From workplace dynamics to online discussions, how do you know if you are in the perfect place?
Humans are always looking for the right fit, including in our communications strategies and companies. We want our messages to land with ease, and our meaning to be understood. We want to rightsize our communications. When something feels off – the wording is wrong, the approach is uncomfortable – we feel like walking away. Holding someone’s attention and interest has never been harder. Meanwhile, making people feel comfortable has never been more important.
But it can also be difficult to discover what works, not only for our marketing and communications strategies, but for ourselves. Think about applying for a job and the questions you ask yourself: Can I see myself working for this company? And, can they envision me here? In asking those questions, you are setting the groundwork for the steps that will take you from here to there. Also, you are creating a vision for your future and seeing how it matches up with your past experience. Does moving make sense for me?
Finding the right fit is personal. Whether shopping for jeans or a house, discovering what is right for you takes understanding what you want and what will work. From style and size to price and availability, there are multiple factors to consider. The same goes for your marketing and communications! So, do your homework and think about your needs to rightsize your communications strategies.
Too Hot, Too Cold, Just Right
Remember the story of the three little bears? Too big, too small, too hot, or too cold – a step in the wrong direction makes for an uncomfortable experience. But there is also a lesson here on finding what is right for you. Lukewarm porridge and a fluffy bed might be just right for someone else. That’s how they like it! The point is to discover and understand how you like it.
Think about this story the next time you are generating content ideas and brainstorming social media plans. While it’s perfectly okay to look around for ideas and inspiration, copying another organization’s strategy is not only unethical, it’s ineffective. That’s their strategy and content – it works because it’s tailored to their audience, values, and ideals. Your audience, values, and ideals should be special to you. What’s your unique voice or value proposition? As you rightsize your communications strategies, assess what fits in with your brand and voice.
Additionally, a more official way of assessing your work (as well as the competition) is through benchmarking. Benchmarking is the process of evaluating or checking similar performances or practices to compare and set expectations. Fortunately, there are industry standards out there. (For example, did you that, across all industries, the average number of Facebook posts is 5.5 a week?)
Plan a Social Media Audit
In addition to benchmarking, you can do a social media and marketing audit for a comprehensive picture of your organization. With it, you will discover the strengths and weaknesses in your current communications. Perhaps you will discover you are spending too much advertising on LinkedIn! Or, perhaps you will realize you need to pay more attention to Yelp reviews. Rightsizing your communications strategies could involve going bigger in one area and smaller in another.
As part of a social media and marketing audit, you will want to gather an overview of your own organization’s performance and size it up against competitors or peers. What fits? Did something miss the mark? Is this even the right amount to invest? Doing your background homework through benchmarking and audit holds some of the answers.
Even a quick audit should answer these questions – and help you discover how to rightsize your communications:
- Where can your organization be found online? Make a list of all social media profiles and digital platforms. (Bonus: Is your branding consistent?)
- Who is part of your audience on each platform? Understanding where traffic comes from and who your champions are will help you be a better community. Google Analytics and demographic data on social media platforms can help.
- Across those platforms, what was your top performing post or campaign? And your worst? This can help you springboard future success.
- What are your goals for each network? For example, you hope to grow followers on Facebook or generate sales through Instagram. Use this answer to create future content.
Where Do I See Myself?
What is more important: style or comfort? Hopefully, you can have both in your work and life. It’s been said that having a good sense of style means possessing a sense of self-awareness. When you are comfortable, you are confident – and being confident is very stylish.
Understanding your brand, voice, and goals is the key to rightsizing your strategies and effectively reaching your audiences. Oftentimes, career coaches or job interviewers will ask when you see yourself in a few years. Again, how you answer that question will help you lay the groundwork. In other words, what you do today will get you there tomorrow? The perfect assignment may challenge you at times, but you should still have a sense of being capable and confident. And that’s because you have thought-out goals.
Setting goals for platforms and social media profiles will tailor your content and campaigns, making it as strong as possible. How do you set goals for each platform? First, take a look at who in your audience is on each platform. Consider their age range, communications habits, shopping habits, and decision-making processes. How will you reach them effectively? Consider what you discovered through your audit and then fine-tune your plan with benchmarking.
To rightsize your communications strategies could mean talking less, but communicating more. Move away from a barrage of posts that get zero likes. Stop senseless email campaigns that only get you unsubscribes. Don’t over communicate. Communicate effectively.