Social media marketing tactics provide a wonderful opportunity for your company to connect with customers, reach a new demographic and grow your client and fan base in a way that traditional brick and mortar stores and customer service hotlines can’t. Using social media as a vehicle to carry your message is not only low-cost, but it’s personal and friendly, which can help you stand out against the social noise of cat videos, memes and selfies. What is social media marketing? Read on to find out.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the process is gaining online attention, and raising customer engagement, brand recognition and website traffic through the use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Vine and more. This is done through sharing engaging updates, publishing fresh and relevant content and reaching out to your consumers.
Since every social network is set up differently, has a slightly varied audience and requires different tactics to reach customers, keep reading for seven business uses and tips for each approach.
Putting it to Use: 7 Business Uses for Social Media Marketing
- To Boost Your Customer Service
Social media marketing is an excellent way to boost your business’ customer service and portray a helpful and friendly face to the world. Encouraging your fans and followers to be online advocates can be a valuable asset in increasing your company’s reach.
If you find it hard to take control of your social media pages because you’re juggling too many other aspects of your business, consider hiring a social media manager or a public relations firm who can take the load off of you. It’s important to have someone assigned to manning the page in order to identify negative feedback in a timely manner and answer customers’ questions.
While you rarely have an opportunity to have a face-to-face interaction with each one of your customers, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter offer a new way to connect with clients and fans. The individual nature of social networking allows for one-on-one exchanges in the form of messages and comments. It’s important to respond quickly to these types of fan engagement as users likely won’t wait very long for your reply. The average wait time customers expect (maximum) on Facebook is under 6 hours, while on Twitter it’s only 60 minutes.
- To Increase Your Company’s Reach
Imagine you’re standing with a megaphone, in front of a crowd of people, speaking about your business’ new product. It’s hard to get people to care, isn’t it? Now imagine you’re standing in front of an audience which only consists of those already interested in your topic. It’s a bit easier this time. That’s how powerful a hashtag can be when used properly on social media.
Hashtags serve to “categorize” your updates and make them visible to people searching for those terms. The above example shows how social media marketing can help increase the reach of your online footprint.
You can spread the reach of your campaign even further by hosting contests where you encourage them to share your content to enter, maximize your organic reach with images and videos, or take advantage of promoted posts and advertising options to give the updates some extra oomph.
- To Push Shareable Content
Did your company just wrap up a great video about your community outreach efforts? Maybe you created an online webinar designed to help people learn more about your business. These types of shareable content (updates that are timely, include videos and images and aim to educate your fans) are well-suited to sharing on social media. Use your social networks to push this content as far as it can go. A good way to increase its visibility is to use relevant hashtags and jump on popular trends.
- To Turn Fans into Customers
If you have lots of social media fans, but are trying to increase your sales, you can use social media marketing tactics to do so! Turning fans into customers isn’t always easy, but here are several tactics you can try that will endear consumers to your brand:
- Showcase your product in action
- Provide “how-to” tips for your industry
- Target your updates using promoted posts
- Create incentives in the form of flash sales or coupons
- Share a behind-the-scenes video from your company
- To Jump on a Trend
Knowing what people are talking about online and joining in on the conversation is an essential social media marketing tactic. Keep up with trends and use hashtags to participate in things like, #MotivationMonday, #WisdomWednesday or #ThrowbackThursday; these are perfect opportunities to show your brand is up to date, relevant and is comfortable on social media. Just remember to always stay positive, upbeat and open to lots of different points of view.
- To Make a Name for Yourself
Become memorable through your social media marketing efforts by taking a cue from these famous brands:
- Dollar Shave Club: Through a tongue-in-cheek viral video, this razor subscription service made a splash by catching their customers’ attention with quick wit and humorous euphemisms.
- Coca-Cola: America’s favorite soft drink brand executed a successful social media marketing campaign by printing bottles emblazoned with customers’ names. Fans had a blast searching for “their” bottle and were encouraged to post selfie snaps on social channels.
- Comcast: In order to respond to user complaints and technical service requests, Comcast created a special Twitter account, @ComcastCares, where a team of customer service representatives were always available to help.
- To Tell a Story
It isn’t enough to share about your company’s value or mission on social media; fans aren’t likely to be very interested. Instead, you should craft a story that is shareable and relevant to their lives. A great story has four elements: theme, plot, structure and characters. You can think of them this way:
Theme (Know Your Industry)
Set the tone of your story by knowing the ins and outs of your industry; every story needs a solid foundation.
Plot (Know Your Story)
Determine the main message you want your audience to take away and make sure it’s front and center.
Structure (Present Readable Content)
Present your message in a readable format; for example, if you have a lengthy piece of research, break it into main points and share it via multiple social media updates.
Characters (Include Your Audience)
Once you’ve figured out the story you want to tell, it’s time to share it! Video marketing is excellent because updates with video receive increased organic traffic. You can post customer testimonials or success stories, share behind-the-scenes footage or show how your product is made. Learn more about video marketing here.
Avoid These 4 Social Media Marketing Mistakes
While social media marketing can be very valuable and helpful for your company to incorporate, it can also be detrimental if done incorrectly. Avoid these four common mistakes:
- Being Out of Touch with Your Customer Base: Not knowing your customers, their demographics and preferences is a common social media marketing mistake. You can’t expect to reach your audience on a personal level when you don’t take the time to get to know who they are. Spend some time clicking through your page likes to get a sense of who your followers are and ask engaging questions that can shed light into their preferences.
- Linking Social Media Profiles Together: Although it’s tempting to link Facebook and Twitter together with a generic update every time you publish a new blog post, it’s actually akin to spam to treat your networks this way. The reason is because followers may be watching you on multiple social media sites, so they won’t be interested in identical updates. Also, since each platform is different, you may have a message that’s perfect for Facebook, but Twitter will cut it off at 140 characters, making it look unprofessional.
- Having an Incomplete Profile: Having a completed profile is a simple way for customers to get ahold of you; profiles lacking a website, company phone number or business hours can turn customers away. Make sure all fields of each social profile are complete and look uniform; be sure to use the same language, color scheme and profile/header images to build consistency.
- Only Focusing on Quantity, Not Quality: You could have 1 million followers on social media, but if you never receive a single like, mention or retweet, your fans aren’t helping your social media marketing efforts. The key is to accumulate engaged and interactive followers who share your content, repost your wisdom and talk you up.
Are you interested in using these tactics to your advantage? Here are some great tools you won’t want to miss. Now that you’ve brushed up on these great business uses for social media marketing, it’s time to put them into practice! Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation to learn how we can help your online image soar!