“Content is King but engagement is Queen and she rules the house.” – Mari Smith
Social media marketing with unidirectional posts is a thing of past. Unless you are engaging and building a loyal community, everything else is a waste of resources and possibilities. Social marketing is not just about broadcasting your brand, as establishing relationships is the primary prerequisite to ensure your messages are heard in the social space. It is more about conversing with prospects and patrons to better understand their needs, rather than driving conversions – though the latter in indeed the final product.
Embracing Social Channels for Business Growth
Though social media marketing is a long-term strategy, the results it can yield make the avenue worth the efforts and perseverance. To help, here are 5 effective ways that make your social media efforts a success.
1. Create a Strategic Publishing Calendar
Dormant social pages are quite a turnoff for visitors, and therefore, do not take the plunge unless you are determined to maintain the stride. Though you may have to go by a few weeks or even months without much activity, carry on with perseverance. Prepare an activity calendar and keep updating it as and when you find a possibility.
In addition, make sure that you share your posts at a time when you expect maximum viewership. To decide the most appropriate time to roll out posts, you can start by analyzing the surfing behavior of your prospective customers, based on factors such as their age group, line of work, and location, among others. To find the info, analytics is the key.
2. Drive Engagement using the 80/20 Rule
The applicability of social media platforms in the field of marketing goes way beyond posting content to broadcast your offerings. Although many marketers have shifted their traditional marketing to social media platforms and made it a broadcast mechanism, the more successful ones, however, are always focused on driving engagement.
Whether you plan to post an image, informative content or a promotional offer, it is advisable to apply the “80/20 rule” that says 80% of the content needs to be ‘fun’ or ‘informative’ whereas 20% can be related to products or services. Following this rule will ensure that your social media efforts are engaging, and that you don’t end up sounding like a pushy salesperson.
3. Build a Personal Bond with Bespoke Conversations
If you want your brand to be successful, avoid using blatant sales pitches and marketing slogans, as the approach may do more harm than good. Rather, construct posts that spark conversations and follow up on all comments by your audience, especially if there is a disgruntled customer voicing their opinion or anguish.
In addition, sharing humorous posts or interesting facts about your line of business also provides an opportunity for you to create a personal bond with your customers, and better understand the market. Besides, following the approach is sure to transform your social media page into a lively community of likeminded people who will be your brand ambassadors, soon.
4. Gather Market Intelligence using Free Tools
Given the unsparing influence of digitalization on all aspects human existence, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that your online reputation can make or break your business. That is the reason why every z-gen business must be completely cognizant of the sentiments of their prospective and existing customers, which is possible only through in-depth market analysis.
Contrary to common notion, gathering market intelligence by monitoring social media activities doesn’t have to add to the campaign cost, as there are plenty of free tools such as IceRocket and Topsy to monitor social media activity. Besides, you always have the option to use the built-in analytics tools provided by all major social networking channels.
5. Include Paid Avenues in Your Strategy
Though a rookie mistake, this is one of the common pitfalls of social media marketing. To minimize their overall marcom spend, most organizations do not invest in paid media, deserting countless opportunities. Facebook ads, for instance, are known to work wonders for retailers offering consumer products. Similarly, LinkedIn is a great platform for IT manpower agencies.
Therefore, when it comes to creating a social strategy to promote your business, make sure that you have some budget allocated to explore the paid avenues offered by social networking platforms. Though the ideal distribution of reliance on organic and paid avenue depends on the nature of your business and target customers, 60:40 is usually a reasonable arrangement.
Social media platforms – though they represent a highly efficient and cost-effective channel for businesses to connect with potential customers – are not merely about selling products or sharing random content from across the web just because your competitor is doing so. Realize the true potential of social networking as a marketing tool by appeasing your audience with unique and innovative posts, active participation, comprehensive data collection, and strategic normalization to turn that data into actionable information.
Should you wish to learn more about how you can leverage social networking platforms for business development, feel free to contact our social media experts for a no-obligation consultation. We hate contracts, anyway.