It’s time to engage with your customers.
Social media is a great opportunity for businesses engage in conversation with customers and forge relationships that stand the test of time. The amount of readily available customer data is a marketeers dream. Social media is simple for people with limited technical know how to use and people are using is to share, comment, discover and communicate on a daily basis. Improving the social presence of your business can create a customer network with real value. Social media engagement is a key aspect of searching engine optimisation (SEO); it helps websites to become more visible to the algorithms that power search engines such as Google. Can you really afford not to be utilising it?
Why Your Business Needs To Be Using Social Media Right Now
It’s big and it’s here to stay.
Social media is not just a fad. If Facebook was a country it would have the third biggest population in the world, just behind China and India at 1.19 billion active users monthly. 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations. 75% of brand likes come from advertisements. Potential customers for your business are online using social media right now, consider what you could be doing to start interacting with them. By interacting with your audience you will be creating advocates for your brand, they will help to do your marketing for you. Social media is a tool for understanding what your audience thinks and says about you. Interpreting feedback and acting accordingly can be invaluable.
Devising A Social Media Strategy
Do I really need a strategy?
The answer is yes. When success is planned for, it almost always reflected in the results. Social media is an opportunity to engage directly with advocates of your brand, customers, and potential customers. It is not a channel to put selling directly before the needs of the customer. Customers want to be entertained, to be inspired, to be informed. Remember that social media is not about making that sale today, it is about building a relationship and a brand. Perhaps that conversation today will be a sale tomorrow.
Analysis of previous content
Planning for the future is also about analysing the past, it is about listening to feedback, having conversations and being able to respond appropriately. KPIs are a measurable way of relating commercial value to the context of a social media strategy. Does the recent surge in your sales correlate with your online activity? It is important to remember that numbers do not always paint the whole picture. It could be that you have a significant number of retweets in relation to something that has caused controversy and painted your brand in a negative light. Analysis can be a key tool to reputation management. Social media is also a great opportunity to provide your customers with outstanding customer service.
Analysis of competitors & trends
A typical marketing plan will look at the activities of competitors. It is the same with social media. This is not to say that we should be led by our competitors, it is more a case of what makes you stand out from the crowd, what are your unique customer benefits and how is this reflected in your social media strategy? It is important to be aware of trends and changes and how they may affect your strategy. Which hashtags and keywords are hot right now, but more importantly, which of those have a meaningful relationship with your brand?
When devising a social media strategy, these are some important considerations to keep in mind:
- Recognising which platforms the target audience are likely to be using.
- Knowing the type of appropriate content for each platform.
- Adapting content for suitability for multiple platforms, for example converting a quote from a blog post into an image to be used on Facebook with a corresponding link.
- Recognising that people engage with content that is useful, interesting or informative and do not respond well to accounts whose sole purpose is to sell products and services.
- The creation of a post schedule that has the ability for collaborators to pre-approve posts.
- The strategic use of hashtags and links.
- The ability to be responsive in real time, this can be particularly important in relation to reputation management.
- Analysis of the effectiveness of past content.
- When it is suitable to utilise paid methods such as boosting posts.
Utlising YouTube To Engage With Your Audience
The Viral Power Of Video. YouTube the world’s second largest search engine, it receives over one billion unique visits each month.
Consumers are engaging with videos online to be entertained, to learn and discover. YouTube also has the ability to make money through advertising. Having a clear content strategy with video will help you to engage with your audience. You may choose to create tutorials or provide exclusive content. Even better, encourage your online following to create content and share it on your behalf. When Old Spice created their response campaign they received 5.9million YouTube views on the first day alone, more than Obama’s victory speech! Watch what happened here.