It’s ten years since Facebook became available to the general public and Twitter was launched (and even longer since long forgotten and yet somehow still in existence MySpace began). In that time we’ve seen numerous new networks rise (and fall) and yet for many marketers the social web is still a daunting place to be.
For those companies who aren’t afraid to try, there is an awful lot of value to be found in engaging researchers in the social sphere – here’s how to start.
1. Start listening
Social networks are a great place to find out exactly what the community wants, needs, and thinks of you. Make sure you’re set up to find those conversations – there are tonnes of social media listening services out there which will aggregate content by keyword or product name. Take the time to skim through these regularly, as there can be valuable insight nestled amongst the pictures of people’s breakfasts.
Helpful link: Brandwatch Blog's Top 10 Social Media Monitoring Tools
Top tip: Conference hashtags are the perfect place to start – search for relevant events and keep an eye on your timeline when they are on (for example #alpsp16)
2. Conversations are a two-way thing – but make sure you’re speaking the same language
So you’ve done some great listening, perhaps even followed a conference hashtag or two – what next?
Time to start having some conversations! If you can add value to a blossoming conversation, perhaps with a link to some free (and highly relevant) content, or some advice on a publishing problem, then do it! But make sure you enter the conversation as a human being, not as a brand automaton. Where possible include your name – ASOS do this really well on Facebook.
Helpful link: Harvard Business Review - 50 Companies that get Twitter - and 50 that don't
Top tip: Once you’ve joined a conversation remember to stay with it – don’t just log off as people may respond to you.
3. Embrace different forms of content
It’s easy to get stuck on just sharing text content and links, but if you really want to make a splash then you should vary the content you share. Vlogs, infographics, images, podcasts – all of these offer unique ways to get your message across, so make sure you don’t just choose the right channel but also the right content.
Helpful link: Hubspot - 37 Visual content marketing statistics you should know in 2016
Top tip: Audit your current content store (leaflets, blog posts etc…) to look for new ways to repackage this information for social sharing. You could turn an FAQ page into an infographic, or make a video out of a press release on a product launch.
Emma is a Marketing Manager for IOP Publishing (IOPP), where she oversees the academic marketing strategy for the entire journals portfolio, as well as community websites, B2B products, and ebooks programme.
Effective Journals Marketing runs on Thursday 9 June in London. Further information and booking available on the ALPSP website.