When it comes to online marketing, social media is the bread and butter of any campaign. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and the like serve as a bridge between you and your audience. Thanks to social media, your business is able to connect with your consumers in ways print media and television ad placements weren’t capable of. Social media is a place for you to have conversations with your consumers and keep them hanging off of your every word as you draw them in deeper to a cult like following of you, your product, and your brand. The rewards you can reap from successful social media marketing are virtually boundless.
The power that comes with social media can work against you as well. One misstep could have drastic and long term consequences. Take HMV UK’s recent Twitter debacle as an example of things that could go horribly wrong. In the face of being laid off, the employee in charge of the ailing company’s Twitter account live tweeted the dismissal process with the hash tag #hmvXfactorFiring. Though the live tweeting went on for a mere moments, and the tweets were swiftly removed from the company’s account, the damage was done. Thanks to screen captures and retweets, HMV UK’s name was slandered all over Twitter. What you do on social media has a way of sticking around, and while it can be erased from your page, missteps will live on in a life far beyond your control. To avoid becoming social media fodder, there are a couple of things you need to make sure you are doing. Because it’s Valentine’s day, and we’ve got a lot of love to give, we thought we’d express our feelings in a nice little package of social media tips to make sure your efforts are successful!
Social media is a whole new way for people to recommend you. Every time someone shares a piece of your content in a positive way, they are showing you off to their own audience increasing your reach and influence thereby increasing your audience and profitable interactions. For this reason it is beneficial to you to drive your audience to your social media sites where your content is accessible and easily shared.
The first thing people think about when the term social media gets bantered around is Facebook. For marketing purposes, it is an entity that is so enormous it would be hugely erroneous to pass over as a marketing tool. That being said, Facebook is not the most useful social media marketing tool when it comes to making sales. Your brand needs to be represented in the places where it seems appropriate beyond Facebook. Set yourself up on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and any other social media platform where users are likely to share your content.
When it comes to sharing and interacting, you are far more likely to have your audience engage with you and share your content if it invokes an emotional reaction be that sorrow, rage, or happiness. When it comes to the content you create, don’t be afraid to hit a nerve, as long as that nerve you’re hitting isn’t blatant offence. Content that strikes a chord with your audience is more likely to create a bond of trust between you and them. Emotion invoking content is also more likely to be shared resulting in the expansion of your audience and consumer base.
The age of television and print ads were days when the consumer was used to being lied to and fed false promises. When you saw a product on TV that seemed to fill your every need and desire, chances were that you’d get that product home and if it fulfilled even one purpose you were lucky. Thanks to lifetimes of false promises and dashed hopes, consumers don’t trust marketing which is why you have to make sure your marketing efforts are successful but go undetected. Try creating content useful to consumers of your product. Try a YouTube video showing the value of your product in an authentic way. Make sure you showcase consumer reviews on your website and social media pages.
Instagram and Pinterest are two of the tastes growing social media platforms right now. Why? Because your audience loves pictures! Pictures are bits of quickly consumable pieces of information which are enjoyable to look at, easily shared, and easy to go through. Instagram and Pinterest are two places you need to be sharing your photos. The best part of these two social media platforms is that they are easily linked to your Facebook and Twitter accounts meaning your audience is being driven to your social media pages.
Like interactions in real life, you need to be polite. When it comes to Twitter, this is still true. When a customer takes the time to follow you, you need to take the time you follow them back. Not following back can drive a wedge between you and your audience by planting the idea that you don’t care, or that you’re too good for your audience to allow authentic interaction. Taking the time to follow your followers fosters the sort of online relationship you need to have with your audience to create the emotional investment necessary to turn your social media efforts profitable.
When someone take the time to talk to your brand online, it is important that you answer. While some brands are too big to answer every single person who speaks to them, it is imperative that they try and come pretty close to answering everyone. The more you talk to people, the more likely they are to feel special leading to the golden egg of interactions, emotional engagement! No matter what they’re saying, never ignore your audience. Make sure you are speaking when you are spoken to.
Blogging is a great way to open yourself up to your audience. In a blog, you don’t have to worry about limits such as a character limit. In a blog, you can share your thoughts, a humorous and witty tale, or an inspiring story. Blogs are also a great source of emotional engagement and a way to foster a very personal connection between you and your audience.
Just like the Care Bears always said, sharing is caring. When you share content that you liked you do two things. First sharing allows you to capture the attention of the audience of the product you are sharing. Second, sharing someone else’s content is likely to create a symbiotic sharing relationship between yourself and that brand. Users are far more likely to share your content if you’re willing to share theirs.
No matter how busy you get, you need to make sure you are taking the tim tout to update each of your social media sites routinely. As you get comfortable with social media, it will be more and more obvious how much your audience is willing to tolerate hearing from you. Once you find that sweet spot where you are sharing often, but not over-sharing, make sure you stick to that schedule and update all of your social media platforms accordingly. Avoid neglecting on asocial media platform in favour of another, and be consistent with how often you update.
When it comes to posting on your social media sites, you need to develop a voice for your company or brand. While multiple people may be responsible for your social media updates, it should come across as though all of your posts come from a single entity. Make sure that all parties responsible for your social media updates are on the same page in terms of how you speak to your audience. Avoid posts which seem to come out of left field or sound different from what you would ordinarily say.
Your brand needs to have a message, or a purpose. Your message can be developed through a mission statement and should involve a set ideal that you espouse. Your message, or greater purpose should bleed through into every aspect of your social media efforts. It should be something that defines your social media identity and is then something you cannot deviate from. Like your voice, your message needs to be consistent and obvious to your audience.
Users of different social media platforms look for different things when it comes to engagement. The audience that connects with you on Tumblr may be a completely different audience from the one who follows you on Twitter. While it is important to keep your message consistent, it is also important to share in different ways when posting in different places.
Now that you’re starting and participating in conversations on social media, chances are your competition is as well. This provides you with an opportunity to take a peak at what they’re doing. Keeping your eye on your competition also gives you an insight into how their audience engages and what their audience takes away from interactions. It can also provide you with valuable learning experiences and their failures show you what social media blunders to avoid, and their success gives you some food for thought when it comes to what you need to try to encourage engagement and have success with your social media marketing efforts. While social media is not a science and there is no decisive formula for success, following our tips will provide you with some light in the darkness of social media marketing. If you have found this post helpful then please check out some of our other Social Media related blogs and share this with your FaceBook, Twitter and Google+ contacts and friends. If you are looking for some advise on how to improve your social media presence, set up a cool looking custom designed social media presence or help with content please give us a call at 1-866-588-8282! We wish you a Happy and Social Valentine’s Day!