Let me paint a picture for you. Social media has grown in popularity not only for individuals wanting to share and connect with their social networks, but for businesses too. Is there an easier way to interact with your audience wherever and whenever? There are now 2.8 billion social media users (We Are Social). A large number of these 2.8 billion are actively using social media, across multiple devices and around the clock. Businesses are now engaging in conversation with these individuals in a similar vain to any other friend with which they connect with. This interaction is being reciprocated by consumers. Social media plays a large role in the buying process. Facebook reviews, comments and discussions all provide prospects with credible information. More than 1 in 3 internet users will use social networks when investigating a product (SmallBizTrends). This percentage is only going to grow with a younger more tech savvy generation arising. Are you using social media to engage with those you serve and promote your offering? If not, you need to, the results speak for themselves.
- 90% of marketers have increased brand exposure due to social media efforts.
- 53% of Twitter users buy products which they see first on Twitter.
- 81% of Twitter users say Twitter impacts their buying decision more than TV.
- If you provide a service or B2B offering, LinkedIn is used by 50% of B2B buyers when making a decision (SmallBizTrends).
These next tips will help you to begin to harness the power of social media marketing.
Know your target audience
Because social media is so interactive and based off conversation, you have to know who you want to talk to. This all comes back to one of the foundations for you marketing strategy, a target market. Make sure you know who you are trying to reach with your social media efforts. Your target market should understand the messages you put out, appreciate the content you are sharing and want to respond to any call to actions. Especially when using social media advertising, you must know who you want to display your advertisements to. There are a number of ways to filter and target your advertising audience. These can be based on location, age, job title, liked subjects and more. Using these will improve the conversion rates of your advertisements.
Plan your content
The old saying that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail is true of social media marketing. I suggest planning your content in a spreadsheet, so you can always refer back to it. I begin by writing all topics my target audience would be interested in viewing. When possible I will split these topics into categories. For example, in software, the audience is very interested cloud based software. So this would be one of my categories. After creating a bunch of categories, then try to create the message and the call to action. For Twitter keep in mind that you only have 280 characters. For your other social media platforms, keep in mind that often less is more. Make it short and punchy and always make sure it relates to the call to action and image that you plan to use.
Give people a link
SocialPilot reports that LinkedIn posts that include a link receive 200 percent more engagement than those that do not. Links in Twitter have a similar effect. Link clicks account for 92% of all user interaction with tweets (Source: HubSpot). A link combined with an interesting post will give a user a reason to see what is next, and likely gets them to your site. If your content is that interesting that someone has stopped to read it, don’t let them move onto the next post without letting them have the opportunity to see more of you.
Images are crucial for attracting the attention of a scrolling user. Social media has never been busier, with more businesses competing for the attention of users. For Facebook advertising, images are responsible for 75 to 90 percent of performance (Source: Consumer Acquisition). Not only does an image attract attention, it also increases retention. Upon hearing information, a person is likely to remember 10% of the information three days later. However, if an image is added, the amount of information retained increases to 65% (Source: brain rules). When you plan a relevant and interesting image alongside your post content you can expect an increase in click through rates.
One of the most commonly asked questions regarding social media is “how often should I post?”. Frequency should always be considered with timing. Before you decide how often you are going to post, when is your audience going to be able to see it? Consistency is also key to any good social media campaign. So before you post, commit to posting regularly and consistently. Posting fewer times, but regularly is better than posting in high volumes but infrequently. Now if you can commit to a certain number of social media posts, Buffer Social suggests posting the following number of times per week:
- Post to Twitter at least 5 times a day. If you can swing up to 20 posts, you might be even better off.
- Post to Facebook five to 10 times per week.
- Post to LinkedIn once per day. (20 times per month)
Share other people’s content and respond
When you begin to gain some momentum by posting regular and relevant content don’t fall in the trap of only posting your own material. Sharing thought provoking and attention commanding content produced by others is not only a great way to provide information for your audience, it lightens your load! There is already so much content that you have consumed that will help your audience. Sharing other people’s content will help you to build relationships with those in your market or sphere. This will increase the chances that someone will reciprocate and share your content to their audience. Also, when someone shares your content, respond.
Social media allows businesses to be more personable with their audience. The most successful businesses on social media have a way of connecting with their audience. Being more personal with your audience, and having a bit of fun with your posts, brings your audience closer. You connect with your audience on a deeper level when your interaction with them goes from being purely transactional to thoughtful.
Some ideas for making your social media accounts more friendly maybe to:
- Share what’s been going on within your workplace (social events or community action)
- Sharing or creating content that has helped you.
- Telling your audience about the people within your business, fun facts or profiles to give a face or faces to your brand.
Using thought leadership that is relevant to the market you serve, is a great way to increase engagement. Whether your produce it, or you share someone else’s ideas, it will make your profiles more appealing and is likely to increase your following. Posting about your offering specifically is good but it should not be all you post about.
We all know that person who only wants to talk about themselves. No matter what the subject of conversation is, it always ends up being about them in the end. Amazingly, businesses can fall into this trap too. Don’t assume that everyone only wants to hear about the features and pricing of your offering. Don’t limit yourself to only talking about yourself. The reality is you have an immense amount of knowledge which you can share! Thought leadership will show your audience that you are an expert and will begin to build trust. Relevant thought leadership nurtures the relationships you have, increases engagement and trust. Overall, it will help you to grow your business’s marketing.
Using social media can increase your brand awareness, interaction, consumer knowledge and even your knowledge of your own business. When done right social media is a powerful marketing tool and one that is still developing. Even better, it’s absolutely free! If you use the tips I and many others have mentioned alongside your other marketing initiatives you can expect to increase your conversions and have a lot of fun in the process. To find out more, or to talk to me about your social media strategy, feel free to drop me a line, I would love to talk!