In their haste to climb aboard the social media bandwagon, too many businesses rush into social marketing work with no goals – let alone a plan to help them reach it.
Similarly to every other area of your marketing strategy, your social media efforts need to be carefully planned and executed. After all, without the necessary groundwork you’re going to have difficulties allocating your team the direction and resources they need to get results.
When implemented correctly, social media can prove incredibly advantageous to your business; it can encourage a more natural link profile, help build your brand and provide a unique way of communicating with your target audience.
If you’re attempting to put together a social media strategy for the first time, or are re-evaluating your current strategy, consider these top 10 tips for improved social media efforts.
- Increase search visibility. Search engines, such as Google, are known to factor in social sharing when awarding a website its ranking. If you want to increase your company’s search visibility, then you’ll need a good social media strategy that gets people talking about and sharing your content. If your business depends on the search engines for the majority of its leads and sales, this will prove most effective.
- Grow brand awareness. Social media campaigns can be perfect for raising consumer awareness and building your business brand. If this too is your objective, then ensure your social media efforts really reinforce your business brand and help you stand out from the rest.
- Be informative. Your social media efforts should always teach customers something for free. So, be sure to include some ‘how-tos’ and compelling resources to educate your customers.
- Use up-to-date content. Producing relevant news and information that appeals to your target audience, will keep search users talking about your business brand. By keeping your pages up-to-date with fresh, exciting content you could become the go-to for high quality news and resources within your niche. This will give you the ultimate advantage over your competitors.
- Become a leading expert in your niche. Does your business have expertise in a unique subject matter? By making these expertise available, you’ll attract a much larger audience of people seeking your answers and advice.
- Showcase products. Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube – social platforms such as these will allow your business to showcase your products and services, at little cost.
- Include customer services. A company known for its speedy responses to customer queries and issues is often admired amongst customers. So, why not integrate customer services into your social media strategy, for a more positive brand reputation?
- Recruit new candidates. For companies with a HR team, social media could be ideal for searching out high-quality, interested job candidates. This may not be for every company, but for companies focused on recruitment, it could be ideal.
- Built-in commerce. Many companies are slowly but surely working towards using social networks as a platform for quick and easy transactions. E-commerce for Facebook (or F-commerce), is a full e-commerce store built into Facebook. The benefit of this is direct, speedy sales – however, only a few major brands have begun testing this strategy.
- Conduct market research. Arguably one of the biggest benefits of social media is that it gives you a direct channel of communication with your target audience. Use social media to learn more about your customers. Conduct your own market research and watch out for trends in the market. The more you learn, the more you can work on and improve your current marketing strategies.
Got your social media objectives figured out? Then it’s time to begin putting what you’ve learnt into action.