Open wide and say “ahh” to a social media checkup

Open wide and say “ahh” to a social media checkup

A social media checkup with a digital marketer is like an appointment with a medical specialist, minus the waiting room and the stale magazines (we bring our iPads). Digital marketers may have a better bedside manner, but the process is remarkably similar to a doctor’s visit.

When you walk in the door you have a problem, an irritation, a social media discomfort of some sort: No one reads our blog; we have no fans on Facebook; we can’t get any comments going; we’re tweeting like crazy and all we hear is the sound of our own voice; and so on. These are your symptoms.

Social Media Checkup - protect your digital health

Before we diagnose digital diarrhea or Twitter-induced avian flu, we want to understand all those symptoms, take some baseline measures and correlate your symptoms with industry averages and indicators. Add a dash of professional intuition and Presto! here comes a diagnosis followed by a prescription.

Social Media Checkup

I did a social media checkup this week for a rural credit union. One of their symptoms was virtually no reaction to their Twitter efforts. Scanning their tweet history I could see the content was too generic and off-target to be compelling to their intended audience. I could have prescribed an editorial calendar with better, more targeted content. But I didn’t, at least not for Twitter.


Because further investigation revealed that almost no one in their town is on Twitter (300 or so was my best guess.) Rule one of social media marketing is “go where the people are” so these credit union folks could be the best tweeters ever and still generate no reaction for their efforts.

Conversely they seemed to be doing quite well at generating a little activity and a fan base (185) on Facebook and people were watching their videos (680), albeit the wrong people (as defined by their targeting.) A quick check in the Facebook ad-booking tool showed 7,560 people in this town were on Facebook, 4,400 in the client’s desired youth segment.

Even my math says a community of 7,560 beats 300 pretty much every time.

The prescription in this case was to either retire Twitter or put it on autopilot and focus on Facebook and videos, with the aim to gradually convert those fans and viewers to an email list that would permit ongoing permission-based marketing. That will give us something productive and fun to work on this fall.

Sometimes your digital doctor visit is more like seeing a sports doctor. It’s not that there’s anything wrong, per se, it’s more a case of maximizing performance; Sort of a “go for the gold” or “own the podium” concept.

A colleague and I visited a potential client this week whose biggest problem is how to get his subscription website to sell even more memberships. What a great problem! The symptoms are that traffic has plateaued and Google AdWords seem to generate most of the traffic that does occur. The challenge, then, is to understand his niche audience and their habits, then map some content marketing and search engine optimization against that audience and their hot buttons.

In other words, draw more of them in by talking about what they want to talk about instead of browbeating them in a traditional advertising mode.

Patients usually start with erroneous conclusions, like “we need to do better on Twitter” or “we need to buy more AdWords.” Instead of self-diagnosing, just stick out your tongue and say ahh – your digital doctor will do a proper assessment and recommend a course of action sure to restore your digital health.

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