Whether you’re engaged in B2B or B2C business, social media is, hands down, a big part of the marketing world at this point. Anyone stubbornly refusing to get into the social media game is missing out on a huge source of potential customers, contacts, networking, and sales opportunities.
Even if you already have a presence on any and every social media platform, though, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re using them to their maximum effectiveness. In fact, it’s quite easy to underutilize most social media platforms if you don’t sit down and create a strategy for your social media marketing efforts first. If you find that your social marketing is uninspired, underwhelming, or even worse, nonexistent, here are a few suggestions to help you up your social media marketing game.
Use Relevant Platforms
If you’ve spent any time using social media in personal pursuits, you’ve probably found that not all social media platforms are equal. The same truth goes for social media marketing, as well. That’s why you want to make sure that you’re using each platform in the right way. How do you know what that right way is? Let’s break it down:
- Facebook is an excellent place for back and forth discussion and the sharing of views of all kinds, from ethics and social welfare to politics, sports, and so on.
- Twitter is a quick yet shallow way to interact with others, often providing a cutting-edge perspective on recent or even live and unfolding events.
- Reddit, like Twitter, is another text-driven social media outlet that provides opportunities to drive traffic to your site through conversations and links.
- Instagram is an ideal place for companies to utilize videos and images in order to share visual posts about products and offerings.
- Pinterest is another excellent platform for visual social media posts that also has the ability to link through and drive traffic to your site.
A key to using social media effectively is actually caring about the quality of the content you’re publishing. Just because most of your posts will disappear into the black hole of the social world within days (or even hours) of publication doesn’t mean they won’t make an impression on quite a few people before that time.
Posting poor quality content is a critical mistake that far too many marketers make as they focus on strategies, SEO, and other back-end concerns. Don’t fall into the trap. Make sure your posts contain quality content that is appropriate to the platform, your audience, and your marketing message.
Look for Influencers
Influencers are popular social media personalities with a following they interact with. Many businesses work with influencers, compensating them to promote their brand and products to their followers.
Marketing through influencers has been on the rise for years now. This is especially true with platforms that easily facilitate the practice, like Instagram, which saw more than a 39% rise in influencer marketing in 2018 alone.
All that’s required to begin using influencers in your marketing strategy is to set aside an influencer budget (it doesn’t have to be huge, a few hundred dollars is a good starting point) and then start networking and reaching out to personalities who have a significant following within your niche. Levels of compensation will vary depending on the size of their audience, and you can always try to haggle down prices or create bundles of “discounted services” depending on what they offer. Just make sure you do so respectfully, as you want them to have a good opinion of the entire experience that will encourage them to represent your brand in as positive a light as possible.
As a final note, although finding larger influencers who will work with you is always great — when you can afford them — many companies, great and small, are also effectively executing marketing strategies that consist of a cobbled-together team of “micro-influencers” who have no more than a few thousand followers apiece. This opens up the doors for smaller companies with tighter budgets to still find ways to get in on the influencer marketing game.
Don’t assume that all social media activity is for is gaining new customers. Often the most efficient use of your time can be spent tending to existing clients. Social media offers a uniquely powerful conduit for personalized customer service. It allows you to tend to customer concerns and respond to feedback in real-time.
This practice of taking the time to care for existing customers over social media is extremely effective. In many ways, it can be compared to the business practice of account management, as both practices have the distinct purpose of following up with customers and clients after a sale in order to provide a long-term, personalized business relationship. This personalized attention is flattering to customers and can yield many different benefits. For instance, it opens up the possibility of repeat business, referrals to family and friends, or quality feedback that provides valuable data for future decisions and improvements.
Create Social “Events”
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your social media promotions. Posting content that is aimed at creating interactions with potential customers can be an excellent way to stir up a general buzz.
For instance, if you have a significant following on a particular platform, offer a product giveaway, gift card, etc. on your profile. Have those who are interested like, comment, share the post, and so on in order to help spread awareness of the event — and your brand as well. Once the competition is done, pick a winner from the pool of entrants who followed the rules of the giveaway.
Another option is to create a giveaway or other social media event that incorporates several companies within your niche. Try to avoid direct competitors. Instead, look for companies that complement the services you offer. If you sell a line of designer clothing, look for a fellow company that creates skin-care products, designer jewelry, etc. and see if they’ll join in the cross-promotion extravaganza.
Taking Advantage of the Power of Social Media
While social media should never be the only part of your online marketing strategy , it should absolutely play a key role. Though things like a company blog or paid ads can be productive, nothing beats the interactive element that most social media platforms offer. They allow the “human side” of your company to shine, provide opportunities for stellar customer service, and can be an excellent source for repeat and new customers alike.