I watched “Interview with a Vampire” recently, and I admit I have watched it more than twice. I read the book by Anne Rice when I was in college and it was a favorite. A line that stands out to me now that did not when I was in college is “The world changes, we do not, therein lies the irony that kills us.” It was the character Armand who said this to the main character Louis, believing he needed Louis to help bring him into the 20th century. I get it. What would he do now that the world has gone digital? A year now compared to then might feel like a century! In the digital age time moves quickly, even if it drags on if you’re an immortal. How do you keep up with social media or even decide which social media is worth keeping up with for your business?
When you run a company that is rooted in technology, it’s a challenge to stay up with the latest and the greatest. It’s a fast market and only the companies that keep up survive. We compete on how fast we can get a project done without compromising our quality. So we not only survive, we thrive by being fast. But being fast isn’t the same as connecting with your customers on the right social media platform. And, if we have to be on all of them, the question becomes, “Do I still have time to sleep?”
It’s more than the speed of business, it’s the number of communication channels available to reach your customers or potential customers. I joined Facebook as an early adopter, and YET I can’t stomach the idea of a Pinterest account. So I started thinking does Mindspot really need a Pinterest account? We are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn; and you can even personally link in with me too. I write this blog and dig that, but do I have to start an online scrapbook program to reach my audience?
It does all start with your audience. If you are trying to figure out if you should go wide or go deep in terms of social media strategy – start with defining your customer. Then look at the demographic composition for the top social media sites and their growth and decide if your customers are there and why. Fortunately, Pew Research just completed a survey (December 2012) detailing exactly what I want to know:
- 15% of online adults say they use Pinterest
- 13% of online adults say they use Instagram
- 6% of online adults say they use Tumblr
- 67% of online adults say they use Facebook
- 16% of online adults say they use Twitter
- 20% of online adults say they use LinkedIn (August 2012)
They note that social media users are more likely to be women (71% versus 62% respectively). A Pinterest account is 5 times more likely to be owned by a woman. A LinkedIn in user is more likely to be male, and it’s designed for Professional Networking. Globally there are over 200 million users. This research quickly reinforces Mindspot’s current social media strategy. Based on who and where our customers are if we have to choose, we choose Facebook because, two-thirds of the adult population visits, even if once in a while they take a “Facebook vacation.” We choose LinkedIn because it is a business network and almost all of our clients are business professionals. We choose Twitter because it’s nearly 20% of the population is tweeting and it’s growing. Also, I think Twitter is cool, our Mindspot Twitter page is cool, and we have it linked to automatically update the Twitter feed on the homepage of our website.
From a strategic marketing perspective, how do you decide the social media strategy for your business? Sure your budget, both from a time and money perspective comes into play. Again this goes back to what I always say about search engine optimization (SEO), winning is hard work. It’s true with social media too. There is no getting out of it. Shortcuts show – just plugging in links without relevant content, or hiring a high school or college student to do it for you, will show. You will miss sharing your knowledge and you won’t make a personal connection to the people you are trying to connect with. It’s like blogging…you’ve got to give something back or people won’t read your posts or your blogs. One thing I can guarantee you is that if you don’t think what you have to say is interesting -no one else does either. Welcome to the twenty-first century in bytes Armand.
by Lynnette Leathers CEO of Mindspot Research, a division of Mindspot, Inc.