How do you get good at something? We have all heard practice makes perfect and it is most definitely true. You can get advice from mentors, read the news, brainstorm to come up with new and unique strategies, but the only way you can actually improve at something is by enhancing your skill set and putting it to good use for getting experience. This can be immensely difficult in the social media marketing world because the campaigns are usually running experiments, which means you have to make adjustments on the fly and have to deal with the consequences of the tough lessons you learn on the way.
As this is a high-pressure environment, it has a very steep learning curve. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that you just jump into the pool without knowing anything about swimming. Social media marketing is constantly evolving and you have to know the basics before you work on boosting your skills. Once this is done, you can strengthen your social media marketing skills in order to make progress. Some of the ways this can be accomplished are discussed below:
1. Theme and Variation
The concept of this strategy is quite simple, but when you start implementing it, you will discover that it has considerable depth. The whole point of this exercise is to find out what is appropriate for your target audience and brand voice and simultaneously finding out what is inappropriate. How can this be implemented?
First, you need to come up with a good topic for a social media update. Your goal should be to write this update in a variety of tones, styles, voices and angles so it has impact each time. Bear in mind that whatever words you use; the objective remains the same. When you play around with this approach, you will come to realize what voice works best for your business and the tones and styles you need to avoid when crafting your marketing messages.
2. Introspective Feedback
This is an excellent technique that allows you to simulate user feedback by using nothing more than your resources and your mind. First thing you need to do is to make a list of the social media accounts of your competitors. When you visit these accounts, you will come across the range of updates they have made recently. Your job is not just to go through these updates and digest them, but you have to work on analyzing them.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think about the elements of the updates that work for you. Likewise, separate the elements that put you off. Check out if any messages stand out for you and find out what makes them different. When you isolate these variables, it will become easier for you to criticize and study your own work and learn how to get the average social media consumer to respond to your marketing messages.
3. Mock Disaster
While ‘disasters’ on social media are considered very rare, there is no denying that even the biggest of brands are susceptible to them. Social media is a very sensitive platform and you never know when the tide is going to turn. Therefore, you have to be prepared for just about anything because your brand is at stake. But, the question is how to be sure you have taken the right steps? You can ensure your readiness by running a simulation of the response to be made if something you post leads to a disaster.
As disaster doesn’t have a schedule and can strike pretty much anytime, you should get someone to text you at a random time or when you are super-occupied. Then, you need to see how long it takes you to round up your team, do some damage control to your social media profile and come up with a strategy on how to deal with the matter. This is kind of like a mock disaster that allows you to get good at combating major issues that may arise during social media marketing.
4. Contrarian Role Playing
One of the most fun exercise on this list is contrarian role playing. You begin this by mocking a social media post you see and then get someone to play the role of the customer who gets angry at your responses. For instance, you are showing Orbita watch winders to a customer and a misinformation leads them into buying one that is absolutely not what they want. This means they will play a contrarian role in which they argue, nitpick and debate with you on the stance you have taken.
Regardless of what they dish out, it is your job to think of insightful, respectful and expert-level responses that don’t escalate the argument and help in settling it down. This is an excellent opportunity for you to hone your conversation skills on social media and also test your industry expertise. Moreover, as someone else is playing the contrarian role, you don’t know what to expect and if you trip up, you can learn from your mistakes to avoid doing so with an actual customer.
5. Crowdsourced Posting
You again need some outside help for performing this exercise and strengthening your social media marketing skills. You need to gather some of your team members and ask them to play the role of your social media audience. This can work even better if you can talk some of your existing clients into participating in this exercise. You can tell them that this is a form of market research that can help you.
Come up with several post alternatives that should be prepared with considerable thought and caution. You can opt for some variations of a single theme or even go with different ones. Put all the topics or the possible posts in front of the audience and ask them to pick the post they like best. Once they have made the choice, you can request them to tell you why they have selected it. This can be extremely useful because it enables you to eliminate your biases as the decisions are not made based on your judgment and perception. Hence, you get a better handle of social media marketing.