Last updated on December 22nd, 2015
I’m preoccupied with social media, and it’s not just to look at shared animal memes. I’m intrigued by the ease in which business can market to the masses simply by social engagement, and how impactful social media marketing can be if done well. I read everything I can about it.
I was reading Forbes the other day when Steve Olenski’s article about things marketers may not know regarding social media marketing caught my attention. I’m a marketer. I wanted to know what I may not know, so I read his great article.
Steve makes the excellent point that social media marketing is still growing. The way consumers now use mobile devices for social networking and buying is an example of how it continues to evolve. It may never stop evolving, so it’s important to keep learning new techniques.
Here are 4 things you may not know that can help you succeed in social media marketing:
1. Establish brand trust
Don’t anticipate what your customer wants. Take a method from Julep Beauty who monitors customer comments – good or bad – about its products on social media to correct or create new products that meet customer needs.
You can also build trust by being on time to appointments, communicating clearly, keeping promises, and fulfilling agreements.
The more trust you can build between your brand and your customer, the greater possibility of marketing success, which results in generated leads, closed deals and increased revenue.
2. Identify prospects
Cold calls are old hat. Why not use social media to make an introduction and develop the relationship before calling on a client? There are a couple ways of doing this:
- Use advanced search on LinkedIn to choose someone that fits your buyer profile.
- Use Google Analytics metrics that measure how long visitors from LinkedIn stay on your web page. You know if someone spends a great deal of time on your web page they think the content is interesting and meaningful. Identify those potential customers, research them by reading their social profiles using a customer relationship management (CRM) system to aggregate their public information. You can find their email address or send a direct message on Twitter to start a conversation.
Another tip: reach out to people who have shared or favorited one of your posts on Twitter or LinkedIn.
3. Engage your target audience
If you don’t have a lot of social media followers, don’t worry. I mean, look at my Twitter profile! Remember, followers have nothing to do with how many people will see your social media posts. If you use the proper hashtags for your niche, you’re post will be seen by a large group of people and, hopefully, shared.
If shared, you can make a connection by thanking the person who shared. It’s a good way to build a relationship and ensure he or she will share your future posts.
Steve says in his article that repeated posts can help get your message out since your targeted audience can’t all be online checking social media at once. I’m on the fence. No one likes parroted information. If you can repeat a post with a new headline or description, great.
4. Merge offline marketing with social media
Offline tactics still provide wonderful conversion rates. Yet, we know most people use the Internet to search for everything from new shoes to a dentist. The best recipe in marketing is to combine your offline marketing techniques, like print advertising, with social media to target a new and broader audience. You’ve likely noticed in magazines that many advertisers will use the Facebook and Twitter logos on their print ad so that readers know they can engage with the company online.
Best practices in social media marketing include:
- Consistent effort
- Use social media outlets to build relationships and trust
- Combine social media with your offline presence
- Practice consumer data gathering
If you follow these guidelines, you will drive awareness to your brand and gain long-term profitability.