Social Media Marketing is the use of social media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, to gain traffic or attention.
But not all social media networks are created equal, or are meant to be used in the same way. However most social media networks eventually try and do what other networks do, and most would argue that they can do everything.
Twitter is more an update type of network, limited to 140 character messages. Having said that, just today, they announced the ability to string multiple updates together, in order to tell a story. It can be anonymous and as such there is difficulty sometimes in assessing authority and credibility. But it ease of use, and take-up rate is such that it is difficult to ignore.
Facebook’s fundamentals are based on the promotion of sharing information, is perhaps the most powerful in the sense that its database can be super-authentic, as identifiable people actually voluntarily share their demographic information with Facebook. Makes for strong advertising capabilities, particularly due to its massive size and reach.
LinkedIn is a unique social media network, as it targets professionals and businesses.
There are literally thousands of social media networks today, Wikipedia lists around 200 of that ‘major’ ones.
Should you decide to implement social media for your business, we would advise establishing less than 5 or 6 of the most credible platforms, and to be active on at least 1.
As the expected tone and behaviours are different on every platform, you need to consider which ones suit your brand.
At the very least, you should be visible, and active on the platforms your main direct competitors are already on.
The initial level of social media marketing involves the creation of accounts, both personal and business if appropriate. Steps should then be taken to customise and optimise these profiles for your brand.
The next level involves promoting activity on these platforms, engaging with others, and building communities.
The final level of social media marketing involves sponsored advertising. Most of the reputable, popular social media networks offer advertising, in order to boost your reach beyond any organic visibility you may have in the first instance.
If you believe you need Social Media to grow your business, you should consider creating and deploying a Social Media Marketing Strategy.
Social media marketing provides you with opportunities to showcase your brand, engage with prospects and customers, expand your messaging reach, increase sales, and grow a loyal following.
If you ignore social media marketing as an online strategy for growing your business, your business risks losing credibility in the marketplace, and with that potential customers and revenue.
Showcase your brand – Believe it or not, a wizz-bang website is no longer enough. Most people connect via social media and remain connected throughout the day. As such it is much easier to find information about something they are searching for where they already are, than have to open a web browser. If your brand isn’t on social media ……. opportunity lost.
Customer insights – Every day, social media generates billions of interactions; likes, shares, tweet, photo uploads, comments and so on. There are tools within every social media network that provides a vast amount of information regarding prospect and customer behaviours and demographics, in real time. And if these aren’t enough, 3rd party tools, like Hootesuite Insights do even more to gather pertinent information, that can led to better informed business decisions.
Generate higher converting leads – Due to the fact that social media provides opportunities for higher engagement and staying top of mind, real opportunities exist to increase sales and customer retention. An important Sales Best Practices Study (MHI Global) found that best-in-class businesses rated social media as the most effective way to identify key decision stakeholder and new business opportunities. Even more telling, 3/4s of businesses that engaged in selling on social media reported an increase in revenue in a given calendar year. ( State of Social Selling ).
Engagement – Social media is often called Web 2.0. The reason being is that this new medium allows your prospects and customers to engage with you in a much more meaningful and public way. It’s also easy to now have conversations. Traditionally, people needed to resort to website contact forms only. Not anymore. Now it is all about likes, comments, and sharing. Nowadays, customers simply expect you to have some sort of social media presence, particularly for customer support. Managing this expectation properly can lead to significant financial returns. Businesses that actively engage in social customer service reap the benefits, with a higher annual dollar gain (7.5 % year-on-year growth) in stark contrast to those who don’t (2.9 %).
Community loyalty – Social media networks work on the premise of 2 way communication. Your business has the opportunity to enrich your customer experience by providing value through content, tips and news. Your community ultimately grows to know, like and trust you. True appreciation. With trust comes authority which lends itself to customer advocacy. By engaging with your customers on social, you’re more likely to increase customer retention and brand loyalty.( The Social Habit Study ).
Boost SEO & website traffic – Social media activity is now recognised as an important ranking factor for Google. Engagement on these platforms provides Google with extra validation that your brand/business is bona-fide and you then get a leg up compared to thin websites that have little or no social media activity. From our experience, this can make a huge difference in the amount of traffic your website receives.
Explode content sharing – SM platforms give you additional distribution channels to share new content, or even re-purposed content. Remember of course to ensure that care should be taken not to appear spammy and to provide real value. 3rd party automation tools like IFTT, Hootesuite and others make it relatively easy to place posting activities on auto-pilot.
Targeted advertising – Due to the wealth of information collected on social media platforms ( in particular, Facebook ), targeted advertising is becoming the panacea of onlne marketing. This type of sponsored ads brings about extremely quick targeted traffic to your website, which can be monitored for real-time ROI with ease. It is also relatively inexpensive, compared to traditional advertising, which isn;t even targeted to your customer persona.
For instance you can target based on geography, gender, interests, behaviours, age and so on.
Again, while most of these platforms, like LinkedIn and Facebook, have their own tools and insights to monitor ROI, there are many other 3rd party tools that can often be more effective.
And much more …….
Start today …. create a free account on Facebook. It takes 3 minutes. Update your location, opening hours and contact details. Post 1-2 pieces of information that you think potential customers would find valuable. And progress from there.
Rinse then repeat. Execute. Or read the next Tab and let us help you on your journey.
Webmentum provides a full service social media marketing service.
Our Social Media Marketing services help your business GROW: brand awareness, targeted commmunity members, and website traffic.
We can help if you are just starting out with nothing. We can also help if your current situation needs a boost.
We do this via 4 step process.
In this first phase, we collaborate with you to learn more about your business, customers and challenges.
We create a project brief that defines our goals, customer personas, competitors and keywords.
Also included is a social media network audit for any platforms or SM activities that are currently in play.
We are then well placed to document a social media marketing strategy that is both actionable and achievable for the ROI required.
This strategy is a bespoke blueprint, specific for your business.
This over-arching strategy includes an engagement strategy, content marketing strategy , as well as an analytics plan.
It includes an advertising strategy, if appropriate and included in scope.
In this phase, the content management strategy and engagement strategy are implemented and closely monitored.
Analytics are used either via in the in-situ tools within the social media platforms themselves, or via a 3rd party tool. Engagement/community management activity are shaped via feedback received using these analytics.
The delivery steps include social media account creation, customisation and optimisation.
For advertising campaigns, steps include campaign set up, budget management, and campaign management and improvement plans.
Regular reporting milestones are established to ensure that there is the right mix of reporting and feedback in case certain activities need to be ramped down or
ROI is measured regularly and discussed for action at these junctures.
Importantly, we create, integrate and deliver all the components that can make up social media marketing; optin forms, including advertising copy, CTAs, imagery, website landing pages, content creation schedules, publishing schedules as well as automation tools.
Coaching and training are included.
Contact us today to see how Webmentum can help grow your business with Social Media marketing.