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Maximizing Social

Maximizing Social media

Extend your reach through Tweets, likes, Snaps and shares.

When you think of social media, the big players like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn tend to come to mind. But recently countless other social media platforms have garnered tons of attention and user engagement. There is Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Boomerang and Vimeo, just to name a few.

With all the various social media platforms out there today, it is important to create a game plan if you want to increase your engagement on social media. Maribel Lara, the vice president of account strategy of VaynerMedia, suggested developing a cohesive social media strategy that gets deployed across all channels.

Start by thinking about what platforms you want to use, because each has a distinctive purpose. “Facebook is where you are going to be able to reach the most people, but you’ll need to put media dollars behind the content to ensure impressions,” said Lara. “Snapchat still offers an opportunity for your content to get seen organically, and if millennials
are part of the audience you are trying to talk to, it’s a must. Twitter is still where we go to find out what’s happening at this very moment.”

Any solid social media strategy should be reflective of what you want to achieve. Lara explained it is essential to keep your business objectives in mind, whether that is to gain new members, increase member satisfaction or just engage with current members. “Evaluate your content from your target audience’s perspective, not just your own,” said Lara. “Identify how you are going to differentiate yourself from the competition and be clear on the consumer you are trying to reach, while remembering that social media targeting isn’t a blunt tool. You can talk to distinct audiences in specific ways that will resonate more for them.”

Another essential element of any social media strategy is interaction. Social media is a great way to build relationships with your members. When they post to your Facebook page or send you a Tweet, make sure to respond. Lara emphasized that personalization and sincerity are key here. “It kills me that there are businesses that use automated responses for comments,” explained Lara. “That personal one-on-one engagement is what social media was built on and still has value, regardless of the channel. There is no substitute for having a real-person communication with your customers on social channels.”

While social media is not necessarily new, with Facebook launching over a decade ago in 2004, followed by Twitter in 2006, its influence and reach has expanded exponentially. Today Facebook has over 1.7 billion monthly active users. And with the addition of new platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, the social media world is ever-changing.

Lara explained it would be a mistake not to take risks when it comes to your social media accounts. Don’t be afraid to try something new. “I hear businesses resisting to experiment because the success hasn’t previously been proven out,” said Lara. “If you are the new kid on the block, or the one with the least resources in the pack, you are not going to win by playing the game the same way everyone else is playing. You are in the best position to innovate, so be the first mover. You are going to have some failures, but what you learn will eventually put you ahead of the pack.”

Even though the social media landscape might seem complex, the bottom line when it comes to maximizing your social media efforts is to keep your members top of mind. “What is going to make consumers want to pay attention to you so that when you want to say something about your business, they are willing to listen?” asked Lara.

Emily Harbourne

Emily Harbourne is the assistant editor of Club Solutions Magazine.

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