Going social must be based on business goal
Much like any other form of marketing, you can only complete valuable results through Social Media channels if you can define what those results are upfront and create your social media platforms around these objectives.
Your first step is to describe whether you should be on social media at all. What do you hope to achieve in real business objectives by being on social media platforms? It’s crucial that you use social media to support real business goals like customer acquisition or increased sales.
Businesses can use Social Media to successfully help with certain business objectives, including:
- Community Building and Engagement
Social media is not just about extending your brand message. It is also about creating a community around your brand and then captivating with this community to get direct feedback on your products and services.
Engaged communities will easily share your content and spiral your message, increasing your brand awareness across different social media platforms, and to new markets.
Social media is not a direct sales tool, but if used right, social media can be a useful tool to engage with communities that might be in the sales cycle for products and services like yours.
Only once you’ve settled on why you should be on social media and what you hope to achieve, should you move onto deciding which social media platforms to use of the social media “Big 6″ being Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Google +/Google Communities. YouTube may also be thought out as a social media platform, but is really more of a content platform from which links are shared.
For each platform you decide to use, you need to know accurately who your audience is and what you plan to say to them. Then you should put together your content plan and allocate essential resources to execute these plans.
Social Media Marketing lifestyle
Take a minute to open your personal Facebook account and really think about what it is companies are posting about and advertising.
Content marketing is becoming less about the words you put on a page and more about the involvement you create for your followers. With social media marketing becoming a daily influence in both personal and professional lives, your content technique is key.
So what should your social media strategy include? To create this ‘lifestyle’ approach that connects with your followers on the next level, think about including a mix of the following:
Although this is possibly the one thing every company does on social media, try to share your service offerings in different ways – think about key messages and how you’re imitating them.
Note: Trying to straight out hard sell to your followers constantly will result in lower engagement levels and a higher unfollowed rate.
Blogging is something we inspire all our clients to get involved with. It’s a great form of content marketing and once pushed through to social media accounts, it helps exceedingly with generating traffic to your website and gives your followers that little bit extra content!
With an impressive rise in people looking to social media for the latest news and happenings, forward thinking companies are taking to social media to share news relevant to their following. If you’re in professional services, be sure to share news on what’s happening and how it may affect your followers.
Note: Be sure to check a website’s reliability and read articles carefully to ensure you’re not sharing ‘fake news’ in order not to hurt your own business’s reputation and positioning.
Interesting related articles:
Who doesn’t love a good read? Mix it up, if it’s on brand/compatible to your business offerings, chances are your audience will engage. Think, “10 benefits for… 5 ways how… did you know…”
Throw in a promotion/contest – show your followers you appreciate their attention and commitment to your brand by giving back. “For the month of May receive 20% off… Like and Share for your chance to win this…”
Behind the Scenes:
Show a bit of company traits! If you’re in retail, fashion or hospitality, get on Snapchat and connect with your audience in a more personal way by snapping that photo shoot, or new menu.
Every now and then share a client’s experience, give your brand that reality aspect – millennial’s these day’s love nothing more than checking out reviews to see whether your product or service is for them!
Motivating, inspiring and humorous, informative, academic – everyone loves a good quote they can relate too.
Note: Quotes are re-shared and liked like crazy, so it’s a good start to engage your audience!
Visuals are key – ask any marketing specialist how important the visual aspect of any communication is! Be creative, yet strategic and guarantee all your images are in line with your brand.
Note: Infographics are also great! Easy to understand and visually appealing.
Small business tips: how to use social media to increase business
Knowing how to capitalise on your brand’s social media existence is crucial. Small business experts and entrepreneurs share their tips for turning ‘likes’ into profits
Social media is changing the way business is carried out. A recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK found that nearly 80% of customers would be more inclined to buy more often in the future because of a brand’s occupancy on social media.
For small firms, knowing how to capitalise on this is crucial. Julia Bramble, founder of social media consultancy Bramble Buzz, says: “If businesses haven’t got the right [social media] presence then they’re really going to be missing out, because consumers are expecting to find businesses and brands on there.”
What SME owners must focus on, says Bramble, is their target market: “The key message is to think about who your clients are, think about everything you know about them, where they live, what their lifestyles are, what their curiosity are, business wise and outside of business, and that’ll give you big clues as to the social networks they’re likely to be using.”
Decide which platforms are right for you
Not all social media platforms will be suitable for your business and the goals and objectives you’ve set. Below we offer a high-level look at the most popular platforms.
- Facebook: The world’s most favourite social media network with more than 2 billion users as of September 2017, it features the biggest number of regular users, making it the most engaging network in terms of sheer reach. For more, check out our definitive Facebook marketing guide for business.
- Instagram: Instagram’s claim to fame is its visual-centric access, where successful marketing is based in large part on the creative appeal of the content you share. This platform also swank the best engagement levels among all social networks at 59 percent, according to the 2016 Bloglovin’ Global Influencer Survey. Related: How to Use Instagram for Business: A Complete Guide for Marketers.
- LinkedIn: The world’s biggest social networking site for professionals with more than 467 million users. Learn how to put the platform to work for your business with our inclusive LinkedIn marketing guide.
- Twitter: Twitter is famous for its brevity thanks to the 280-character tweet limit. Our imperative guide to Twitter marketing will teach you everything you need to know about tweeting your way to social media success.
- Snapchat: An abandon content platform that’s especially popular with younger demographics. Here’s everything you need to know about using Snapchat for business
- YouTube: An excellent resource for brands who have the possessions to take advantage of the popularity of online videos. Learn more about using the platform with our post 18 Smart Ways to advertise Your YouTube Channel.
- Pinterest: What makes Pinterest exclusive is its users, who are searching to find ideas for all parts of their lives. This makes Pinterest ideal for driving action, such as an acquisition or a visit to your website. Learn more in our comprehensive guide to using Pinterest for business.
- When you take a devise brand voice and blend it with an intangible added value campaign message, what you end up with is lifestyle branding.
- Traditionally, lifestyle branding worked for products that had no practical function, like clothing fashions or jewellery. Luxury items, where people pay more just for singleness, use lifestyle branding. When someone buys a Gucci bag instead of one at Target, they do it because the view they have of their life matches the quality and style of Gucci (not because the bag holds more stuff or will last longer).
- Lifestyle branding tells a story. A story of how your product fits into the recognized lifestyle of your customers.
- Which brings us back to social media marketing. Platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are really storytelling platforms. While talking about product facial characteristics will totally flop, a storyline that makes the unreal, emotional value connection is a perfect fit for the type of content people consume on social media. Funny, interesting, surprising (even obscene if that fits your brand voice) content is engages people and gets shared through their networks.
- And your brand story spreads. For KPIs, you can track followers, likes, barometer traffic, and even improved SEO on your website. But overall, SMM is about deepen your brand story and making the lifestyle connection with your audience.
- When they take your story to heart and begin to build your product into their lives, you’ve polished a powerful marketing goal.
- It isn’t fully mirrored in a number graph or pie chart. It’s more intangible in value.
- But like car that makes you feel like you care about the community or the smartphone that makes you feel popular, it’s a value that’s as real as a steering wheel or touch screen.