Welcome to Mimic Social – an eye-opening social media marketing simulation! Brought to you by those crafty digital educators at Stukent. It’s sort of like that workout you’ve been putting off. Dragging your feet, you dream up any excuse to avoid it, but once you muster the energy and just do it you won’t regret it (well, usually).
Despite initial feelings of an overwhelming nature peppered with hints of inadequacy, I set myself to the tasks set before me – the new social media marketing manager at Buhi Supply Company (despite getting chewed out by my new boss early in the game) and actually learned and grew in my (fictitious) role.
Disclaimer: This simulation was completed in conjunction with Stukent’s Social Media Marketing: Spring 2019 by Andrew T. Stephen & Yakov Bart and HubSpot’s social media marketing course. Conducting this social media simulation in a vacuum could be hazardous to your health!
So, if you have the opportunity to embark on Mimic Social – Stukent’s social media marketing simulation, then here are 9 tips to help you succeed.
#1 – Pay Attention to the Social Media Audit
The first task you should perform at Buhi is the Social Media Content Analysis Project located in the Social Media Strategies Textbook. This will give you an idea of what types of content and posting times are working for Buhi’s largest competitor, Herschel Supply Co. Use this data to guide your initial decisions in the simulation.
#2 – Collaborate with Your Peers
In a real-world social media marketing scenario, it is unlikely that you would be operating in a bubble with no one to bounce ideas off of. Talk to your classmates to gain insights into the simulation. Experiment with what is working well for them.
#3 – Post Often (but not too much)
I learned this lesson a little late in the simulation and regretted not doing it earlier. You want to entertain and inform your audience. However, you do not want them to begin to tune you out. Find a happy medium. You can refer to Stukent’s post frequency infographic (click the instruction tab in the post box, then click the frequency box and discover the post frequency infographic – or click the link above).
#4 – Target and Promote Your Posts
Posts that are targeted to a specific buyer persona (or two) will have more power to connect with those audiences if you are reaching them on the platforms where they are present. Paying to promote these posts will further your reach as well. Posts that are successfully targeted and promoted will generate the most awareness and engagement. Bonus tip – using hashtags will also expand your reach.
#5 – Follow the 80/20 Content Rule
Nobody wants to be sold to, and social media is no exception. If you promote your business excessively, your followers will disappear. Stick to the 80/20 rule for social media marketing – 80% of your content should inform, educate and entertain while the remaining 20% can be used to promote your business.
#6 – Carefully Answer the Customer Service Questions
Keep in mind, your job as social media marketing manager is to be as helpful and human as possible, to create value for your customer and build a trusting relationship with them. Select the most detailed, helpful response.
#7 – Mix up Your Content
With all the noise on social media today, social media marketers need to be authentic, creative and not afraid to mix up their content. Vary your posts between eye catching pictures (focus on the product outdoors), infographics, videos, blog posts and promotions. (I did not find much success with the memes). Additionally, keep your written content brief and engage and inform your followers with quotes, facts and questions.
#8 – Think About “Who Is Buhi Supply Co.?”
This is likely the most important piece of the Mimic Social simulation and there is not one, clear answer to this question. Look closely at the buyer persona’s detailed under the “market” tab, paying special attention to their market share and what their interests are. Think about what type of content would appeal to these audiences and how you can reach them. Do not spread yourself thin trying to connect with everyone in the market. Think about who exemplifies the image of Buhi Supply Co. and focus on two to three of these personas.
#9 – Create a Content Calendar
Although it is not a requirement, creating a content calendar is extremely good practice for the real world. A calendar will enable you to see the big picture in your overall social media marketing scheme. From that vantage point you can plan out your holiday promotions and find the right mix between posts that inform/educate/entertain (raise awareness and engagement) and those that promote (generate revenue).
Overall, I was impressed with Stukent’s Mimic Social – a very well thought out social media marketing simulation that is as close as it gets to the real world of social media marketing. Despite my initial hesitation (fear of the unknown), and in conjunction with my other course materials, I feel that I learned and grew in my role at Buhi Supply Co. and so can you if you follow these 9 tips for success.
Good luck and happy social media marketing!