As with so many things in life, social media marketing is all about getting the balance just right. Too much of one thing and not enough of another can leave your campaigns seeming amateurish, annoying, or otherwise just tasteless or plain bad. Think about them in terms of cooking up a tasty broth for your loved ones – all of your ingredients need to be balanced perfectly to avoid disaster and please those hungry tummies.
Too much salt and the dish becomes unpalatable. Not enough liquid, and your broth will boil dry and burn on the pan. If you don’t use a good stock as the base, then there will simply be no meat to your offering (regardless of whether it’s a vegetarian option or not). Under season and the soup will be bland. Over season and it will be ghastly.
Balance. Success when cooking rests on balance – and so too does it when cooking up your next social campaign.
Marketing Campaigns: How Do You Like Yours Cooked?
The cooking analogy is nothing new, it seems. The Digital Marketing Agency Manchester recently produced the following infographic, where marketing strategies are compared with the degrees of ‘doneness’ in meat.
Many a time have us carnivores been asked: “And how do you like your steak cooked, sir/madam?” We all have our preferences, of course, though most of us would agree that a ‘well done’ steak, well – it isn’t very well done at all, is it? No, it’s not – and the same holds true for social media marketing campaigns that are also ‘overcooked’.
Although not everybody enjoys their steak cooked to a medium doneness (I actually happen to prefer mine so pink that it’s practically mooing on the plate), the infographic nonetheless hits the nail perfectly on the head with regards to social campaigns.
If you’re hosting a banquet, then the best way to ensure that you are pleasing the most people as possible is to cook your meat medium. As carnivorous as I am, I don’t mind a steak that has been taken a little further along the cooking process than what would be described as ‘blue’ or ‘rare’. And those that normally insist on having theirs burnt to a crisp are in fact often pleasantly surprised by a juicy mouthful of meat, rather than th bone-dry one that they’re used to.
But, if you are loyal only to the extremes, then you please a few, but isolate many.
If you’re only rarely posting to your social media channels, then your followers who don’t like too many notifications from sites to which they are registered will be kept appeased (but, let’s face it, these people aren’t really going to be the ones where your custom comes from). But, on the other hand, if you constantly bombard all of your followers across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and all the rest with updates every 5 minutes, then a significant proportion of your following is simply going to get fed up with you clogging up their news feeds, and you can expect a mass exodus to occur some time very soon.
Where, How Much, and How Often?
Treading the line is the name of the game – and it is a rather fine, unforgiving line, at that. With each year that ticks by, the task of the social media marketer gets ever more complicated. Brands big and small have now taken to digital platforms the world over, creating more competition in these spaces than ever before. Add to that the fact that more and more channels seem to be popping up each day, then it can seem like a dangerous minefield to tread when deciding which ones you should climb aback of, and which ones you should actively ignore.
Well, there’s no hard and fast answer to that, unfortunately. Whether it will be Minds that proves to be the next social network that takes off, or Ello, or whether it’s one of these 4 social networks that you’re probably not, but should be, using – choosing exactly where to focus your efforts is confusing at best.
But there are certainly 3 social networks that you simply cannot exist without:
In that order.
So let’s now consider those one at a time in an effort to determine how you may create a social presence akin to ‘medium doneness’ across these essential channels.
Facebook is perhaps the most social of all the social networks. By this I mean that it is frequented numerous times every day by users who use the platform to primarily get the gossip on what their friends are up to.
Of course, businesses use Facebook, and many people like to click on links to blogs, take tests to determine how much of a ‘good lover’ or ‘psychopath’ they are, or watch videos and read the news. But, first and foremost, Facebook is an arena where people are generally connected to their actual friends and relatives in the real world.
This means that they don’t particularly enjoy brands bombarding them with messages every time they log on. However, people use Facebook more than any other social network, and so you’d be a fool not to try and get their attention.
With this in mind, balance is key to Facebook. You should post no less than twice, and no more than four times a day here. Any more than this and you will begin to annoy your following – people can’t socialise properly when you’re pestering them to buy all the time. But, anything less than twice a day and you risk being lost and forgotten about.
Aim for blogs, videos and photos on Facebook, and be sure to engage very quickly with any comments, likes or shares that you achieve.
By its very nature, the microblogging platform that is Twitter allows for a slightly more frequent posting.
What seems to work best for brands on Twitter is to not overload people’s feeds with endless promotions of products. Instead, links to interesting blogs and articles – that are bolstered with an enticing image – garner the most hits. Again, remember that Twitter is a social network. People don’t like being peddled to everywhere they go. If you overcook the sales pitches then people will start dining elsewhere, it’s as simple as that.
Between about 10 and 20 posts a day is about right for Twitter – though absolutely never post more than once an hour.
GIFs and videos work well, but by far the bulk of your tweets, if possible, should be in reply to any follows that you have gained, or to any mentions, retweets or favourites that you have received. This again puts us back into using the platform socially.
LinkedIn is a tricky one. Indeed, it is an unusual social network not least in the fact that it doesn’t even describe itself as being ‘social’. No, LinkedIn likes to consider itself as a professional network – and in fact that’s exactly what it is.
You need to have a presence on LinkedIn for all of your professional contacts if nothing else. But, there is huge marketing potential to be gained from the platform.
B2B readers should especially take note. LinkedIn is the perfect channel on which you can position yourself as an industry expert and thought leader. Professional people frequent LinkedIn, and so it is professional content – often blogs and articles – that you should be delivering.
But, importantly, you cannot bombard LinkedIn with your content. It’s just not the right place to do so, and in fact the unwritten etiquette suggests that once every other day – or once a day at a push – is plenty enough for LinkedIn.
How do you cook your social campaigns? Please share your thoughts below.