Social media is leveling the playing field, providing reach and data previously available only to the cognoscenti. Enthusiasts of all stripes who have immersed themselves in the business of social media are proving all you need to succeed is determination, brains, and a smartphone.
Nothing is that easy, of course, and none of this is meant to demean the skill it takes to create a memorable social media campaign or negate the value of the terabytes of data instantly available in the digital environment. If anything, these tools have brought out the inner marketer in millions of people who never knew they had an inner marketer. At the same time, the milieu provides an inimitably rich environment where professional creatives may indulge the extremes of their intelligence in daily warfare for the hearts and minds of the masses using a fast-moving tableau of created content.
Here, industry insiders who routinely use one or more social media channels offer their insight.
Jared Mirsky, founder and CEO, Wick & Mortar
“Do not just put content out there for content’s sake or put images out there and say, ‘Do you think it’s pretty? Like it. Tell me what you think.’ Put content out there that has very specific intentions, very specific goals.
“The thing most brands fail to do is develop campaigns beyond a static image. Video content is huge. It gets great engagement and, unfortunately, there aren’t enough companies creating video content, which offers a much easier way to tell a story in a shorter period.”
Frenchy Cannoli, hashishin
“We are a small, artisanal, traditional hashish producer. Our work is very hands-on, and there is something about traditional hashish that evokes a primordial response in humans. Since our work is visual, Instagram is our favorite social media platform. That said, we use Facebook quite a bit, and LinkedIn has proven to be a good way to network with professionals in the cannabis industry.
“On the one hand [social media] can be a mindless soap opera diversion, and on the other there is the opportunity to share, educate, and create community. We’ve been blessed by so many great interactions: people making their own temple balls and sharing their successes, people celebrating the benefits of the cannabis plant, and people connecting and joining us at events in places all over the world.”
Jaana Prall, public relations consultant
“Engaging with current customers is about keeping the conversation going, adding new perspectives, novel content, and sharing fresh, relevant content in real-time. Reaching out to new customers is about connecting and identifying a need or shared interest.
“Identifying the micro and macro influencers that align with my client’s brand is the first priority, and then pushing the envelope and serving up content that’s “beyond trend” is the next step. I always tell the brands I work with to keep it authentic. Nothing sinks a social account faster than a company trying to be something they’re not. Modern social media users are savvy. They see right through that stuff. They want honest, real, relatable content.”
Michael ‘BigMike’ Straumietis, founder and CEO, Advanced Nutrients
Without a doubt my Instagram feed has come a long way since its inception. At first I showcased more of the lifestyle aspect of my brand, which was just one facet. Now, I focus more on educating, motivating, and inspiring my audience, because I believe it’s important to share my knowledge with the community or any budding entrepreneurs hungry for intel.
You absolutely need to measure your social media presence if you want to know how engaged and connected you are to your audience. Our main indicators for measuring social media success include engagements, web clicks, and followers, and we also track web analytics to find out how many conversions we’ve made through our social media posting. Conversions are your metric for determining how effective engagement is at translating your social media presence into sales. If your presence isn’t generating more sales, then it’s time to rethink your social media marketing strategy.