For marketers or business owners who have recently taken on such responsibilities for themselves, social media marketing can be a daunting task. Though most people use social media to communicate with friends and family, using it for business marketing and networking means thinking about social media in an entirely different way. It can even be tricky for veteran social media marketers, as things constantly change for individual social media networks and the industry as a whole. So for everyone, here are six simple tips for better social media marketing.
Don’t Be A Self-Absorbed Bore
A common mistake of business owners who start social media marketing is talking too much about themselves or the company. With the exception of celebrities or extremely popular and fun companies (e.g. Disney), talking too much about the organization will deter more fans than it endears. The fact that social media is often described as a conversation between a brand and consumers provides a good way to illustrate this point. A person who only talks about themselves is generally viewed as annoying by the people around them and even those who consider that person a friend would still find them boring to talk to. Instead of constantly talking to fans about the brand, ask the customers questions about the brand or other topics that may interest them. Getting fans on social media to converse is a good step toward building a brand-loyal community amongst a company’s customers.
Make Good Use of the About You Section
As was mentioned above, continuously posting about one’s self or the organization will make people tend to avoid reading posts from that social media channel. This doesn’t mean there is no place for information about the organization. Social media networks always have description sections where users can put information about themselves. With so many people and places with similiar names, it’d be impossible to figure out who’s who online without these sections, so there is usually a lot of information that can be put there. On Facebook, there is a very extensive About Us section that businesses can use to describe the products, give maps, email addresses, and more. The Twitter equivalent is smaller, but there marketers can still use the short bio, and other details to get information to the followers. The key is that once people are engaged with the content on the social media channel, they will eventually want to learn more about the organization for themselves. Keeping the information handy ensures they get to the right place and prevents them from becoming discouraged by not finding the information and looking at a competitor’s page. The content an organization puts on social media is the bait to reach new customers; proper use of the description section is the hook.
Connect Blogs, Websites, and Social Media Profiles Together
Another mistake that marketers make is that they don’t connect their social media accounts and websites to one another. By doing this, they run the chance a person who found the organization’s social media page won’t make it to the main site. That is clearly a missed opportunity. Similarly, if a person stumbled onto the Pinterest page for a company but the person rarely uses Pinterest, if the Facebook and Twitter accounts were linked to the Pinterest, the person could easily find the content on the platform they like the most. And all the social media platforms should lead back to the main website. The strategy follows the old idiom, ‘All roads lead to Rome’. No matter where the consumer starts their journey, it should lead them to the website and possibly a sales funnel that convinces them to take the desired market action.
Post Relevant and Useful Content Regularly
The key to producing engaging content is to find what about an organization’s business or industry is relevant to the consumers. This takes experimentation but once that’s been discovered, marketers must be sure to regularly post relevant material. This may even require research to keep finding new information that the audience will find relevant. It’s not enough to simply wait until the marketer hears about something that is worth posting, by that time, many others have already heard the news too. By proactively searching for interesting news, marketers can make their blog the spot people come to when they want to get the latest on the industry.
Use Social Media Widgets on the Main Website
The best place for marketers to recruit news fans for social media is on the organization’s website. People who currently know the organization and use their site would likely become fans of the organization if the opportunity was readily available. By putting a social media widget on the site that shows fans and current activity of the social profile may be all they need to do to become fans. It’s right there and all they have to do is click the button. This can make a huge difference for service companies customers aren’t likely to think to look for them on social media. To illustrate, if a person visits the site for their plumber and the like box widget is right there, they may click it and become a fan right then. Even if the person didn’t click on the plumber’s like box widget, they were far more likely to click that button on the site, than they were to remember to leave the site and then search for their plumber on Facebook, just to accomplish the same thing. Widgets make it easier to increase the reach of future social media marketing efforts by converting loyal customers into part of the social media audience.
Respond to All Questions and Feedback
The final thing that business owners need to remember is that it’s important to respond to all questions, comments, and feedback left on the social media channel. One of the goals of social media marketing is to engage with consumers. Doing this builds customer loyalty by showing interest in their concerns and by giving them a place to talk about the topics that are relevant to them, businesses can build a rapport and establish better customer loyalty. Leaving questions and feedback unanswered for any reason decreases the chances that other people will ask questions or leave feedback in the future. So the business generates fewer leads from their social media channels and fewer stories are created about it so it doesn’t spread as far virally. Remember, a users friends and followers see their comments and tweets, so answering questions gives the original post greater reach than it would have otherwise. And the user who’s question or comment went unanswered feels ignored, which damages customer loyalty and perceptions about the organization. Put plainly, not responding on social media is counterproductive to the entire effort.
The start of a social media marketing campaign can be difficult, and there are a lot of things that marketers and business owners have to learn for themselves. Hopefully, these tips will help some avoid unnecessary trials by fire. Be sure to check the Web Marketing Pros blog regularly to get more marketing tips and tricks.