Marketing is hugely important to any business. If you don’t tell people about your business, how do you expect people to buy from you?
It’s important to outline your marketing goals from the outset. Some marketing goals include generating leads, increasing sales, improving customer retention, and growing your business.
Social media isn’t an isolated “thing”. It should help you accomplish all of these goals. But if you don’t have a social media strategy, then you’ll have an “active” social media account and little else to show for it.
Here are some social marketing tips you can use to help grow your business.
- Answer the Why: Why are you blogging? Why are you on Twitter? Why are you using social media? Here are the answers you are probably thinking of right now:
(a) increase brand awareness by growing your reach
(b) build customer loyalty by providing more support
(c) increase sales by getting more people to purchase, more frequently.
If you can’t answer the why, then don’t even start your social media activity!
- Ignore Your Competition: Trying to benchmark other people’s amount of Fans and Followers is silly and frankly just egotistical. You’ll start making bad decisions because you’re trying to “keep up”. The best tactical ideas and campaigns haven’t happened in your industry yet. So set out your social media strategy to figure out what new, untapped opportunities you can seize and gain an early lead. Look at what businesses are doing in other industries and try to experiment with similar tactics.
- Don’t Be on Every Social Network: Community management will drain all of your resources, especially if you don’t have marketing departments like larger companies might have. Contrary to popular belief, social media isn’t free! Each social network you manage will cost you exponentially more time, money and energy. It takes tremendous resources to do it properly, and has an enormous opportunity cost. So prioritise one or two networks and focus on strategically developing these.
- Be Effective: Social media is wonderful, but people confuse busyness with effectiveness. Start with a goal, reverse engineer how you’re going to reach that goal, identify your highest activities, prioritise and set deadlines, be disciplined and accountable. Be effective.
- Be a Publisher: Digital marketing can’t exist without content. No SEO. No email marketing. No social media. That means you’re in the media business. So you better start learning how to create valuable content. Create content, provide expertise, or use adverts to put yourself in front of communities of people – and give them the chance to find you.
- Ignore Trends: Trends are like waves in the ocean, they come and they go. Pinterest might work for some businesses. But for others, it’s a waste of time. For your business, it probably has the wrong kind of traffic, not enough users, and a demographic mismatch. Instead, focus and invest in the fundamentals – like your blog, email marketing and your main social media accounts.
- Create a voice: People don’t want to connect with faceless corporations. They want to connect with real humans. But a lot of companies still don’t understand this. No one will like, trust or respect your company in the long run if they can’t talk to a human, in a timely manner.
- Stand out from the crowd: Why are you in business? Why are you using social media? People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Think about the special companies that you like and admire. They start with “Why”. They tap into a bigger cause than themselves, and that emotionally connects with people. If you only sell “What” you do, then you’re going to be stuck selling commodities and you’ll always compete on price. Answer the why!
- Send an email: Simply put… Email marketing is still the most profitable online marketing channel.
- People Talking About You: Facebook’s EdgeRank was designed to keep companies from spamming their “fans”. So, it only allows you to reach the fans that actively engage with your brand. “People Talking About This” is the closest metric you have to increase your “viral reach”. The higher that number goes, the better chance you have of reaching more people. And the bigger your page will grow because you’ll start reaching more “friends of fans”. Get people talking about you – get them liking, commenting and generally interacting with your Page.
Social media is much more than “engaging in the conversation”. It’s a new way of doing things, and a new set of tools to help you do it. But the same marketing fundamentals apply. You need to gain attention, build trust, and keep people engaged longer.
Because in addition to growing your “social media presence”, you’ll also be able to get more traffic, bring in more leads and create more happy customers.
Be a social business, not just a business that uses social media!