December 10, 2012
Kacyn GoransonSuccessful strategies for social media marketing (SMM) can vary from business to business. For managed services provider (MSP) Computer Services, Inc., using specific hashtags during conferences, posting weekly polls on Facebook, being more conversational, and engaging industry-related groupson LinkedIn have contributed to the company’s success through social media, says CSI Social Media Manager and Strategist Kacyn Goranson (pictured). The company’s strategies, however, are not static, but dynamic.
CSI, an MSPmentor 100 company, continues to work on new strategies for social media while sticking with approaches that have already resulted in positive outcomes. “We continue to experiment with posting/messaging and change our approach based on results,” says Goranson. In an MSPmentor exclusive, Goranson shared social media strategies that have worked for CSI:
Using specific hashtags — To follow the conversation during a conference, CSI designates a Twitter hashtag to compile tweets into one place. In addition, the company also uses hashtags for its Twitter challenges, which assists in promoting the company’s initiatives.
Posting weekly poll questions on Facebook — To boost page engagement, Goranson says that the company uses polls to attract more followers. Using polls allows CSI to ask its community for input. When a person votes, that is shared through that individual’s news feed.
Writing in a more conversational tone — Followers like to know that they’re talking to a human, not a robot. CSI, according to Goranson, avoids sounding like a robot by adding a personal touch to the company’s blog posts.
Engaging industry-related groups on Linkedin — Linkedin can be a great way to meet other professionals in your industry. (Please feel free to send me a request on Linkedin if you haven’t already.) To take advantage of Linkedin, CSI uses groups to promote the company’s contact information, enabling readers to provide feedback.
To reach the maximum number of customers and potential customers, CSI uses various social media platforms, says Goranson. “Each platform lends itself to various messaging, which allows us to target conversations to the most relevant audience.” Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter allow CSI to focus on customer engagement. Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and the company’s blog are used to nurture leads. For thought leadership, CSI uses its blog and Twitter. “We understand that having a presence on these social media networks allows us to bolster the CSI brand and have stronger purview into conversations affecting our customers, company, and industry,” Hamilton says.
Goranson recommends interacting with your followers to benefit from social media. “You can post and talk on social media all day, but unless you are interacting with your followers, sharers and retweeters, you’re missing the point of social media and its potential benefits,” she says, pointing out the importance of brand engagement. She also says that MSPs should focus their posts towards “relevant audiences where they are already networking.” To understand the needs of your audiences, try new things. Different types of posts work for different companies, different times of the day or week are best for maximizing engagement for different companies, and even different networks work better for some companies,” she says.
While the company’s communications director provides oversight , CSI uses a sole social media manager to manage all of the company’s accounts. Goranson, in her role as the company’s social media manager, monitors networks, starts conversations, stays ahead of best social media practices, and manages the CSI brand through all the company’s social profiles. Although, according to Goranson, CSI encourages all employees be “active on their personal accounts on the various networks.”
CSI may have successful strategies, but the company has had a few failures, as well, including sharing marketing content in posts and hosting “tweet-alongs” during webinars. The key to being successful with social media is understanding that the strategies that work for one company may not work for yours. That said, always be open to new ideas and suggestions, she says. “Don’t be afraid to try new approaches to your social networking activities.”
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