The Power of Social Media: this sector of marketing represents an enormous opportunity for brand exposure. If you execute your strategy carefully, you’ll be able to publicly communicate with thousands—or even millions—of people, all at once.
I believe that social media is the most effective tool for building
your brand and business. That is true whether the brand is for business
or is personal. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Linkedin have
become commonplace in our culture and maybe the most popular forms of
interaction today. In fact, Facebook has 1.5 billion monthly users.
That’s one in five people on earth. That is the power of social media, indeed!
Job seeking has changed a lot over the past few years. Gone are the days of waiting for the Sunday newspaper to scour the job section for new opportunities. We have Monster, Ladders, Recruiter, ZipRecruiter and other dot coms which provide job listings and automatically deliver your resume electronically. So, do you need to use the power of social media to find a new job? Does having a powerful personal brand give you an edge in the job market?
The Easy Way to Get a Social Influencer Advocating Your Brand Is to Hire One
Let’s look at some statistics, courtesy of the September 2015 study done by the Society for Human Resource Management: 57 percent of companies hired from LinkedIn, 19 percent hired from Facebook and 65 percent of companies used some form of social media to hire.
Build a Social Media Hiring Strategy
The use of social media accounts: LinkedIn -- 87 percent, Facebook 63 percent, Twitter 56 percent, and a blog 55 percent. The statistics tell us that if you are not using the power of social media to help you stand out, you are putting yourself at a huge disadvantage.
So here are my 10 social media tips to help you position yourself to stand out from the crowd fast:
How Recruiters Creepily Troll Social Media for Job Candidates
You now know that 65 percent of employers hire from social media. So
get social and get hired to the new job you have always wanted.
all recognize that influencer relationships play a key role in any
business or career plan. Finding and developing the right relationships
helps you accelerate the progress towards your goals. Use the power of social media for this purpose: and use it wisely.
It’s also important to understand that some influencer relationships will be more important to you than others. I call these people “Anchor Influencers.”
What fuels these is a stronger sense of connection, stronger alignment in your view of the market, and perhaps even some level of personal connection. Choose these relationships wisely, as they are a key component of your overall marketing plan.
In today’s post, I’m going to discuss how you go about developing these relationships. I’m not going to spend that much time on the very basics of relationship building, as I plan to get quite a bit deeper into what drives Anchor relationships. I’ll also share several stories of creative strategies I have seen people employ.
This ability to benefit from Anchor Influencers holds true regardless of the size of your business. Anchor Influencers can help you accelerate the process of spreading your message and provide external validation and credibility, even if you are a larger brand. If you’ve got money, you can pay for their attention, of course; but obtaining their personal engagement and passion will still be invaluable.
One word I want you to lose from your vocabulary right at the start
of this discussion is “leverage.” You ain’t gonna be leveraging no one
(the awful English here is intentional). And that’s your first lesson.
When pursuing Anchor Influencer relationships, the relationship is the
positive outcome you are looking for — help with your business goals
stems from that: the power of social media at its best.
Content marketing and SEO benefits
Influencers who are engaged with your brand can be like rocket fuel for your content marketing efforts. The payoff is their active sharing of great content that you produce, which acts as third-party validation for that content and can cause others to share it and link to it.
If you create great content, sharing it in your social media channels will help those channels grow.
This does depend on your creating the kind of content that is worth sharing and linking to, and that is by itself a difficult task. But if you’re able to do that, the influencer relationship helps you maximize the ROI of creating that content. From an SEO perspective, this comes in the form of high value links to your content.
The essential power of passion
The power of social media starts with your passion for what you do and openly sharing that love with people you encounter. This is definitely not a “fake it ’til you make it” conversation — the passion has to be real. Your expertise and passion will create unique opportunities for engagement with influencers who share that passion.
It’s also helpful to take stands on key issues in your market. These may be somewhat polarizing, but that is normally a good thing. Take, for example, Seventh Generation, a household products company that made its name by taking a strong stand on eco-friendliness. This eco-friendly focus is at the core of their brand identity, which allows them to communicate with passion and connect with others who share a similar point of view.
Passion does many things for you, including these:
The power of social media: the raw basics of relationship building.
This section is written on the assumption that you don’t have money to deploy in building your Anchor Influencer relationships. Even if you do have that available, bear in mind that money can sometimes interfere with the process, and the principles below still apply. Here are the basic steps:
Your focus needs to be on helping them in a material way related to their interests in your market space, but that’s not the only component of building a relationship. Using the power of social media effectively means finding ways to bring in who you are as a person outside of business into the picture, as well. When people learn about who you are as a person, that helps build trust. Take pains to learn more about them, and find ways to engage on non-market interests.
Now, on to the more advanced stuff!
Make them feel special
It may sound trite, but it really helps to make them feel special.
One great way to do this is to focus on those relationships where you
have the most in common. Extra effort in developing a relationship
usually gets noticed. I’ll show many ways to make people feel special in
the example shared below. As always, avoid the stalker syndrome. There
is no win in that.
All of this works really well if you concentrate on those people that
you already feel an affinity for. That way, the process of forming the
relationship is not one where you’re play acting. That will bite you in
the long run anyway. And that's precisely how the power of social media comes handy.
For larger brands, part of how you make them feel special is that they get to be associated with you. Influencers are not immune to that. But do what you can to truly enhance that feeling of mutual association, and it will likely bring great rewards.
Principles of aggressiveness
Aggressiveness is good, but there are limits. Push too hard on building a relationship, and you become a stalker (as I warned above).
Too much aggressiveness usually stems from being focused on your business goals and losing sight of what it takes to build a personal connection with someone. Early in my career, I had a tendency to fall prey to this.
It would be natural to be thinking that what I’ve outlined above limits how many influencers you can truly connect with, and that should yield a big fat “you betcha.”
Not everyone is a fit for you. So this starts with identifying the right natural fits, adhering to social norms, and then aggressively working on those relationships.
EXAMPLE CASE STUDIES
The key to most of these examples is extra effort, of the kind that
most people won’t do. This is what gets you noticed. Honestly, sometimes
that can be very simple. Learn that someone has a loved one who is
sick? Send them flowers. Someone you know just won an award? Start
pushing your congratulations to them via social media. Does the power of social media works this way? Using it wisely? You bet!
Here are some more things you can do:
1. Speak their language, literally. I had a friend who was trying to get to know someone and was getting nowhere. My friend was American, and the influencer was from Italy. My friend invested the time in learning enough Italian to have an introductory conversation. This broke the ice with the influencer and created a really strong start to an ongoing relationship.
2. Find a common connection. This one is well-known, but highly underutilized. I established a connection with a major influencer once by discovering that I knew someone who went to high school with him. That made for a great initial conversation.
Of course, you can’t expect to use the high school connection path with every influencer, but you may have other common contacts. LinkedIn can work really well for this. Just be aware that people on social media sites aren’t always connected well enough to make an intro, so this doesn’t always work. But it’s worth a try.
3. Get on a plane and go meet them. The best way to do this is if they’re speaking at a conference. Buy a ticket to the conference, and go and watch them speak. Sit in the front row, and go up and introduce yourself to them when they’re done. Nothing like connecting in person to move things forward.
still is doing this if they’re showing up a hyper-local event where
connections are inherently more personal. Be careful to not take this
too far, though. Don’t knock on the front door of their home. That’s
moving into stalker territory. Use the power of social media and connections with moderation and wisdom.
4. Monitor social media conversations for specific opportunities.
People will share all kinds of interesting information online, and
influencers are no exception. Find out what they’re looking for.
Nothing like stepping up and addressing a communicated need to create traction in a conversation.
5. Conspicuously respect their pet peeves. Sometimes, this is all it takes. For example, pretty much every influencer is very sensitive to being misquoted. A good way to interview influencial people is to include a final review and approval of the transcript by the interviewee.
If the influencer (or their PR agency) wants something edited or removed, we just do it. They need to trust that you’ll take care of their concerns if you want to have any chance to interview them.
6. Speak to their passions. Like the last two items, this requires really effective listening. In addition to specific requests or pet peeves, influencers likely share other things they are passionate about. Find ways to add fuel to the fire of their passion, and your chances of connecting go way up.
Anchor Influencers can be a strong core component of a robust digital marketing strategy. As you work on developing these relationships make sure you bring a high degree of value to them — or as I like to say, “Bring the goods.” If you don’t have these, then all the creative tactics in the world won’t work.
These relationships will end up being a lot of work, so choose them wisely, and then continue to invest in the relationship over time. The power of social media will bring in strong rewards that are definitely worth it. Producing great content is a major investment. Anchor Influencers provide strong independent validation of that content, and this can result in the high-value organic links that should be playing a big role in your SEO strategy.
The Power of Social Media: Chat offers a direct line of communication for timely and personalized interactions.
A customer walks into a store in search of a black jacket and a new
pair of jeans. With so many brands, sizes and styles available, they
seek out the nearest sales associate for some help with recommendations.
After learning a little more about what the shopper is after, the
employee curates a selection for the customer to choose from, helping
them get to their final purchase much more efficiently and offering
their expertise throughout. To varying degrees, this scenario is
provided at stores across the globe, but now brands like Nordstrom are
introducing digital services to extend that level of face-to-face
customer support to mobile interactions. The power of social media is coming to the next level!
The Power of Chat Debrief, a new report from PSFK Labs, looks at how digital communication, SMS in particular, is being leveraged to enhance customer service in a mobile-first world.
According to a study conducted by HeyWire Business, up to three-quarters of consumers prefer texting with a customer support representative to current methods of communication, including email, phone or social media interactions. Simply put: sending a text is the simplest, most efficient way to capture someone’s attention. By extension, it has become an integral platform for brands to establish and maintain strong customer relationships.
For many people, texting is the preferred mode of conversation in both their personal and professional interactions because of how easy it is to reach out to someone and the immediacy of response. Beyond the efficiency of text as a timely and direct line of communication, larger companies can use chat to add personalized service to mobile shopping experiences.
In the case of Nordstrom, their TextStyle service lets the
aforementioned interaction incur through messaging. Shoppers text
general information about an item they’re interested in and the chosen
salesperson will reply with a selection of recommended products. The
customer only needs to text back ‘buy’ with a personal verification code
to complete the transaction. This functional feature allows the
retailer to capture a potential buyer’s attention from wherever and
whenever, while providing individualized support. This method is one of the very best examples of the power of social media used effectively.
Outside of the retail environment, hospitality brands are also partnering with service providers like Zingle to offer more seamless communication between guests and staffers. A guest at the Marriott Marquis can process their valet requests directly to hotel personnel with a text message; enabling faster correspondence and shorter wait time between guest’s request and its fulfillment. From valets to concierge and restaurant staff, hotels employees can use text to minimize their time spent processing guest needs throughout their entire stay.
With mobile-consumption trends determining a brand’s use of language and messaging, services like automated chat and opt-in SMS are being leveraged to keep customers informed of relevant news and updates. Chase Bank, for instance, will text clients about low balance or suspicious account behavior to make staying on top of spending less demanding. Online and physical retailers are also using the power of social media by sending out notifications to customers to help them manage orders or inquire about potential purchases. Bubble&Stitch, a 24/7 laundry locker room in Amsterdam, will let their customers know when clothing is ready for pick-up through a text.
As shoppers, we still seek out opportunities for in-store visits from reasons of pure leisure and entertainment to trying on a product before buying.
But most importantly, we still appreciate the assistance of a sales associate, even when we act on a mobile-first impulse.
As illustrated above, brands can and should use the power of social media by extending great customer service support to text, because customers increasingly desire a digital experience that feels responsive, easy and completely personalized.
And what’s easier than ‘Buy,’ Click, Send?