Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 46.
LMTD has picked out some of the most interesting digital and social media stories making waves around the web this week, to keep you up-to-date with developments in the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing industry.
Something else you’d like to see? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our top takeaways include:
– A good social media strategy begins with a good think. This isn’t just a slogan. Before floating your brand on social, you need to think about what you want to achieve, and why. Do you want to focus on increasing sales? Or brand loyalty? Or awareness? While it’s more than possible to do all three, deciding on the business benefit of your social presence necessitates an end goal.
– A good social media strategy has two prongs: creation and community. As much as you will be creating compelling content to get your product / service out there to the wider world, it’s important to note that your perfect audience isn’t just out there waiting for you; you have to build it. Engaging with fans and creating a community (through encouraging organic interaction, being responsive and helpful, sharing relevant content from other sources, and becoming involved in wider online discussions) is just as important as the messaging you want to push.
– Engagement strategies differ by platform. It’s tempting to duplicate content across platforms. We’ve done it too. And sometimes it works. But get to know how your audience on Facebook differs from your Twitter followers, or your YouTube fans, and give them something a little more tailored. We guarantee you’ll see results.
A recent report from Venture Beat on the use of social media management tools throws up some interesting stats about the differences between bigger and smaller businesses online.
What’s caught our eye here at LMTD is the evidence that more small brands prefer to curate and share existing content (45%), while big brands overwhelmingly spend their time talking up their own (68%).
There is a tendency among the bigger boys to treat social in the same way they treat more traditional media like print or television ads: a one-way communication with a prospective audience; the equivalent of shouting about your product in the street and hoping someone hears you.
Social, however, works a little differently. Users resist being bombarded with brand messaging; social is still not a space where users are accustomed to — or enthusiastic about — being overtly advertised too. More often than not, the most popular corporate social accounts are those that build a following through conversation. They don’t just broadcast, they share other content relevant to their audience, and engage about more than the brand.
So why don’t more big organisations do this? Is it safer to rely on the tried-and-tested tactics of the last 30 or 40 years, rather than delve into something new and less predictable? Could it be worth the risk?
This week, LMTD Editor Iain McDonald talks about a game changer: mobile messaging sans data or signal.
I caught this video on CNN and it blew my mind. I’ve had terrible mobiles and terrible data plans in my life, and it’s one of the most frustrating experiences in the world to have a phone but not be able to use it to communicate with anyone.
Jott wants to save you that frustration. The team there have devised a way of creating a ‘mesh network’ using your phone’s existing bluetooth or wifi radio, meaning you can connect directly with others close by and message for free. The more people connected to the network, the more people you can contact, and the greater distance you can cover. If enough people are connected, you can theoretically text anyone, anywhere.
At the moment their user base is restricted to high school kids in the US (owing to the need to be geographically nearby for the mesh network to…work), but they’ve got their sights set on bigger things — including the possibility of saving lives in the event of a natural disaster.
If they get the tech right, this could be big.