May 27, 2014

What is the ideal social marketing process? Interesting to ask but do you know your process for social marketing? Sounds odd but as with any business outcome there needs to be a process. Always remembering there is a world of difference between a process and a checklist! When people struggle they are treating social marketing as a 'paint by number' exercise. They listen to what others do and copy; they read a book and apply the actual examples to their business. That for me is a checklist NOT a process that will deliver great social marketing. Social is about your understanding the basics but then applying with your own voice and your distinct personality. Copying no, adapting...maybe So what is a process? A process is your pipeline of ideas. A process keeps your focus; focus on what makes your content social and your business different to the competition. You need to develop the social marketing process that works for you. The process has core elements A pipeline of ideas. How do you keep my mind full of ideas, full of conversations that you want to talk about? A way of keeping close to your customer's life. You need to build in time that allows you to think, see and feel like your customer. This allows you to take the ideas and turn it into shareable content. Using words that your customer uses, around problems or opportunities that your customers are seeing or feeling. A way of allowing people to share your content. This includes easy sharing buttons and different formats for people to share on their favourite sites. But what process do you have in place to stay close to the new tools? The way your target market shares? What people find 'shareable'? A measurement process. Otherwise how do you know what is (as well as isn't) working? That process is your system that keeps the content fresh and relevant to your audience. It is a repeatable process each day. And it is not about predictable outputs, it is about repeatable outputs. What on earth does that mean! Well, you need to remove what Steven Pressfield talks about as 'resistance', that little evil germ that tells you that you are too busy, too tired or too confused to create content. Establishing a process creates a habit; a habit which exercises the mind each day. A mind gym workout that builds your social muscle. What you write - the content you create - is...and indeed SHOULD NOT be the same each day. The process of creating DOES benefit from a habitual process. But the outcome, the actual content, needs to be fresh, new, distinct; connecting to your customer by being informational, entertaining or educational. You must develop a repeatable process to create fresh content that encourages the customer to repeat it, to their friends. The problem is that companies often mistable a repeatable process with repeating content! And far from being fresh, it is perceived as predictable. Not having a process means a haphazard process creates predictable content....

Anna Farmery

Social Marketing Architect, Speaker, Author and in spare time completing PhD on the future of the social business model

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