Developing a social media strategy for Tech brands and firms is vastly different from that consumer brands. What works well for a business that sells to consumers will not necessarily work well for technology businesses that sell to businesses or consumers.
Customer buying habits, customer perceptions and aspects of brand leadership play an important part in the overall customer purchase process. Understanding this is key to creating a social media strategy that fits tech firms.
Whether one is selling SaaS or IaaS or a healthcare product to consumers, leveraging social media is not as hard as one may think. And simply existing on social media will not do. Neither will posting content that’s irrelevant or boring, help you. In fact, this will do you more harm than good – it will confuse your audience and in all probability, turn them away from engaging with your product.
Having worked with several technology oriented firms and brands over the years, I have found the following broad guides a useful starting point in developing a social media strategy for technology centric brands.
Develop a Buyer Persona
How can you expect to connect with consumers if you don’t know who they are? Buyer personas are representations of the type of people that are interested in purchasing your products. Creating buyer personas helps one understand customers better, giving deep insights on things like:
- Where they spend most of their time online
- Which social media channels they prefer
- The type of information they like/share/re-tweet the most
- What encourages them to make a purchase and so on.
While one can collect data through market research, doing a deep dive into the buyer persona’s own social posts can help one understand and tailor messaging that suits the audience.
Get your buyer persona wrong and you’re likely to end up with a lot of wasteful messaging, time, effort and money.
Define Your Social Media Goals
After you’ve understood who your customer is and what their likes and dislikes are, turn the focus onto your product or company. What do you want to achieve through your social media profiles? Do you want more page likes, more exposure, increased consumer engagement, improved brand value, thought leadership or in-bound enquiries? Your goals need to be clear from the beginning; focus on the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Based) model to ensure that your goals are met.
For example, if you want to increase the number of followers, establish a target. It can be 500, 1000 or even 10,000. But be clear about what you’re aiming at. If you want to increase sales, segment each social channel and set a specific target amount for each channel. If you want to build a tech thought leader platform, ensure that you’re messaging and approach is aimed towards this end.
Remember, every objective will call for a different strategic executional approach.
Choose Your Social Media Channels Smartly
You must understand that different social media channels cater to vastly different audiences. For example, LinkedIn caters to a 100% professional audience, making it perfect for business-to-business sales. One the other hand, Pinterest is primarily composed of stay at home mothers who love sharing fashion tips and tricks, recipes and crafts through the social media channel. This is why it’s important for you to understand which channels are used by your consumers the most.
Take a look at where industry influencers and your competitors are most active at, and let that guide you. But don’t take their social media strategies at face value; it might just so happen that they may not be investing enough time and energy into a specific social network, and that is where you’ll fill in the gap for existing and potential clients by creating a profile and catering to their needs.
Establish a Voice, & Then Stick With It
One of the most important aspects of establishing profiles on social media involves establishing a defined direction and voice for your brand. And ironically, it’s one of the most ignored aspects as well. It doesn’t matter whether you’re managing your social media account or an agency is – be clear about the kind of voice you want for your tech brand.
If you’re unclear about which direction to go in, have a sit down with the core members of your company and discuss your company’s goals, mission, strengths, weaknesses, customer feedback and the image that you want to portray. Another good way to find your voice is by finding what your competitors are doing. Check out their most popular posts, see how they interact with their customers and note down how they have placed themselves in the market.
This will take some time, but– it’s all worth it.
Confusing Content Kills Growth. Avoid It.
Yes, I’m all for variety, but that does not mean you should post about relationship advice on one day, and then post about the Hiroshima bombings the next day. Consistency is the key. The content you share with your fans and followers should be what they’re looking for from you – informational, relevant and helpful.
Of course, if your buyer group is vast (it includes, say, CFOs, CEOs, or even tech work employees) your updates can become a little tricky. Targeting multiple influencers and decision makers and influencers in never easy, so make sure you post content that is relevant to all your audience. Strike a balance. Sure, it will take a lot hits and misses, but when you find a balance that works, stick to it
Now, Execute Your Strategy
And now that you know what you have to do and how you should go about it, well, it’s time you took your social media strategy out for a test drive. What’s the worst that could happen? You’ll fail.
So what? Who in this world hasn’t faced failure? Look at what Thomas Edison said –
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
About the author
Rajesh Menon is the managing director of Impact Marketing, a digital focused agency that helps SME’s build brands leveraging the digital medium. He is also the founder of Agencyonnet, a B2B marketplace platform that helps SME’s find marketing service providers across 60+ categories