You’re the Marketing Expert, but are you an expert in your industry? – How to build a company’s Social Media presence when you’re not a specialist in the field.
By Claire Maynard
Often as an Online Marketer your job will entail running your company’s or client’s Social Media channels. However, to create a successful Social Media presence you need to be able to relate to people in the industry you are working. You also need to know the current events, lingo, expertise and trends of the business to be able to come across as the expert. But wait… you are an expert of Online Marketing strategy, not always of your company’s or client’s, sometimes complex, service or product. So how do you get in the minds of your customers and also relate and engage with them when you yourself are not living in the same technical world as your customer? In this article, I will give you a few ideas on how to build a strong social media presence without having the expert knowledge of your company’s specialist. Fake it till you make it!
Lesson 1 – Utilize your tools!
There are a few tools that I use every day to find trending topics in my industry without having to dig too deep or be completely immersed in the specific world. Finding interesting articles about your industry is key to developing a Twitter following. You don’t want to only be tweeting your own website’s posts about your specials or offers, you have to come across as an expert in the world you are working and engage with your audience.
- Twitter Lists – Although you may follow hundreds or thousands of people on twitter, not all of them are tweeting relevant and influential topics. Create a Twitter List of Twitter accounts that you find to continuously post on relevant topics, current events, articles, blog posts, etc. Usually these accounts will be looked at by the community as a non-biased organization or person. This way you can follow this list closely quickly find what is trending without filtering through thousands of tweets and twitters your follow.
Hootsuite & Custom Searches– I love using Hootsuite, but not only because it lets me manage multiple accounts on Twitter; my personal and my company’s accounts. Hootsuite also lets me see multiple feeds, such as mentions, sent tweets, my favorites lists, but most importantly custom searches. You can save a customer search on your area of interest through Hootsuite. For example, if I am looking to find information and trends on Online Marketing, then I can create a custom search of all tweets that are tagged with #SEO, #PPC, #Measure etc.
- Zite – Zite is another great tool to use to find trending articles, current events and smart opinions on your industry that you can talk to, tweet about or post responses to. Zite is a smart phone application that evaluates millions of new stories on the web and matches those stories to your interests. When you login to Zite from your smart phone or tablet you can find the top stories of your interest or industry. Then link Zite to your Twitter account and other social media channels to instantly post great topics you find.
Using these tools will help you find the best resources and trends that interest your customers and target audience. This way you can come across to your customers as an expert of your industry. However, another challenge to create your own content. We all know that creating great unique content is most likely the largest factor in helping rank your site for SEO. But, it is also key to pushing people from your Social Media channels to your site or blog. Like I said before, you don’t only want to be posting your company’s latest deals and promotions or only posting other people’s content. You want to be pushing relevant and interesting content to your customers.
Lesson 2 – Ask for Help!
Without being a professional in your industry, it is going to be pretty difficult to create great content for your site or blog. However, it is your job to keep this content flowing and get the experts involved. Let’s take for example one of my main client’s, cPrime. cPrime is an IT Project Management Services company. Before I started working for cPrime, I didn’t even know there was an entire world of business revolving around “project management”. Now that I have worked with them for several years, I know ins and outs of their company and offerings. However, I am not a Project Manager or an Agile Coach. I can’t create great content for my company’s blog because I am not in their technical world. But, what I can do, is open up the eyes of the experts I work with to the world of Online blogging!
- The first step to this is showing these key influencers at your company how much their content and participation can and will help your company’s growth.
- Lead them in the right direction. Let them know that it is not hard nor does it have to take a long time to create a blog post or great content. Blog posts can be short articles, quotes, reviews, photos, current events, tips, how-to’s, etc. All that matters is that readers have a chance to see inside the minds of the influencer.
- Find trending topics that they can expand on by utilizing your tools from Lesson 1.
- Set up a schedule. Create a content development schedule for them. Let them know how many topics you NEED in a particular time frame. Set reminders on their calendars when these are due. You may feel like a nag, but once they see it doesn’t have to be hard, it will come easier. Talk to management about how contributing content pieces should be apart of their goals and success metrics.
- Widen your reach of contributors! You don’t have to only include the people you work with in your company. Invite guests, friends, customers to create content. Ask influential people from twitter to guest post. Get creative! Have a contest for your customers – who can create the funniest video about your product or service? Start thinking outside the box.
By creating this content on your blog or website, you will have more ammo to display on your Social Media channels and become known as an expert in your field.
If you are a marketing professional who works with a number of clients, you will most likely come across a client that will have a service or product that may not be easy to grasp or understand the technical aspects. But, it is your job to create a social media strategy that makes the company known as the expert.
Please comment with any ways you handle your client’s social media campaigns without being the expert in their industry!