Social media is really just an extension of us!
One of the biggest mistakes one can make in social media marketing is to think that because you are active, you will “win” over the fans. Not only can hyperactivity be penalized as spam, but it is, ultimately, about getting your fans to be active. The quality of content is far more important than the quantity. A digital marketing action plan needs a strategy.
But, this is not the point. Beyond the quality of content, there are two other supremely important key success factors (KSS) to a winning social media presence.
Prime time social media
The first KSS is that you must post when your target audience — friends, fans or potential followers — is online. It almost sounds like a constraint reminiscent of traditional media: we must be aware of the anointed hour. If your audience is not plugged in when your message is posted, then it will fall into a digital vacuum. It is ironic to think that we are again having to pay attention to “prime time.” Thus, we need to worry less about the long tail and more about when people are actually online. Humorists have it right when they say, “timing is everything.” A couple of great tools for figuring out when your audience is online are Tweriod (freemium), Crowdbooster (freemium) and WhenToTweet (quick but you need to pay $4.99).
Interaction in real time
Secondly, whereas before it might have been acceptable to indicate that “we will get back to you within 2 days, or 48 hours,” today, a multi-minute response time is the expectation. Operating in real time is tantamount to being present all the time. When someone posts, comments or texts, you – the brand – are exhorted to answer in real time. In other words, as if the social media comment was part of a live conversation (à la live chat). This has very real implications in terms of human resource allocation and work policy.
Automatic services with limits
Fortunately, there are many wonderfully efficient services that allow us to post on a deferred basis. BTW, my preferred service is Buffer. The issue is that we cannot post when we want to, or when we are ready (i.e. before the onslaught of work for us early birds, or late at night for the owls). We need to have a constant, enriching, and timely conversation when our audience is ready to receive. Of course, along with the right time, it is important to have a regular and constant stream of quality posts. That said, one cannot just automatically post and then sit back. To build a strong and active fan base, it is hyper important that a brand also works to interact (like, comment…), share (RT, repost) and otherwise engage with its audience and this in a timely fashion. As I mentioned before, this means BEING present and prepared to respond in real time.
Human media more than social media
It is, thus, not surprising that we end up with this notion that we are the media. Social media is the tool, the platform. We are the message, the media and the minute maker! This is how I end up thinking that the correct term might be Human Media rather than Social Media. What do you think?