Social media is everywhere and is vastly expanding – but what effect do the various social media platforms have on a business’s brand awareness, engagement, revenue, and sales?
Consider every chance you get how to increase your business’s visibility and the syndicated content is very valuable. And one of the best ways to showcase your company’s content is through your social media networks. Using them can make your business more accessible and easier to contact, making it you more recognizable and familiar to your current, as well as prospective customers.
Contribute, collaborate, inform, educate but do not sell.
Social Media marketing is different from paid advertising. Rather than taking a sales approach (i.e. directly promoting your product), instead consider how you can help and inform your target audience. For example, try to deliver useful and credible information that will help build your reputation and customer relationships.
Create high quality content.
Whether you are part of a social networking site, have established your own blog, or are contributing to a blog, you need to develop interesting and high quality content. What information will your target audience find helpful?
Start with Small Steps and Build on Your Success.
You can get a feel for how social media sites work by commenting on other blogs, or setting up your own blog. If you have a service based small business you can try “Yahoo! Answers”. This website provides a way for you to share your knowledge with people who are looking for
that specific information.
When it comes to your posts, your message and how frequently you use social media, keep consistency in mind. It is truly the key to success with any social media campaign. Make a plan for what you’re going to post and how often you’re going to post, and stick with it. This should ideally be a few times a day or a week, depending on your goals and your following. You can’t go from posting once a month to five times a day and then back and expect to have an engaged following.
Consider video and/or photo sharing.
If you are handy with a video camera you may want to consider “how to” videos or tours of your business. These videos can be shared on appropriate social media websites (e.g. YouTube). You can also take photos of your products and share these photos with people who are interested (using for example, Flickr). A word of caution though – avoid aggressive or invasive sales tactics on these websites.
Make sure that your content aligns with your message.
When it comes to building a strong social media presence, getting likes and follows is great. However, it’s about more than just the number of responses each of your posts get. You may be tempted to deliver a post that simply gets a lot of attention, but that will do nothing for your brand if you don’t make sure that the content aligns with your message. Everything needs to fit within your brand identity and promote what it is that you’re trying to say to the world.
Engage with and delight your audience.
It’s one thing to fill up your social media feed with posts, but it’s another thing to actively engage with your audience and turn them into satisfied customers. Engaging your followers allows you to uncover problems or issues other customers might be experiencing as well.
Social media marketing requires interaction from both sides. You can’t just blindly post content and expect people to stay interested. Part of managing your social marketing and growing a business is customer engagement.
Encourage Users to Share Your Company’s Content on Their Social Network Profiles.
You’ve created valuable content on your website, you’ve improved your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and are getting more visitors to look at this content. Now what? To truly maximize social media marketing, you should encourage users to share your content on their social network profiles and make it easy for them to do so. Add Like, Tweet This, Pin It buttons, etc. where needed and make it easier for visitor to become brand ambassadors with the click of a button.
Test, evaluate, and adjust your social media marketing strategy.
You should be constantly fine tuning your strategy based on performance metrics. Analyze things like number of clicks per post, the reach of your social campaigns, and the number of page visits resulting from social— then adjust and improve based on this data.
It’s important that you lay out clear goals with benchmarks that allow you to determine whether or not your social effort is paying off. The data you collect and analyze can then be used to make changes to your campaign. You must be willing to constantly optimize and test your efforts if you want to develop a truly successful campaign
Use social media to amplify all of your business and marketing efforts.
You’re going to have business and marketing plans outside of your social media campaign. After all, a successful marketing plan is varied and robust. A solid social media plan only adds to your efforts and makes them more successful. It’s an affordable, yet greatly under-utilized platform that can help with virtually every aspect of your marketing plan — and something that you need to start using now.
Final Words about Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing may seem foreign and at times overwhelming. There are so many aspects and strategies to implement that companies often find the process to be too great of an undertaking. However, many companies wait until it is too late to realize that they are missing out on the true value of social media marketing, while their competitors are taking advantage of this opportunity to engage and capture new clients. If you are unable to dedicate internal resources to implementing a social media strategy, consider contacting a local Social Media expert for help and start growing your business today!