You don’t always need a digital marking agency or social media professionals to manage your social media activity. It’s not rocket science and you don’t have to “know social media” in order to use it. You have to “be social”, converse, communicate, share just as you would in a room full of people and it’s a natural human process that has simply found a technology enabled new medium. However, the difference between a common user using social media and a social media professional that engages actively on channels like Facebook, blogs, YouTube, FourSquare and more is the intent behind every update or action on these channels.
Let me give you an example: Just yesterday we posted a close up photo of a mouthwatering plate of food on behalf of a restaurant client. A restaurant owner can easily manage his or her own social media accounts and is also likely to post a photo of one of their best plats of food as a Facebook update. However, the restaurant owner will probably post that photo update late at night or early in the morning when they are not in the restaurant working. We posted that picture at precisely 6:00 pm because that’s when most people either log off to leave work or get back home from work and get on Facebook. It’s also the time of the day when you start thinking about what you plan to have to dinner, whether you’re going to start cooking once you get home or make plans to go out. That’s probably when you are more likely to remember that juicy plate of kebabs and recall the restaurant as an option. There is intent!
When there are business objectives behind an interaction or update, there’s intent behind every activity and a somewhat calculated approach to everything you do as a professional. While some may argue it’s the wrong approach to social media, this is how social interactions are carried out in the offline world too. People don’t always attend a speaking engagement to hear what the speaker has to say. They may attend it with the intent of networking there and bumping into prospective opportunities there. Similarly a social media professional will often find themselves retweeting or engaging someone on Twitter not because they are fascinated by their tweets but they are hoping to get noticed and develop a relationship with them so they may in turn get a mention & benefit from that persons extensive influence or reach. That is intent!
When we work on behalf of clients we make sure a contest form has as few entry fields as possible so more people are not dissuaded for entering their details. We make sharing as easy as possible so people are inclined to share and we reach more people. We add hashtags to updates, alt tags for images and SEO descriptions for blog posts to ensure everything published is optimized for people to find it easily. There is intent and deliberation behind each activity or action and therein lies the difference between being social and being social with intent. There lies the difference between a common user using social media and a social media professional using social media to achieve some underlying objectives.