Social media is an interesting animal. Why? Because a lot of people take what they know from their personal lives and try to apply that to marketing and selling their colocation services.

Left unchecked and unchallenged, this arrogance can really screw up their social media presence.

So looking at things with a more positive spin, what are the most important social media best practices?

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Watch Out for the Colocation Services HIPPO

There’s an acronym called HIPPO.

H-I-P-P-O is kind of like the hippopotamus, and it means the highest-paid person’s opinion or the highest-paid person in the organization.

Here’s how it works. The CEO comes in one day and says, “We’ve got to do business on Facebook. My teenager is all over Facebook. We’re getting our butt kicked on Facebook. “

The real question is, when you create buyer personas, and you figure out who the two, three, or four most important people are that you want to be developing content for, are they using Facebook professionally? Or are they using Facebook for another purpose?

Distinguish Among Personal and Professional Social Media Usage

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What we find among colocation services firms – sure, everyone has Facebook, but most of the time, they’re sharing personal things on it.

They’re sharing pictures of their kids or grandkids, where they’re going on vacation, a home renovation project, a great recipe, a great deal, a new movie or concert, or things about their favorite sports teams.

They’re talking about political issues and things quite different from what they want to share professionally.

Avoid Dangerous Assumptions

What we tend to see over and over again for colocation services is that Twitter and LinkedIn seem to be the go-to channels.

However, all of this needs to be validated because your buyer personas may be a little – or even a lot- different.

And even within some of those go-to channels, the slices, the topics, the strategies, the themes, the groups you go after, and the hashtags you go after are going to be completely different.

Also, don’t overlook that with the rise of multimedia content and video content, YouTube and SlideShare can be enormously powerful.

Validate Assumptions with Buyer Persona Research

And again, before you make heavy investments in those, you want to validate that your buyer personas are there.

Because, let’s face it, you can do stuff on Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat – and maybe the children of your ideal buyers are there.

Again, all of your investments with social media should be validated by who your buyer personas are and where they’re hanging out online.

To sum it up:

  1. Know where and why -- then
  2. Make sure that you’re sharing helpful, relevant content.

Ensure you’re sharing helpful, educational content with more universal, broad-based appeal.  If you think about the three stages most people go through – awareness, consideration, and decision-making – in that early awareness stage, your prospects are doing research on broad-based problems.  They haven’t even totally defined what their problem is yet. They have some symptoms.

Help, Don’t Harass

A lot of colocation providers are sharing mostly salesy, self-promotional kind of stuff that really is only relevant to people that already know who they are -- leads that are late-stage opportunities for example.

If you’re trying to attract strangers to your website who have never heard of your company before, they’re really not going to care about you winning the Employer of the Year award. They’re not going to care about how much square footage you’ve just taken over. And they sure aren’t going to be interested in your 20% off sale on your racks this month.

Ensure you’re sharing helpful, educational content with more universal, broad-based appeal.

If you think about the three stages most people go through – awareness, consideration, and decision-making – in that early awareness stage, your prospects are doing research on broad-based problems.

They haven’t even totally defined what their problem is yet. They have some symptoms.

And it’s only when they’re in the middle of the buyer’s journey, the consideration stage, where they’re going to start to compare different solutions – and look at different calculators and ROI things and grids and attend webinars.

In the late stages, like when they request a quote or request a tour, all too often, most colocation marketers are just focused on that late stage.

So the two biggest ways that colocation services stink up their social media – and how you can avoid a similar strategy disaster:  It’s extremely important to know your buyers. And it’s extremely important to have the mindset of being a teacher, a professor, that’s providing helpful, educational content to attract the right strangers. 

Avoid Stinking Up Your Colocation Services’ Social Media Participation

So the two biggest ways that colocation services stink up their social media – and how you can avoid a similar strategy disaster:

  • It’s extremely important to know your buyers.
  • It’s extremely important to have the mindset of a teacher or professor who provides helpful, educational content to attract the right strangers. 

What have you found most important to building productive relationships on social media? What’s been your biggest mistake? Share your take in the Comments below. 

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