Imagine you’re in an amusement park. And you’re just having a blast. Then, suddenly, a perfect stranger stops you and starts convincing you to invest money in a no-name product.
Would you buy it? Or would you rather tell the guy to look for another fool to fleece? Let us guess.
This is exactly what happens when you establish your social media marketing strategy and start selling right away.
Social media is, above all else, about having fun. But your business is about money. So how do you reconcile the interests of your potential consumers with the interests of your bank account? We gathered some insights from the experts and now we’re going to share them with you in 4 simple steps.
1. Know your brand better
As our friends from Sombrero blog rightly point out, Apple isn’t just about new iPhones. They’re about innovation and changing everyday life. Coca-Cola isn’t about a drink, it’s about friends and family. What is your brand about? Why should people trust you? What else can you offer them, besides your products or services?
If you’re still not sure, go back to the fairground metaphor – people use social media, because they want to have fun. Keep your brand amusing, thought-provoking, and cheering. Your ultimate goal should be the audience that visits your Facebook Page or Twitter profile not only when they have some trouble with your service, but when they want to learn something new and interesting. Or just to be cheered up!
Our favourite example is the beverage brand innocent. They rarely post to promote their products, and their posts are genuinely funny. Just look at the series of photos they’ve posted about their 4th floor stapler. They aren’t allowed to remove it from the 4th floor, yet they’ve taken several photos of the stapler at Salzburg, Cambridge, and Boston.
They are an excellent example of how to do social media properly and it’s no surprise to us that every month they beat the competition in the Fanpage Trends UK as the most engaging page in their category:
2. Interact & add value.
People do business with people, so it is very important to use Social Media to build relationships with people and you are never going to do that if you just use Social Media to broadcast your message across. Spend time each day interacting with other users and ask for help when you need it.
By “spending time” we don’t mean “schedule tweets to be sent every 10 minutes, all day, all night”. We aren’t big fans of poorly understood automation. How to use social media tools to save time & boost your business, but still keep that human touch?
We recommend that you read this post by Gary Vaynerchuk about what happened when he posted this tweet:
Once you understand how to benefit from real interaction, stay focused on the message you send to your audience.
Ensure you avoid just broadcasting – it’s easy to do but doesn’t offer huge value to your audience so make sure you take the time to engage and add value.
Sharing is caring. Use your knowledge and experience to support your audience. It may mean that sometimes you will do something for free, but don’t avoid it. Do you try to extract money from all your friends all the time? We don’t think so. Treat your fans and followers as your friends, and they will think of you as an expert and an acquaintance. And guess what? This is what the concept of influencer marketing is about!
3. Measure & adjust.
Start to engage with other targeted users on the selected social networks through following / follow back, sharing their content, or commenting on their posts. Do this on a daily basis and also be sure to engage back when people begin to engage with your own posts.
How do you pick content that is really engaging, and that your audience is interested in reading & sharing? You can use the Content Strategy Module available in Sotrender. It lets you organize your posts into categories & compare them, seeing which groups of posts are performing better than others.
Just try smuggling some promotional content and observe its performance. If it performs well, you can go to the last step…
If you feel that your brand stands out in social media and has a strong engaged audience, it’s time to consider paid promotion.
Paid adverting will continue to increase in popularity. The owners and shareholders of the on line businesses provide a certain amount of free functionality but continue to find innovative ways to charge for their services too. Well planned paid advertising campaigns can be extremely targeted which means more businesses and SEO managers like myself will continue to pay for traffic, likes, shares, tweets and other online paid advertising.
Follow those 4 steps & let us know how it works for you. We will be more than happy to include some of your experiences in our next posts!
PS. Meet somebody who inspired us to write this post. This is our new Office Dog, Pixel. So far he gathered more likes, comments, & shares that any report we published. See? Serious researches are valuable & inspiring, but hey! Everybody needs to loosen up sometimes.