Some days, it can feel impossible to keep up with social media. And we’re just talking your personal feed, not spending extra time with the customers who reach out to your practice. And don’t even get us started on all the new widgets and doodads (technical terms) that allow for new and different kinds of interactions in the social space!

OK, let’s all take a few breaths first. Sure, social can be overwhelming, but it’s worth stepping back and realizing that even after 10+ years, the big picture of social media marketing hasn’t really changed at all: you need to build relationships and start conversations. In fact, every social company is turning toward rewarding even more authentic and valuable interactions.

Face(book) the Music

Remember earlier this year when businesses freaked about Facebook’s ad algorithm changes? After those updates, you can’t just flash your brand in posts, videos, etc. and continue to expect success. But really, that never should have been a strategy for any business. Barking your brand to anyone who will listen – how anti-social is that?

The way to do it right is a mix of boosted posts, interactive content, and engaging ads that spark discussion. It’s an “all of the above” approach to show that you are being authentic in the space and contributing to the social community that’s discussing what you have to offer, not just trying to milk money out of them.

Being Authentically Social

In our experience so far, authentic social media marketing is a much more labor-intensive thing to pull off than just putting together good content and making sure it shows up in the right channels. First, you have to up the content game with more interactive content like quizzes, polls, questions, captivating photos, etc. that will get genuine engagement. This takes more time to develop than static ads/offers.

Then you have to continue to participate in the community that engages, responding to comments/questions quickly, following up with more detailed information, and continuing to provide an entertaining perspective so people stay engaged. Also can be very tricky and time consuming.

Social Success, Social Slips

For our clients, what we’re seeing is the ones who have experience genuinely interacting with customers on social channels are succeeding even more recently, and the ones who have just been going through the motions aren’t getting the traction they once did. Those with a loyal and committed fanbase mix up their content with planned offers, monthly contests, funny posts, and pics/videos that show their human side. This is the approach that succeeds on social today.

A surefire way to slip up on social media? Rely solely on curated/reposted content. It can be fine if used sparingly, but no matter what, reposted content just doesn’t get engagement when you dig down into the analytics. Unique, authentic stuff that’s directly speaking to what your business is about is what works, case closed.

In terms of execution, it is extremely helpful to have a brand champion within your practice who understands the social landscape and can look for opportunities that followers would find engaging. As an outside firm, we can help to develop and gut check content, come up with longer-term campaigns, develop a paid promotional strategy, and help with the technical side as needed. But it’s hard for us to succeed in day-to-day management of the social effort – that’s really something that needs to be done internally to be done right.

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