Investing in social media marketing is essential when it comes to having a fully-integrated omni-channel marketing approach.
Social media can help you reach new audiences, increase brand awareness and generate new leads.
However, publishing successful content on social media takes trial and error as well as a lot of patience.
Many times, businesses abandon their social media platforms because they don’t immediately see a positive ROI from their efforts.
But, before you throw in the towel, be sure to take a step back and evaluate your process.
1. Sell your Company’s Values
Every company has a product to sell, but your company values, lifestyle, and story are what make you unique. Studies have shown that millennials base many of their buying habits on just this, with 83% of this demographic stressing the importance of consumer/company value alignment. And they exercise that conviction when choosing a brand to purchase products or services from.
In recent years, people have become more aware of how companies are combating issues such as environmental pressures, animal cruelty, and ethical labour, while more recently individuals have focused highly on shopping locally and supporting small businesses. Companies’ stances on these issues all create unique selling features that have to do solely with the brand’s values rather than their physical products. These snippets that show who the brand is behind the product itself can become phenomenal selling points that will be wasted should they not be expressed through company social media feeds.
2. Tell stories
Remember, social media is the hub where people come online to connect with what’s going on and it’s more likely that they will follow a page if they feel a personal connection to the brand. While sales may be your top priority, your social media brand has to post engaging content to gain and retain followers.
Share insights about your business; how did you come to be, what new projects are you working on, do you have any new hires or staff anniversaries? Providing behind-the-scenes insights on what your business is really about will help give value to your pages and develop follower loyalty.
3. What works for one platform won’t always work for another
One of the biggest errors people make on social media is thinking that one post will work across all platforms. Instagram, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Snapchat are great mediums for sharing your message, but it’s important to understand that each one is different and unique. From picture and video sizes, style of captions and even differing trending hashtags, each platform calls for a different way to deliver your message. The sweet spot for Twitter is at 100 characters, while on Facebook it’s only 40.
Also, it’s vital to know your audience! Understanding your target demographic is essential when deciding which platform to use. Not sure which is best for your business? Here’s a handy infographic which breaks down the stats behind each site.
Remember to switch it up and keep things interesting. If you have a customer that follows you on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, reading an identical message three times in one day can be boring.
4. The shorter the better
The reality of our digital age is that people don’t give a great deal of time towards something they’re reading online. One study even concluded that humans are now considered to have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Yes, really. When drafting posts for your social media accounts be sure that they are short, sweet, visual and engaging.
The purpose of social media is not to fully explain all of the services that your business provides but rather to give snippets and tease viewers to follow back to your website. When done correctly, social media posts will act as the first touch point with consumers, converting them from a latent observer into a follower of your brand.
5. Analyze your Engagement
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow you to analyze your engagement like a pro. They give you the tools you need to see what content is working and which, well…isn’t doing so great. By keeping a close eye on your company’s social media analytics, you’ll be able to continually improve your social media management strategy in ways that increase your reach and visibility on the web.
It’s actually quite amazing the detail of insight that these apps can give you! With just a click you’re able to see the reach, impressions, profile views, and interactions generated by an individual post as well as gain an overview of your page as a whole by seeing which content has been the most successful and which demographics have interacted and on what level. The more you dig through the analytics the more you will find and the more successful your page will become due to your new tailored approach.
6. Smartphone compatible
Understanding that people often use their smartphones on the go is an important consideration when posting to social media. Putting effort into a market that only gives you a few seconds before moving on is a challenge, but there are ways around it:
Never make a post that doesn’t include an image or video. Text alone doesn’t always retain the attention of readers scrolling by.
Include subtitles on your videos. This allows viewers to engage with the content even when they can’t hear the sound.
Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly so that when readers follow back to learn more, they’re able to have full functionality from their smartphones.
7. Two-way communication
Yes, get social on social media! Even if you’re posting great content, it takes engagement, open communication and frequent media monitoring to be successful. To create a positive customer service experience across your social media platforms, your readers should feel as attended to when interacting with your social media pages as they would if they were in-store. Take time to answer questions, offer resources and be a part of the conversation.
Having trouble getting followers to interact? Be sure to include a call to action! The best way to get a response from someone is by asking a question. Encourage readers to share their experiences, comment on their opinions or tag a friend who can relate. Users log on for social interaction — be sure your posts are inviting discussion.
Cross-promoting with other businesses and organizations is a great way expand your reach. Not only does this open your followers up to your community partners, but it allows your partner’s followers to be exposed to your brand as well. Think of businesses that are near your location, groups in the community your business volunteers with and brands that complement yours. This “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” approach of working in tandem is a tremendously easy and helpful way to make a bigger impact across the social scene.
9. Run a Giveaway
Giveaways are a great way to increase your brand awareness and get consumers excited about your product. Everyone loves free sh*t and will be willing to engage with your company and even promote it on their own social media if it gives them a chance to win. Not only will this bring viewers to your feed, but will also give one lucky winner the chance to experience your fantastic product. If they like it enough to rave to their friends and families about it, you’ve just gained future customers who may have never tried out your product.
Although it does mean giving up some of your inventory out of pocket, the rewards of a giveaway are definitely worth it in the long run.
So, do you think you know hashtags? While you might be tempted to skim over this section thinking you already know it all, the reality is that even after years of popularity, hashtags still aren’t used properly.
From a high level, you know that hashtags are used to tag your post to the bigger conversation (for instance, an interior designer might use #dreamhouse in a post), but strategically identifying your competitor’s keywords will allow you to utilize your social media pages much more efficiently. Take the time to research what’s trending in your industry to better understand what your specific brand and location should tag in order to gain traction.
And there you have it! Seven easy and entirely organic ways to strengthen your social media. With each post, ask yourself, “What’s going to make someone stop to read this while scrolling by?” While it takes time and practice, following these tips will help bring you in the right direction.
Practice Makes Perfect
There is no foolproof method for increasing your social media following and company prominence as each company is unique and will need to enlist unique tactics to reach its unique clientele. However, through creative planning, keen attention to detail and analytics, and a strong understanding of what and how you want your product to appear to consumers, creating a successful social media platform is something that can be achieved. It’s unrealistic to expect to gain 1,000 followers overnight, that’s not the nature of social media, but with time, trial and error, and a dedication to what really should be considered a craft, a social media platform that is engaging and profitable is in reach!