Social media is misunderstood by a lot of people who you would think would understand what social media is. It happens so often that you may hear the phrase “we need to do social media” and this is similar to saying “we need you to do the internets”. that betrays so much, but most of all that there isn't a clear idea of what social media is. Social media is nothing new and it has always been around, in fact television is a social medium i.e. social media.
Social media is a distribution network and when we understand social media for what it is then it doesn't take a rocket scientist to develop ideas that are aligned with the nature of this type of medium. When social media is understood as a distribution network then the tactics and strategies that lead to success in other network systems are applicable here as well.
Let's explore some key ways to market products and services successfully using social media keeping in mind that it is a way for us to communicate and convey our point, message, products and or services across to our prospects in an efficient manner
1. Implenting Data Gathering
Gather data as to where are your prospects are and what type of social media platforms they may be on. This is a lot easier than you think. Everyone uses Facebook, and the way that Facebook's platform is designed even if you think you don't use it, it's using you. The technicalities as to how that is possible is for another discussion.
The major social media platforms offer superior data gathering capabilities which freely available to you and me in order to better craft marketing campaigns. There are numerous social media platforms out there and which one you invest your effort into depends on your particular organization. For instance with a B2B Scenario, LinkedIn Twitter and Facebook are the key platforms to focus on,.
Utilizing data analysis to ascertain how current visitors are behaving on your website can aid in the implementation of an effective marketing campaign utilizing social media. And this is also a straightforward process. One of the largest and most robust analytical systems for data gathering is Google analytics and this is freely available for implementation. It requires some expertise to implement every single facet in order to get every data point however for the most part Google analytics in its basic form can provide key information necessary to make an informed decision.
We may never know where your site visitors are sharing your brand – either on Facebook, Twitter or email, but you can make use of the availability of Google Analytics and other analytical services which allow you to track the traffic data of your visitors. With this, you can determine where your shared traffic is going, and make adjustments to improve your website and marketing campaigns .
2. Create a presence where it matters.
When we understand social media as a distribution network then we want to have access to as many of the roadway that leads to our prospects. This is where it is important to have a presence and a profile on the matured and popular social media platforms like Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn and perhaps others where the particular target customer profile may be on. For instance a new platform called Alignable is slowly gaining traction with small and local businesses. If that is your niche, then it's a good idea to have a presence there and engage.
To create a presence where it matters requires understanding who the target consumer is, who you're going after, what are their values? It is crucial to have a grasp of this so that the messaging, advertising and the marketing campaign is effective and receptive to the audience.
3. Strategic Placement of Share Buttons
With this third step we are moving into tactical engagements that facilitate our grasp of social media. It helps the visitor and the prospect that engages us to champion our brand, product, and or service. Undoubtedly, it takes a process of relationship building before a prospect becomes a customer who can champions the product or service in his or her network.
Using a very strategic placement of sharing buttons through out a website has been proven to be very effective. This is just like putting the button on the review page after a specific user has given you a review for your products. The “Thank You” page, “Sale Confirmation Email” and “Mailing List Email” templates are one of the options that you can consider. Based on your business insight, you should determine where you think it is best to place those handy Share buttons.
There are other ways to reduce the friction inherent with sharing a particularly valuable piece of information that you've developed. Imagine you've written an informative piece of content about a particular product or service, and you have visitors reading and consuming this content, aside from share buttons there are myriad ways to motivate and reduce friction when it comes to how shareable a piece of information can be.
- Find a way within your particular domain to gamify the process, make it a game that naturally engages people.
- Tag a few of your audience members in your campaigns.
- Create value added content that really appeals to the focus target customer.
- Add something that your customers are proud of, that speaks to the values they hold to.
4. Add Videos to promote your Product
Video is crucial in communicating your brand, your product, your customer service, and many other facets that a customer may not ordinarily see but that could help build a relationship with a prospect. Additionally the shareability of a video content makes it so much more valuable in the social media space. It is a contained form of content integrating visuals, sound, written content, spoken content, and continues to spread the core message that the video communicates indefinitely. If you have a video on YouTube it will be on YouTube for seven years eight years still viable when people search for the particular topic that that video entertains.
Moreover, we have seen the usefulness of videos in promoting certain products, which are used on television advertisements and other websites. This is another way of improving your sales by adding demonstrations of your products. Many other companies have done the same thing before, and this strategy significantly increased their sales. YouTube is an excellent social network that you can make use of and upload your product videos. With time as people search for subjects related to your products and or services, if you have the video form on YouTube, then it's going to show, it's going to continue driving traffic well into the future.
5. Interact with your Customers
One of the best ways to be successful in business is to interact with your customers because simply creating Facebook pages will not be enough. It all requires a need to engage potential consumers in order to gain more followers. However don't be afraid of that, this can be done relatively easily at scale automatically.
Visit some of the popular Instagram accounts, LinkedIn or Facebook accounts, notice their customers asking questions as to a particular product and or service. Engaging those questions and providing answers communicates due diligence and care simply from its appearance. When people see that a company is answering questions and engaging with the concerns that customers have through the differing points of contact, it creates trust, and creates value. While this may sound expensive and time-consuming, surprisingly this is something that can be performed at scale cost effectively.
Interaction on social media motivates engagement and engagement is the bread and butter on which many of the algorithms determine what is relevant and viable, which in turn creates more awareness because the social platforms increase its exposure.
6. Create Exclusive Offers for your Followers
With tight competition in every facet of marketing and more specifically getting the attention of people, creating exclusive offers can go a long way in capturing people's attention. Making your offers stand out and exclusively available only to your followers helps to drive more interest to your cause. This helps to encourage more engagement and motivates people to follow your account so that they may be available for the special offers that you have for them.
Create sweepstakes, contests and giveaways to differentiate your profile from others. Because while another competitor may be offering similar contests and sweepstakes it's never going to be the same. This does not cheapen your brand, product or service, it instead creates activity around you. The point here is to find ways to engage the attention of your target customers. Consider guerrilla marketing and employ creative ways to connect with those who you want to engage with.
7. Track your Social Media Engagement
You can determine what products and services distributed via social media people are most interested in at the moment. URL shorteners are excellent click analytics tool because they allow you to see how many people are clicking on a specific link shared by you. Tactically these and many others can help you to have an understanding of how people are engaging with your content.
With any marketing effort it is crucial to understand the response and the feedback from the intended audience. And, the ability to track engagement on social media is perhaps one of the benefit of social media marketing and all of these platforms have robust advertising frameworks that provides the data necessary to make adjustments to advertising and create more effective campaigns through optimization
These tips will help engender more followers, traffic, sales, and profits. Its as simple (or as difficult) as that however, understandably all of this requires set up and management and this is where working with a consultant is crucial in order to realize the full value and benefit from a social media marketing effort. Many organizations have become successful through implementing these social marketing strategies. If you're open to a conversation, reach us below. Results are waiting.