Rebekah Radice loves to share her passion for all things social wherever and whenever she can.
As founder and CEO of a digital marketing agency in Los Angeles, Radice (pictured) helps business owners develop online marketing plans and realize the full potential of their social media campaigns. She recently launched a training system called Stand Out Online! to help entrepreneurs develop essential skills for online success.
The Intuit Small Business Blog recently talked with Radice about social media, engagement, and how businesses can achieve greater success online.
ISBB: A lot of companies are under the impression that social media is super easy and doesn’t require any planning. Why do you think that is? What does it actually take to get a social campaign off the ground?
Radice: I believe there are a couple of reasons behind this. First, it’s a misconception perpetuated by the belief that social media is free and therefore not worthy of putting a plan in place. It’s a common mistake and one that can kill your online momentum before it ever begins.
Secondly, many businesses and brands believe, foolishly, that they can simply hop on social media and — poof! — their offline reputation is magically transformed into online currency. They neglect one key component of online success: It takes a lot of hard work.
In order to create a successful social campaign, you need a content marketing and social media plan in place. This creates a road map and allows every member of the team to support, drive, and move the campaign forward.
A lot of social accounts are impersonal. How important is personal engagement?
It is at the top of my list. Engagement is the key to getting to know people, connecting them to your personal brand, and creating visibility, credibility, and a voice within your industry.
How do you strike a balance between overtly promotional posts and curated content?
I have always maintained the belief that less is more. The more you give away, the less you will need to send out those overtly promotional posts and tweets. Giving out free advice and truly taking the time to get to know your audience and their needs creates trust, and trust is the first step toward moving them into the marketing funnel.
Let your audience get to know you on a very real, authentic, and personal level and you will never “feel” like you have to blatantly self-promote again.
How long did you have to work at building your social and online presence before you saw real interest or results?
Building up my online and social presence took time, patience, and a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears. … There is no easy path online success. You have to enjoy getting online, engaging with people, and staying active on a daily basis.
For me, it took a good six months before I truly saw results. At a year, my results had significantly morphed. It is a never-ending commitment to knowing and understanding your audience.
In your experience, what’s one thing small businesses tend to get wrong on social media?
Diving into social media with a complete lack of strategy. I see all too often what appears to be a very disjointed and poorly thought-out marketing plan.
Many businesses seem to take their cues from others, imitating competitors rather than marching to the beat of their own drum. The only way to create differentiation in a “sea of the same” is to share what makes you so remarkably and wonderfully you. Whether you are a small business, entrepreneur, or brand, taking the time to define your special sauce makes all the difference in the world.
Your personality is infused in all of your social accounts. How and why did you decide to put so much of yourself out there?
For me, it was an all-or-nothing situation. I was either going to put myself completely out there or not bother at all.
I preach the importance of transparency to clients, so I felt it was crucial to practice what I preach. If you meet me face-to-face, you will find I am the same person online that I am offline. That makes it easy to infuse my personality into every post, tweet, and article I write. That and the fact that I am crazy, head-over-heels in love with social media!