What is the number one thing people in the United States do when they are online? Google searches? Nope. Send email? Negative. The number one daily activity is social media. This is why 93 percent of marketers promote their clients using social media. Trends show that social media is only going to continue to get bigger in 2014 and beyond. You are likely missing a huge chunk of your target demographic if you are not marketing on the social networks.
The potential to grow companies with social media is endless for marketers. If you are in charge of advertising, marketing, or public relations for your business, you must have an active presence on Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and of course Facebook no matter the size of your company. Even if it sounds silly, tweeting is a requirement for all enterprises these days.
In between the usual news feed posts of food pictures or articles, sponsored ads are now popping up. Much of the time, they are indistinguishable from what your friends are posting. More and more people are clicking on the more compelling ads and making purchases.
For some businesses paid advertising will be the way to go, but of much more importance is building your social channels with quality customer support, attention grabbing visuals, and clever content. You will begin capturing leads and converting users into clients as well as gain loyal brand promoters once you have optimized your social media for success.
To get you started, I have come up with a few social media strategies to try in 2014:
Have a Plan BEFORE You Get Started
You content will likely go unnoticed if you do not have an execution strategy. Have a set limit on how many posts you will publish in a day. Having a set number that you are seeking to hit will give you a goal. This goal can be adjusted as needed. I recommend doing a little research to see how much your competitors are posting to determine a good amount. You want to walk the thin line between over-posting and not posting enough.
Use a simple to read editorial calendar to compile your content. A smart place to start is with Google Docs spreadsheets. Create a shareable, weekly publishing calendar. This should include columns for coworkers to give feedback and should be separated by social channel.
It is crucial that you plan your posts weeks, even months, in advance, but you should be flexible enough to make any necessary additions. There are always new developments, which may alter your posts. To help you manage and monitor social feeds, access performance analytics, and schedule posts ahead of time, look into social media management platforms.
Each Social Media Networking Site Should Be Treated Differently
Treat every social channel as an individual entity. For news that you want to share with all of your followers, such as major changes to your company, you will want to spread this content across all channels. However, this may not be the case with all of your posts. For example, you will want to post your more engaging visual content to Instagram and your educational or business focused content on LinkedIn. Publish content that appeals to the demographic you have on each channel.
Your Customer Support Can Shine on Social Media
You will lose visitors’ trust if you do not respond to genuine posts directed toward your company on social media. Your potential lead may even turn to your competitor for answers thanks to your lack of communication. However, users are intrigued and flattered by your brand when you deliver a thoughtful response in a timely manner. It builds your authority, and it humanizes your enterprise.
To help with this, there should be a member of your staff who serves as a first responder. They are always notified when there is a post. To aid in responding quickly, build a library of answers to frequently asked questions. Do not just copy and paste these. Change them up slightly to directly answer queries.
Accidents Happen – It Is How You Respond that Matters
Making mistakes is part of the human condition. When it comes to the fast paced world of social networking, this is especially true. Embrace these mishaps rather than ignoring them. For example, do not make an announcement when you make a tiny grammar mistake, but do not delete the post. For bigger mistakes, be apologetic and make it clear that you are addressing the problem head on.