Social networking

3 Tips for a Better Social Media Strategy

From small to large, businesses are adopting Social media as their marketing vehicle of choice.  However, for many businesses the results have not met their expectations.  Why?  Often it is the lack of a solid, well thought out Social media strategy.

This article from Social Media Examiner offers some very practical steps you can take to make your online marketing efforts work for you.

#1: Attraction: How to draw people to you

For most of us, we want to attract qualified traffic to our website. While there are many ways to do this—including search engine optimization, traditional advertising and referrals—I’ll focus here on social media.

To succeed with social media, you’ll need to have a content strategy. This means talking to your ideal customers about what they’re interested in, and having those conversations where they hang out. (For more details, check out How to Develop a Social Media Content Strategy.)

Depending on your audience, you may need to become more active on Facebook or join groups where your customers talk on LinkedIn.

If they’re not active on social networking sites—or can’t access them during the working day—you’ll need to create blog posts and videos that help them solve their biggest problems.

While developing your social media profiles, a few things to keep in mind:

  • Brand your profiles: It’s free or nearly free to set up a blog, create a YouTube channel or build a profile on popular social networking sites.

Because of this, everyone does it. To rise above the pack and establish your credibility, you’ll need to create a branded experience that will immediately help build trust with your audience. This may mean a custom Twitter background, a Facebook landing page or a detailed work history on your LinkedIn profile.

  • Go deep, not wide: Don’t try to be active on every social network out there. Instead, focus on becoming great at one or two platforms where you’re most likely to engage your prospects. Once you’ve mastered those, you can add more to your plate.
  • Be consistent: One blog post, one video or one tweet won’t save your business, no matter how clever it is. Success comes from consistency. Your customers don’t want to work with a one-hit wonder; they want to work with someone who has consistently established credibility and expertise over time, which shows that the person should be around for a long time to come.
  • Create paths back to your site: Although being too salesy can turn prospects off, you should always have links to your website so they can learn more if they wish. Ben Pickering has a great article entitled 5 Tips for Driving Facebook Fans to Your Website that gives some suggestions on how to do just that.

#2: Retention: How to keep people coming back

If you’re selling a big-ticket item, chances are your prospect isn’t buying from your site without looking at your competitors’ sites as well. Likewise, if you’re selling a product that needs to be regularly repurchased—like contact lenses or morning coffee—your prospect will continually see competing offers.

How do you stay top of mind and keep the lines of communication open after someone has left your website? This is where retention comes in.

While “traditionally,” email marketing has been the favored tool of the Internet marketer, these days social media plays a critical part.

From the home page, we’re asking people to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our blog posts or YouTube channel… all of which send them offsite.

This goes against everything we used to know: You never send people away after you’ve captured their attention! (It’s like the Vegas casinos: Never show a gambler the exit sign.)

However, getting people to like, follow and subscribe to us gives us the opportunity to continue to engage with them. We can build a relationship by better understanding them through listening and helping them.

To maximize your retention activities, make sure that it’s easy for someone to engage you in your social media activities right from your home page and every other page on your site.

Remember: Always provide value to your ideal customer with your social media activities. You’re only one click away from being unfollowed, unsubscribed from and unliked if you’re not providing value.

#3: Conversion: Moving from liker to buyer

Improved conversion rates (whether it’s a “buy now” button or filling out a contact form) are a natural outcome of being active in social media.

The latest HubSpot “State of Inbound Marketing” report showed that companies that blog more have more consistent sales. Companies also report that social media has made the biggest gain in lead generation activities.

Is social media working for you?  Please share your experiences.  If you would like to set up a free consultation to discuss ways to improve your marketing call or email us today!  We would be happy to help.

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