Thursday, March 13, 2014

The MiniMax Rule Applied to the Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can take up awful lot of company time but can your new organization achieve success without it? Not if your offering is where your clients are: online and/or on the mobile.

How can you rein in the insatiable drain of social media marketing while ensuring the optimal results? Presenting the MiniMax rule – brainchild of operations guru Cesar Bocanegra used to score top grades in his Wharton Executive classes with apparently the smallest amount of effort involved. As you may have already guessed, MiniMax stands for the minimum input with the maximum output. So, how is it done?

First and foremost define your social media strategy. What is the overall vision you are looking to communicate to your connected audiences? It should really boil down to a few bullet points central to your message. Social does not imply "subjective." Once you've defined strategy, subsequent activities will be driven by whether or not they will contribute to the ultimate objective - executing on your company vision.

Next, it's time to consider the tactics for implementing your strategy. In this context social media strategy is another vehicle for getting your ideas across. Think of ways of communicating the company's vision in the context of a company story. How should it be told? Whose voices will tell it?

Build the Body of Knowledge
Those bullet points will translate into the context for your story. Context should be based on a fundamental body of knowledge amassed internally and externally. Focus your efforts on expanding and sharing the content and monitoring the flow of information related to your organization and industry. This way you can leverage the content by targeting your audience and responding to external events. And, always limit your sharing to the most impactful social outlets.

Let's make it clearer with an example. If your organization has developed some amazing accounting software, it's up to you to get your value proposition across: an innovative, reliable product that speeds up monthly invoicing. To communicate this message, your marketing team will research and develop a series of articles and stories that will serve as a basis for your white papers, product cutsheets, blog content, case studies, marketing collateral and more.

Leverage the Content When Communicating With Your Audiences
Whilst sharing this content at every opportunity the marketing team should also keep their collective ear to the ground, continually monitoring information outlets for relevant stories and chiming in with appropriate commentary and the occasional reference to related content. What this activity lacks in spontaneity, it makes up for by regularly communicating a consistent message that will ultimately get your point across. Many new companies dream of creating that "major viral video" but the chances that it will go viral and bring consistent long-term success to your organization are a bit lower than winning the Powerball ;)

As far as listening to the social activity sphere is concerned, divide and conquer is the way to go. Split up the team to monitor different information outlets and topics then reconnect and share impactful findings and specific responses. This is where leveraging specialized tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and Tweetdeck come in handy. Make a posting plan and stick to it. Always have content available to ensure no gaps in your social activities. Create multiple channels to leverage your audience's different "watering spot" formats. Connect all the social activities on your website and drive new followers by including references in your signature and on your business cards.

Track Performance
Finally, consider the metrics. What kind of responses are you expecting? Are they realistic? Do they correspond to your strategy? What course of action will you take if you don't see the results you were expecting within the specific timeframe? Are you keeping accurate track of the time spent in your marketing activities.

Strong organization and consistency help to create effective social marketing campaigns that won't drain your time resources.

Which social marketing activities will propel your organization forward most effectively?

A final thought, don't overlook your own organization when communicating your vision and story. More about defining your corporate social policy and getting the team on the same page and engaged with the social strategy in upcoming posts.

Rachel, Dmitry, & Dan

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