Social media marketing
Getting started with @fourjsdevtools
Social media has come a long way since its inception over the last ten years. It has become an important channel for broadcasting information and doing e-commerce. Common myths that say it is inappropriate for business, that decision makers do not use it, or that only ‘family and friends’ view its content are largely disproven (learn more).
Social media has most definitely come of age. It is by far and away the most efficient way for us to discover who our customers are. Better still, it can help us find new ones.
We have a developer community – of sorts – but is it really effective as a community? Does it share ideas, experiences and successes? It is clear from our developer conferences around the world that many are behind in Genero feature implementations and few connect with each other outside of our events.
A small set of developers are leading the way – pushing us to our limit – but the vast majority struggle to keep pace with their own customer demands for new functions. They have neither the time to read the documentation nor the knowledge or inclination to really innovate by themselves. Many need to be pushed or shown by others. It comes as no surprise that the ‘customer experience’ sessions during our conferences are often the most popular.
Social media is a way to start fixing that. It is a short, sweet and convenient communications medium. It helps everyone stay in touch, creates goodwill and ties bonds that would otherwise be difficult to make. It stimulates the desire to share knowledge and ideas. It also serves as a valuable reference point that will reassure newcomers and encourage developers outside our niche.
In February, we shall officially launch our own Instagram (IG) feed. That means we need to start ‘filling the pipe’ now. If you do not yet have an Instagram account, I encourage you to create one and search for @fourjsdevtools. You will see our ‘sandbox’ where we have been playing around with content.
Instagram is about sharing creative and unique visuals with like-minded individuals that form a community. It is also about marketing and (soft) selling to that community. It is a way of targeting similar, adjacent communities more precisely than most other media. Like targeting the Swift community with Genero Report Writer for instance. Traditional marketing doesn’t enable this level of precision and efficiency.
This is why we shall start with Instagram. It is very simple to use – most things can be done from a mobile device. It takes very little effort to create content; no need to take days or weeks writing white papers on ‘deep topics’ with short lifespans. Just snap, film and post. Not anything – content needs to be pertinent in some way to us. Otherwise we will lose our audience.
We will communicate frequently – once per day when we are up and running. And we can only achieve that if we all pitch in. We need to draw on everyone’s talent and imagination to make the content valuable. And if we do, it means an item or two per person per quarter. This way, we’ll stay at the top of our customer’s mindshare.
Over the coming 12 months, we’ll create more sophisticated video content conveying key product concepts and corporate messages. The feed will become a permanent record we can use to prospect new customers.
We need to do this in a controlled manner in order to give the feed some sense of structure. How will we do that? What happens next?
Each region has nominated a social media ‘champion’ responsible for creating, gathering, and curating local content. Each person with something to publish will submit their content to their local champion, who will validate it.
Those champions are:
- USA & Canada – Stacey Osborn, email@example.com
- Latin America – Dinah Infante, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Europe, Middle East and Africa – Michelle Young, email@example.com
- Asia Pacific – Scott Findlay, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Strasbourg Development Centre – Lionel Fluck, email@example.com
- Erfurt Development Centre – Leo Schubert, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Worldwide – Olga Koneva Shchekleina, email@example.com
The regional champions will submit their content to Olga who will centralise, sort, apply hashtags, geotags and publish according to a weekly content plan.
That content plan defines a theme for each day of the week:
- Monday – “Motivation”: start-the-week words of wisdom, quotes, inspirational future features
- Tuesday – “Spotlight”: feature-of-the-month, customer, staff, team, technology, market focus, hints and tips
- Wednesday – “News”: wins, events, announcements
- Thursday – “Well-being”: fitness, nutrition
- Friday – “Culture”: corporate culture, values, life at Four Js, life in the community, births, marriages, humour
What do we hope to achieve with this initiative?
- Discover who our customers are
- Inform them of new features
- Stimulate interaction between them
- Reassure and inspire them
- Deepen our relationship with them
- Keep everyone in good shape
What is the goal of this initiative?
To cultivate a true sense of community and create loyalty that will solidify existing relationships, while creating new ones.
Key Performance Indicators
How will we measure success?
Very simply, by the number of followers we have, by the number of posts from within our community and by the quality of the information that gets shared.