Ensuring social media campaigns meet business objectives

If you look at social media posts today (I’m not talking about sponsored or promoted posts), you see a mix of content. Let’s limit this discussion to LinkedIn because of the more apparent business focus and the kind of content people might post there.

Some people post to advertise what they’ve achieved. Perhaps they got a promotion recently. Perhaps they shared an update on a big project they were working on. Or maybe they shared pictures and feedback from a recent workshop they ran. In some ways, these posts are advertisements because what they serve to do is promote or publicise something.  It’s “me” driven.

Others choose to post in a way that adds value. They may share a story. They may highlight important information or news that they believe others need to be aware of. Sometimes, the post is even better when the writer takes the time to connect the dots and provide context about what she shares. In some ways, these  posts  are “you” driven because the writer focuses on what her audience may need or want.

Why do I share this?

Are you or are you not a marketer?

Let me ask you that question.

Well, if you think that because you’re in operations or finance, that you’re not really a marketer – think again.

I believe that traditional marketers are not tapping as fully into social media as they should. This could be due to any number of factors including lack of know-how or being unclear about the value proposition. You don’t know what you don’t know, right? Digital marketers may be exploring social media too but how are they doing so? Are they as effective as they can be?

What if you’re not a marketer?

Well, if you think that because you’re in operations or finance, that you’re not really a marketer – think again. You have a personal brand, whether you realise it or not. And if you accept this, you’ll do everything in your power to ensure that your brand – your digital profile –  supports you in your role and in your company,  in all the ways it should.

Why? People invest in building their brand so they can reach for the finer things in life. They want to get better jobs. They want to climb the corporate ladder. They want better pay so they can go on holidays and so on. People invest in themselves.

If you’re a marketer (or if you see yourself as one), your brand can be aligned with that of your company. Many businesses are already aware of the considerable benefits of having employees with strong personal brands. It helps improve employer brand recognition. That personal brand also provides a great touchpoint between company and customer. Companies are increasingly looking for ways to look more human, rather than the impassive business units they appear to be.

Social media marketing is not about the thing you’re marketing or selling.

But show up how?

Social media marketing is not about the thing you’re marketing or selling.

It is all about positioning yourself well. You’re developing clarity about who you are and what you do. You’re choosing to show up time and again for the people who matter the most to you. You’re investing energy and expertise to develop thought leadership.

Your ultimate goal?

To mobilise people positively because as you may have read time and time again, people do business with people they like and respect. There is a huge opportunity for both traditional and digital marketers who want to create impact in regional and global markets to do things differently in order to be noticed and to build influence.

Your first step

You start by developing trust and authority.

Digital technologies have transformed how you work and communicate. Whether you choose to keep up or not, these developments are here to stay. So it pays for you to figure out the landscape you’re in and how you will move ahead.

Through my research and experience over the last 12 years, I’ve come to see that marketers can do more to leverage LinkedIn to run effective social media campaigns that meet business objectives. I believe in this framework which I myself have employed with success:

  1. develop a strong and clear digital profile;
  2. build a purposeful network around you;
  3. build a body of work (this is your content marketing strategy) to engage the market.

So what is a body of work? This is an opportunity to capture your ideas and make them tangible for others to appreciate and amplify – through articles and posts. You’re making it clear who you will support and how. You’re adding  value by shining a light on relevant issues and solving problems.

Fear is not real –  it’s a by-product of how you’re thinking through an issue

If you’re a company, I know what you’re thinking.  At some point, that individual’s personal brand may tip over from being an advantage to the business and become more of a threat. Yes, some people have taken the time to invest in building relationships. These people may have 10,000 or 20,000 followers.

They have a ready audience. They engage and interact  – they speak and people listen.

If the individual has a strong and attractive personal brand, surely she will be head-hunted by competitors, right?

Should a company be worried?

I believe that companies are better off encouraging the development of personal brands – not suppressing it. Individuals are going to continue using social media to connect, to be informed and to develop their personal brand. They will, because quite simply, they can. They are empowered  and resistance is futile. Rather than focus on all the ways things could go wrong, employers would be better served looking at what could go right.

As employers, this is an opportunity to build stronger, deeper relationships with your talent.
To connect deeply and engage.
To find out what moves your talent.
To support your talent in their endeavours.
To value your relationship with them.
To realise that to them, their personal brand means something unique and attractive and it can be meaningful to your company too. How powerful is that?

If companies can understand the impact here, they can begin to support their talents’ initiatives and begin ensuring that social media campaigns truly meet business objectives.

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If you’re a traditional or digital marketer, a consultant or even a business owner/entrepreneur and interested to find out how you can leverage LinkedIn more effectively,  join me in my two day workshop, The Marketer’s Definitive Guide to LinkedIn Predominance in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

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