Experience is a major differentiator between agencies and their teams. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked, so we are bringing it to light with a series of articles written by team members from Draper DNA that know the importance and value of experience as they deliver it everyday. This article is written by Ashlie Clayton, our social media strategist with twenty years of direct experience with the platforms, content, and services necessary to get the most from your social media efforts and investments. Enjoy this article “Turnkey Social Media.”
Over the last decade of focusing solely on social media marketing and working with dozens of brand names you’d recognize; I’ve seen how companies change their approach to social media. B2B companies especially will inevitably experience a “fragmented” approach to social media. Sometimes, an under-experienced or already-overworked employee/team will be assigned with overseeing the company social media efforts. Sometimes, companies have several agencies involved in various aspects of social media. Both approaches are doomed to fail; they don’t last because they aren’t sustainable and don’t work in favor of the brand.
I recently took the time to look back at all the organizations I’ve worked with and examined when they’ve experienced real success on social media. The common denominator: they had a dedicated team of experienced people in charge of it, handling social media turnkey.
Turnkey Social Media
This review also shed some light on a few other things: common tell-tale signs of a company that needs a turnkey approach.
- Visuals are impersonal and/or lackluster.
Content may be templated. It lacks an emotional connection, or most posts are product-focused instead of people-inspired. Photos and videos appear as a hodge-podge of visuals, varying in quality and consistency. Copy feels promotional and impersonal; it’s hard to recognize the brand voice.
- Not taking advantage of various post formats and platform features.
Each platform offers various post formats, each serving a special purpose to accomplish a different business goal. Ex: link posts to drive clicks, Stories to increase engagement.
Brands should be testing these formats regularly and using a diverse mix. But without a dedicated team on social, it’s nearly impossible to have the resources to produce new content in different formats and sizes at the pace in which they are needed.
- Broken customer experience.
This is one that I’ve often experienced behind-the-scenes, where one agency is in charge of social media advertising and a different team is in charge of community management.
- 99% of the time, this results in an imbalance, with comments and engagements on ads going ignored. Or, with a different look and tone on ads that is seen organically in the community.
- Inconsistent posting activity.
This one is the easiest to spot. It’s obvious (to me, at least) when a company doesn’t have enough resources dedicated to social media because posting frequency varies or appears to have dark phases. And unfortunately, inconsistency like this can ding you. A healthy social media presence / online community begins with consistency.
Ten Things …
Contrary to these signs of a flailing social media management approach, here are ten things that B2B companies experience when they have the right team managing social media turnkey:
- Written strategy that aligns with business goals
- Regular reporting and insights that can help R&D, product teams, and other marketing
- Cohesive look and feel on all content
- Stronger engagement and online community involvement
- Clear purpose for each channel, and a focus on the ones that matter most to your customers and business
- Exploration of various post formats and regular testing/experimentation with new features (which will also improve engagement and other metrics)
- Stronger community engagement and consistent experience
- Streamlined process that enables internal teams to focus on other strategic initiatives
- Consistent tone and visuals in advertising and organic content
- Improved results from paid social media efforts
I can say with complete confidence that social media marketing is both an art and a science. (For example, it’s an art to direct and choose the right content and facilitate community connections. Understanding each platforms’ idiosyncrasies and knowing when and how to use them is a science.) And having a team that can masterfully handle both sides (all sides of social media) is the only way to really make social media work generate loyalty, awareness, and, yes, sales.
I’m in this line of work because I find true joy in helping companies harness the power of social media. I’d love to help you next.