Revamping Social Media for 2013
Written by: David Lee King, Digital Services Director, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
Social media has been around for over ten years. My guess is that by now, your organization is probably involved in some way with social media. Maybe you have created a Twitter or Facebook account. Maybe you even have some friends and fans on those accounts, and you share things with them when you have time.
Let’s rework this in 2013. Social media is now mainstream, and your customers are using it to connect. They connect easily to each other, and since the tool is the same, they will find it easy to connect to your organization, too ... if you make a few easy-to-do adjustments in your approach to business-facing social media.
Here are five simple adjustments you can make to kick-start your organization’s social media efforts in 2013:
1. Focus on Conversations
First off, let’s focus on conversations. Many organizations and businesses have been using social media status updates as a broadcasting tool. They send out notices of events, sales, or coupons. Possibly, they have used social media as an easy outlet to send out press releases and important corporate announcements.
Guess what? If your organization focuses primarily on sending out corporate communications, your customers will tune out your organization and unfriend you in a heartbeat.
In 2013, instead of using social media as a one-way broadcast tool, work on starting and continuing conversations with your customers.
This will require your organization to do three important things: 1. listen before you speak. Set up some listening tools (Google alerts and Twitter search alerts are good places to start) to see what your customers are saying about you; 2. Respond, using colloquial, conversational language. This will feel weird - you’re used to more formal marketing-speak. Make it feel like you’re talking to a work colleague at the water cooler - do this, and people will start talking to you. And 3 - figure out what types of conversations YOU want to start. Do some brainstorming on the conversations your organization needs to hear in 2013, and start those conversations.
2. Focus on the Visual
For the most part, many businesses and organizations have been posting text-heavy status updates in their social media accounts. That makes sense in text-based Twitter, but not so much in Facebook. In fact, Facebook best practices show that when you do one simple thing - add a photo or a video to your post - engagement increases by 100% or more.
So get those cameras out of your pockets (yes, that iPhone or Android smartphone makes a great point-and-shoot camera), and start taking photos around the office, the warehouse, or the store. Maybe think about the three most important things that your customers should know about your organization, take photos of that, then share those photos with customers.
3. Focus on Video
That smartphone I just mentioned in #2 is also HD quality video recorder, and we can put it to good use! There’s a reason Youtube is so popular right now - people love watching short videos. Studies show that people engage more with video posts than with text-only posts.
Here’s my guess - most likely, you haven’t made many videos for your organization. If you have created some videos, it probably resembled a TV commercial. That’s not what your customers want to watch.
Instead, get to the point immediately - Youtube suggests that the first 15 seconds are critical to connect with viewers. So don’t waste those seconds with titles, fade-ins, and credits. Just start sharing your main points.
Then post that video to two places - Youtube and Facebook. Use Youtube to share in most places, and use the Facebook upload to share with your Facebook page fans. Facebook’s algorithm favors videos uploaded to Facebook, so those will get seen more than a shared Youtube video.
SEE RELATED STORIES FROM THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK:
- Think Before You Post: Five Social Media Virtues
- 2012 Social Media Trends, Opportunities & Strategies
4. Focus on Next Steps
Many times, organizations post information to their social media accounts, but don’t include anything for customers to do. They don’t include a next step.
Let’s change that in 2013. Make sure that everything you do includes some type of “ask.” That ask can be as simple as asking customers to “friend or fan” a Facebook Page, or the ask might be to click a link that takes them to a new product or a buy-it-now page.
More people will click if you actually ask them to click. Because of this, make sure to provide customers with some next steps, and actually invite them to take that next step. Do that, and your organization will be one step closer to continued engagement with customers.
5. Focus on your Customers!
Finally, most businesses and organizations, believe it or not, don’t actually focus on their customers! Instead, they focus on their stuff, on their showroom floor, or on their sales staff.
In 2013, let’s focus on our customers. Engage them in conversation. Ask them if they like what they’re seeing. Ask them to take next steps, and invite them into your organization.
Follow these five simple reshaping steps, and you will be well on your way to having a great 2013 with social media, and with some really engaged customers, too.
David Lee King is the Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends. He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website management, digital experience, and social media, and has been published in many library-related journals. David was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker for 2008, and has published two books, Designing the Digital Experience, 2008, and his most recent title, face2face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections, (CyberAge Books). David writes the Outside/In column for American Libraries Magazine with Michael Porter. www.davidleeking.com.
Health Catalyst: An agile approach to healthcare data
Healthcare Catalyst is quite literally a healthcare providers’ catalyst for change when it comes to their measurable, data-informed improvement in analytics, software and services.
Founded in 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Health Catalyst is dedicated to enabling health care organisations to build a healthcare-specific, open, flexible, and scalable data platform and fully integrated suite of analytics applications.
This enables health system partners, including Northwell Health in New York which serves a population of 11 million, to realise measurable value within months. “Our customers have recognised the potential to use data, to meaningfully improve their clinical, financial and operational business performance outcomes,” said Mike Doyle, Chief Customer Officer.
Formed by a group of healthcare veterans – with a quest to develop a data warehouse that could handle the complexities unique to healthcare data – they revolutionised the clinical process models and use of analytics and discovered the solution now known as Adaptive Data Architecture, which is agile, flexible and can be implemented in a matter of weeks compared to a matter of years.
Today, Health Catalyst helps clinicians in more than 250 hospitals that care for more than 100 million patients each year.
Health Catalyst offers a solution in three parts:
Data Operating System
Cloud-based DOS is a healthcare-specific, open, flexible, and scalable that provides customers a single environment to integrate and organise data.
Analytics applications build on top of the data platform and allow customers to make measurable clinical, financial and operational improvements.
World-class team of analytics and domain experts leverage technology to help customers shorten time-to-value and achieve sustainable, measurable improvements.
The fully integrated data platform and suite of analytics applications helped clients during the pandemic, in ways even Health Catalyst could never have imagined. Health Catalyst offered products and services to support customers’ agile response to the pandemic in four phases:
“By having the data operating system, our clients were able to take advantage of the integrated source of data to meet challenges that they were facing in their local geographies due to the pandemic in ways that we could never even have predicted,” said Doyle.
Doyle highlighted Health Catalyst’s Value Architecture group, which helps the company ensure that its technology and expertise are delivering measurable and meaningful value to our clients. “I think another key differentiator is our open platform that our clients are able to use to accelerate their own integration of data, but it is customisable, configurable in ways that makes it unique for them in ways other cookie cutter analytics just can’t match.
“We like to start every discussion by listening and understanding how we can help our customers avoid making mistakes and getting the most out of their investment in data.”
Speaking about their partnership with Northwell, Doyle said: “We're very grateful for this partnership and want to thank these visionary leaders who are able to envision a future using data that is light years beyond what we can think of today.”