Before going any further, it is imperative that you understand just how effective social media marketing is in today’s culture. There is no doubt that social media ranks among the leading marketing strategies and if done right, it can grow your business exponentially. Following are the most basic of social media management tips, but the most important as well.
1. Be Selective
There are so many social media platforms out there that you could spend your entire day on social media. In fact, much of the market you are trying to reach probably does! You rarely see anyone without their cell phone in hand, happily chatting away with ‘friends’ all over the world. Keeping this in mind, it would be extremely difficult to create and maintain profiles on all the leading social sites, so be selective in those you choose to use within your marketing strategies.
The reason for this will become clear in just a moment. Suffice it to say that it will take a bit of research to find those sites your audience may be active on, but that will be explained as well. Someone with an online computer science masters in information technology from Baylor University, for example, could research and analyze your market so that the most effective social platforms can build the foundation of your social marketing strategies.
2. Be Consistent
Here is one of the most important tips you will ever be given in regard to social media marketing strategies. The reason why you need to be selective (above) in choosing the right channels for your brand or industry is because there are just so many of them. In order to be effective, you need to be alive!
Post regularly so that notifications will tell your followers you have new content for them to view or hear. As you begin attracting followers, those notifications will pop up, telling them you have new content for them. You’ve heard the old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind,” and this is what happens when you aren’t consistently posting on your brand’s social pages.
3. Build Relationships
Then, it pays to understand that social sites are just that – social. This means keeping the conversation going. Have you ever tried talking to someone at a party who rarely responds and just sits there with a blank expression on their face? You don’t want this in social media marketing at any cost. It is a social platform after all, so keep it social! Don’t be that person or business who isn’t interested in what someone is saying. Keep the party going. You’ve received a comment, so acknowledge it.
Once you have posted something, friends and followers are likely to comment. If you show them that they are important to you, they are also likely to tag some of your posts on their own pages for their friends to see. Make every effort to respond to each and every comment. That’s what relationships are all about. Lasting relationships are never a one-way street and since today’s consumers seek relationships with brands they deal with, keep the conversation going. That is being social.
4. Show and Tell
Also, if you look at the top eight social platforms as listed on the Social Media Today website, you will see that four of the eight are visual in concept but then there’s YouTube, also a social site and also visual. It just went to over 50% of popular social platforms that rely heavily on images. Do you remember your childhood days when your teacher had ‘Show and Tell Day?’ You were asked to bring something to school you could show the class and explain how it was used or what it meant to you. ‘Show and Tell’ in social media works much the same way. You show your audience something and then briefly explain what it means for them.
It may take someone on your team with that online computer science master’s degree to crunch the numbers but analyzing user data within the realm of social media will clearly show you just how effective images, still or video, are in brand recognition. In fact, even Facebook could be considered to be at least 50% visual in concept because of the images you see posted every day on almost every page. Even the Facebook team understands the importance of visuals, and this is why they have all those little emoticons and backgrounds to choose between when posting.
5. Don’t Forget to Follow!
Here’s another thing many social marketing strategies fail to cash in on and one that can be extremely effective if the benefits are understood. In the world of business, we know that networking is important on a number of levels. You don’t need to be a B2B company to benefit from social networking. Look at it this way. You want to build a long list of followers on your social pages, right?
What if you follow a related business’s social pages? Usually, they will respond in kind. Not only can you open the door for B2B business transactions, but you can also draw an audience from each other’s followers. This often leads to an exponential increase in the number of potential customers or clients following both your and that other business’ social pages.
Adding It All Up
Your key takeaway, then, is in understanding just what social media is and how to use it to build relationships with consumers, business and/or private. Remember that no relationship can last if there is no conversation, no interaction, so that is what you are aiming for. It takes being consistent and, above all, being social. It’s a matter of give and take. Social media marketing is a strategy you can build upon over time, but again, that takes consistency.
Create your strategy. Use social elements devised to elicit interaction and then keep the conversation going. The bottom line is that consumers in the 21st century value relationships with brands, often more than cost. To build those relationships you need social media and with that, the party is just beginning. Have fun and stay social.