5 Tips to Maximize Your Social Media Marketing
Before the Internet became the busy marketing platform that it is now, entrepreneurs have long utilized their professional and personal networks to advance their businesses. As early as the era of traditional marketing practices, business owners and marketing specialists realized the value of a vast network and knowing what makes them tick. It was crucial that marketers push the right buttons especially because transactions were primarily made in person.
Fast forwarding to the digital age, the inevitable pervasiveness of technology and Internet magnified the importance of how far the entrepreneurs’ reach was. More importantly, this same period made it possible for marketers to cast in the net into a wider scope of audience and transcend the bounds set by time zones and geographical constraints. Today, it doesn’t matter much if your target customers are on the opposite side of the world; what counts more is that they’re wired and are somehow connected to you.
One of the brilliant aftermaths of business’ and Internet’s fusion is social media, and while it was originally conceived to bridge the virtual gap between people, it soon became a sub-platform of online marketing. The medium that was once meant to keep people connected is now being the latch that allows entrepreneurs to build their business in the form of social media marketing. Today, consumers are no more limited to search engines when looking up a product or service online as social networking sites are fast-becoming a significant source of information they find pertinent.
For instance, a lot of customers rely on Facebook to check if the merchandise they are looking for is offered by a particular brand. They also read feedback shared by previous customers to have a preview of what they’re getting into. There are even cases where businesses solely depend on social media accounts in the absence of a formal website. Keep in mind though that if your goal is to land a slot on the first search engine results page (SERP) or rank for certain keywords, it is highly recommended that you build a website.
Up to this day, social media marketing remains to be a territory that needs to be explored. While it’s easy for many entrepreneurs and marketers to stick with strategies that worked for them, it is equally important that you try new techniques that can potentially move your business forward. If you haven’t tried social media marketing yet, you could be missing at least a quarter of your life, but if you’ve already included it in your reserve of marketing strategies, knowing what it is and how it works is only half the battle. You also need to know if it’s working and how to maximize it so that the returns are rewarding.
In this article, we will learn everything about social media marketing such as its perks, suggested platforms, and tips on how to make the most out of it.
Advantages of Social Media Marketing
Every marketing strategy, whether it’s online or offline, has its own advantages. What sets social media marketing apart, however, is that the people connected to you through this channel are meant to be a part of your network, which gives you the burden of retaining their interest. But if you manage to do it right, you’re bound to enjoy a bundle of benefits including these four:
1. Immense visibility.
Most social networking sites, if not all, can be availed through free registration. While there are some that offers premium membership, you can still enjoy the perks by sticking with the basic platform. Free subscription is evidently an advantage since you don’t necessarily have to pay for such a service that will generate you leads. In addition, plenty of customers tend to look for social media representations of brands they are interested in, and Google is often generous with turning up results like social media accounts.
2. Vastly shareable.
Another unique feature of social media is the convenience it affords when it comes to sharing. All social networking sites are built with sharing buttons which makes spreading the word about your brand and your content effortless. Keep in mind though that not all comments on your posts will be praises, so be ready with a damage control plan. Prepare methods on how you will address complaints and don’t forget to express gratitude to those who think you’re doing a great job.
3. Increase in traffic.
It may be easier for some of your customers to find you through social media but if they like what they see on your dashboards, they will be more driven to visit your website. In an infographics published by Social Media Today, a minimum of 60% enjoyed an increase in their traffic after embarking on a full-fledged social marketing campaign. You also need to remember that your website should be as appealing as your social media façade and that it is rich with content that your target audience is looking for. It’s also important that your site is easy to navigate and loads quickly. Otherwise, the effort you put to catch their attention through social media will be for naught.
4. Gain market intelligence.
In the same infographics released by Social Media Today, it was revealed that 71% of B2B companies rely on social media to gain relevant market information. Market intelligence is crucial to establishing a loyal fan base which you can cultivate into a reliable group of loyal customers. Since social media allows for personal and real time interaction, it can be easier for you to form a bond with your customers. Social marketing also gives you an opportunity to provide customer satisfaction at the soonest time possible which can influence them to favor your service.
Social Media Sites Where You Should be Found
Although not everyone is on Facebook, it currently has a total of 1.26 billion users.Out of this sheer number, 1.19 billion are active. This lot may not be your entire target audience, but a volume of users this massive already gives you an idea of how much impact you can create to the share you’re aiming at. Facebook is also armed with a lot of features that make it amenable to marketing, as it provides for the customization making the data you input register in real time. You can also take advantage of the ad space that Facebook allows for occupancy and give your brand a better and longer exposure not just to subscribers but also to visitors.
Since its creation seven years ago, Twitter has now amassed around one billion users, and still counting. What makes Twitter thrive in the face of social marketing is its capability to enable brands to build anticipation through140-character posts. The micro-blogging platform may seem restrictive but it’s what sets Twitter apart from other social networking sites.
On the one hand, Twitter also gives you the option to be direct to the point, which in turn eliminates the need for users to stay for too long on your share of their feed just to stay informed.As such, you can retain the engagement better minus the fuss. One of the most common practices observed by brands on Twitter is brands paying influencers to endorse their product by simply Tweeting about it. While this isn’t applicable to all businesses, you can jumpstart a similar campaign and create an impact to what is currently trending to get your share of the spotlight.
Google’s social media arm may not be the most up and about social hangout yet, but it is unique in its own way. Google+ is rich with communities that are truly invested in their niche topics. This social networking site is also known as a source of invaluable content which are often enjoyable to digest and are actually informative. And since it’s enlisted in Google’s many products, your presence in Google+ bears weight when the pieces of content you post on the web is linked to your account. Affixing your Google+ account in your author bio can strengthen the authority you’re building for yourself on the Web which in the future can contribute to your becoming an expert of the industry you’re in.
LinkedIn may be leaning on the more serious side of social networking but it doesn’t have to mean that it’s no fun. This specific platform isn’t just about making professional connections; it’s also a goldmine of jobs and sensible forums. Even the highest officers of a company are encouraged to be on LinkedIn so that they can expand their professional network without having to always deal with them face-to-face. LinkedIn is also a great source of industry news, trends, and business practices that you may deem pertinent to how you run your business which you can access for free.
Probably one of the social networking sites that haveneat and highly navigable dashboards, Tumblr is another micro-blogging site that is becoming more relevant to marketing these days. Some of the advantages of Tumblr are that it supports practically all types of mediums such as text, images, videos, and audio files, and that unlike Twitter doesn’t have a limit on the character count. Tumblr is also known for supporting GIF image sets which can be quite handy if you need a quick demonstration of how your products are assembled or work.
A favorite of many brands that rely heavily on display advertising and persuasion, Pinterest epitomizes the role of the Internet being an infinite picture album. Virtually everything nice and picturesque trinket has made it to Pinterest,and what makes it more interesting is how easy it is to pass the photos around by simply Pinning them on your board. Pinterest is ideal for brands that want to focus on a campaign that is heavy on images you need to enlist Pinterest in your social media range.
The ease of taking videos these days changed the way we looked at the word “viral.” What was considered viral in the past might be mere byproducts of creativity fused with randomness. But now that the digital era is here, it’s easier to stage an artistic performance and tape it simultaneously. YouTube is thriving with amazing videos created for advertising, from the most traditional strategies to guerrilla marketing. This branch of Google is also an idea repository of tutorials and quick lessons which you can post to your brand’s YouTube channel. You may not always be able to come up with a video mind-blowing enough to go viral, but you can always shoot videos that can actually add value to your customers’ buying experience.
Making the Best of Social Media Marketing
You don’t need to be on social media for very long to be familiar with the aforementioned sites. You’re probably signed up to those already, and those that are less popular works for your brand nevertheless. But the thing is, you also need to take full advantage of social media marketing to actually generate your business plenty of leads that you could convert to sales. How exactly do you do that? Here are five ideas:
1. Create an attainable social marketing pan.
This should be already a given but not all entrepreneurs realize how important it is to have a working mechanism for their social networking campaigns and to stay on top of it. Before you begin being all over the place, you need first to come up with a strategy. You need to set sensible goals that would go with a realistic timetable. You also have to identify what kind of exposure your brand needs and consequently determine which social networking sites you should enlist. In addition, you need to come up with a fair projection of the campaign so that you’ll have a baseline of how your social marketing efforts are and should be performing.
2. You don’t have to sign up to everything.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to subscribe to every single social networking site that is listed on the Internet just to get your customers’ attention and to produce traction. If you’re just starting out, you can sign up to the most popular options such as Facebook and Twitter. Choose the social media platform you’ll subscribe to depending on the content you’ll be creating. For instance, if you wish to focus more on images, Pinterest and Tumblr may be a wiser option over YouTube.
3. Post exciting content.
Having an active social presence is just the beginning. The next and significantly critical step is keeping your audience engaged. Do this by posting original, top quality, and exciting content. The more senses it appeals to, the better. If your target customers can practically taste your product by simply reading your copy or looking at a powerful photo, it’ll be easier for them to hook their interest and encourage them to perform a call to action. It’s also important that you publish on a regular basis because drawn customers will definitely look for consistency.
4. Make it a customer service arm.
Social media isn’t just an ideal channel to stay in touch with your customers. Another way of making the most of your social media dashboards is by making it an extension of your customer service team.
A lot of customers have this habit of inquiring on social networks instead of looking for your phone number or email address. So instead of directing them to a hotline, address their concerns directly on social media. Answering queries, making reservations, placing orders—you can do these and more with social media. Just make sure that you protect your customers’ discretion by having them disclose confidential information (e.g. credit card numbers) in private messages.
5. Follow and tag influencers.
A lot of experts recommend following and tagging industry influencers to posts that may be relevant to them. This gives you a shot at being noticed by your peers in the business, and when they think that your content is invaluable, they could consider sharing it to the rest of their network. Cite them as your sources and once your content goes live, tag them on Twitter so that they’ll have an opportunity to take a look at your piece. This is another reason why you need to post content that is of high quality and interesting. While this doesn’t happen overnight, you need to remember that it is consistent and unwavering performance that will eventually get you attention.
To average users, mastering social media may look like an easy victory, but if you’re a shrewd entrepreneur, you would know better. You would know that the potential of such a method is far greater than amassing a huge following, and that it takes hard work and consistent excellent performance to make it succeed. Social media marketing is a great avenue to generate leads and drive traffic to your site, but you need to bear in mind that your strategy should be aligned with your brand’s message and goals.
About Jack Rivera
Jack Rivera is a business writer and a marketing consultant.
A proud father to two sons, He also loves playing Chess and Magic: The Gathering.
You can also follow him on twitter: @jacksparrowXI