take away, it’s this: paid media will let you drive your audience to a new interest-based channel. Let’s face it, nobody’s going to the home page, they’re going to where the content is most appealing to them, which is the news feed.
Consending is a means to the end, not the end itself.
Following these two rules can lead to a range of affects: interest-based specific content, and most importantly, devoted users that your company can develop a personal relationship with. It’s not just about broadcasting, it’s using this relationship to keep them a part of the conversation, asking questions, responding to comments, etc. The new prosumer, the new user that is constantly both producing and consuming, is looking for value, not job placement. It comes down to education, about value, and about bringing development into the relationship. It’s this relationship that draws the line between those that fail to keep their viewers engaged, and those that keep them coming back for more.
What’s your thought? Drop me a note #Socialmedia