1) Define your goals
First off you HAVE to define your goals. To many people jump head first into the world of social media marketing, thinking “Hey I use Facebook all the time socially, so how difficult can it be to market on there?” No matter how familiar you may be with a certain platform or how confident you may be, you have to approach social media marketing with a set plan and fundamental goals. Is your aim to get more fans/likes/followers and build up an impressively sized base of social followers, who you simply want to connect with and let them know what you are all about? Are you looking to gain more links to your site?
Your primary goal socially could well be to increase the amount of traffic to your site and hope that people will connect with your site and your numbers will steadily increase. You could be looking to gain direct customers from your social sites. This is different to link building as only a small percentage of your social leads will become customers, it’s down to you to identify that small group and influence their buying decisions and turn these into conversions.
2) Define your target audience
This is crucial if your campaigns are to succeed, you MUST have a definitive target audience and know exactly who your product is aimed at. Interests can span across a wide range and you must know who it is you are engaging and what they want from your social presence. Although this may sound obvious it is crucial you distinguish between such things as location, age, occupation, gender, general interest and others, if you wish to get the full exposure possible and generate high levels of interest socially.
3) Content is key
I have stated this on my previous posts over and over as it is such a major point of digital marketing, so I’m not going to spend too much time on this, but I can’t stress enough that ‘Content is Key!’ You can have all the right tools to succeed, all the various platforms and a great client reach, but if you are not pushing out thought provoking, attention grabbing, interesting, ORIGINAL content then you are never going to win, in what would be a very large uphill battle. Never forget ‘Content is KEY!’
4) Get People Talking
While it is true that the content is always the most important thing in your social marketing campaigns, don’t forget that your followers don’t just want content, they are on social media to make a connection. Don’t be afraid to engage in conversations with people, in fact be afraid if you aren’t already doing so! There are a few good ways to get people talking. Don’t just start a conversation, join them as well and engage with not only customers, but experts, advocates and even competitors. Be generous and promote others within your similar fields of interest and I can promise you they will reciprocate this and in time this will help build your audience reach.
“When our customers talk, do we listen?” That is one of the most important questions you must face up to and I implore you to be honest with yourself. If the answer is sometimes/maybe/most of the time/no, then it’s time to start doing so. Great businesses make listening more than just customer service, but great marketing! This is the beauty of social media, it gives you a direct and honest link to your customers instantaneously. So ask yourself such things as who is talking about our business? Does our target audience perceive us the way we intended? Also don’t just listen to your customers, but your industry thought leaders, your competitors and your competitor’s customers and only then will you truly be able to get the insights which come with such techniques.
6) Use Ads to accelerate successful content
This is very important in the world of Facebook advertising and other such platforms which use similar techniques. We have seen the effects that Facebook advertising can have on products and a lot of companies are pushing much more funding into these than other more tried and tested forms of digital advertising. They are doing this with mixed reviews. That is due to not the content being advertised, but the manner in which it is done. Remember, people don’t want to shop where they socialise, so you have to use your initiative and make sure you don’t use ads to prop up boring content, use ads to accelerate successful content.
7) Don’t neglect certain platforms for others
We finally come to point 7. This is something a lot of us are guilty of and it can really affect the good work you have done so far on your social media sites. Too many people go gung ho and think right I will create us a presence on this platform and this and this one etc etc. This is not the way to go about it and for good reason, it can show a lack of understanding to people in the industry, but more importantly it could lead to customers feeling neglected and ignored.
Create a presence on one or two platforms, grow them until a point where you are satisfied and that you are getting the best returns you can depending on what you which to achieve Only then start to slowly branch out amongst the other platforms you wish to use and add a social depth to your online presence. Don’t jump in feet first, set up lots of various accounts and then only use say Facebook and Twitter, leaving the others dormant as people won’t know these are dormant and simply think you like to neglect your customers, which is something which can damage your reputation for a long time.