Last week, I wrote about the epidemic of bad social media that is neither social or media. This week, I’d like to offer a solution.
The secret to effective social media isn’t that secret at all – it’s right in the name, in fact. Social PLUS media is the key to getting it right. Here’s how you execute with this knowledge.
Develop a Voice
Your social media should have an individual presence and voice. If it’s a candidate, you can’t fake this. Having your candidate manage at least one of their social channels – typically Twitter – is essential to doing it right. If that’s too much of a challenge, give serious thought to whether social is the right strategy for you. Maybe you could designate another team member as the “social media spokesperson.”
With organizations voices are more challenging but you’ve got to establish a persona that is consistent, no matter who is doing the posting. The Skimm and R/GA are good examples of brands that have a unique, consistent voice.
Being social means interacting with other users on the network. If you went to a party and didn’t interact with the people around you, we’d call it rude. But that’s what’s happening every day on social networks where individuals and brands don’t interact with their followers.
Build interaction into your strategy, whether that’s responding to questions or sharing others’ content.
What type of show will you put on?
The second half of the equation is media and you can think of each one of your social networks as a media property and what kind of programming you’ll put on it. Will your Twitter feed be a behind-the-scenes reality TV show or a just-the-facts PBS documentary?
Curate, Aggregate, or Amplify
If you’re having a hard time finding a voice or developing original programming for your social media accounts, you can curate or aggregate your supporters’ content. This will often be more engaging and authentic than something you’d come up with on your own.
You could take a more down-the-middle approach and provide a behind-the-scenes look at your campaign. Share information, links, video, and photos. With local media on the decline, this may be the only way some campaign events and activities get coverage.
Some of the best accounts out there are anonymous Twitter comedians. It’s hard to do if you’re a campaign but you can fill the void of personal content by being humorous or serious or ironic – pick a theme.
The key in each one of these strategies is setting expectations. That starts with the name of the account. If the candidate isn’t personally tweeting themselves, give the account a handle that reflects that. Include information for your followers for how they can get followed or shared, like tweeting with certain hashtags.
Remember: social + media is the formula you need to do it well. And it shouldn’t be expensive. Your effectiveness and authenticity is inversely proportional to how much money and time you spend executing on social media.