Social media is a powerful tool for your business. It should be used like a tactical weapon; most businesses, however, use it like a blunt object to beat customers into submission.
Here are some things you can do to revise your approach to social media.
- Talk with your customers, NOT at them.
Imagine you walk into a restaurant where the maître d’ shouts about how great the steak is, and continues to talk about it in a tone-deaf, completely-oblivious fashion after you mention you’d like the chicken. The waitstaff starts by talking about the steak.
That is obnoxious in real life and just as much on social channels. At best people are tuning you out, at worst they’re unliking, unfollowing, and generally unapproachable.
Social media isn’t just free advertising. Disabuse yourself of that myth and it will help you reorient your thinking to create a more genuine interaction between your brand and your existing and potential fans.
Find the value you can provide your audience and focus on that. Don’t be something you’re not—if you’re selling medical supplies, don’t try to be funny. Be engaging, be honest, and watch your audience grow.
- Don’t be afraid to pay for it.
If you’re selling medical supplies, you have something valuable to share with your audience. But, sadly, they’re not coming out in droves to follow your brand. And, likely, you can’t afford cross-promotion with Justin Bieber. (I would watch a Bieber for catheters commercial, though).
Even when your brand has a good group of followers, changes in algorithms at Facebook and LinkedIn have buried brand posts in favour of humans. The workaround, however, is sponsoring those posts. It’s a great way to build your followers, engage existing users, and generally build a positive brand image.
The contents of those ads matter, too, so sponsor something that’s already performing well. Don’t shove something down the public’s throat. They’re not forgiving.
Set aside some budget for sponsorship in 2017, and don’t look for it to provide an immediate ROI. Instead, look at it as brand promotion rather than sales.
- Track your Links
Of course, ROI is an essential part of marketing. You can’t spend half of your company budget on marketing without knowing if it’s resulting in sales. Likewise, you need to know what people are interested in. What are they clicking on? When?
Having a website is not enough: you need a website that people want to use. You also need to be able to know that people are coming from your social channels, what else they’re interested in, and use that in the future. Here’s what you need to know:
a. Bounce rate (people viewing 1 page and leaving)
b. Session duration (how long they’re at your site)
c. Pages viewed during session (what is the user journey, are people encouraged to view other pages or check out?)
- Stop auto-posting
Twitter is great. Facebook is great. LinkedIn is great. But their users and best practices are all very different. There are plenty of tools that can help you optimise your posts, like Hootsuite or Buffer. Don’t rely on Facebook to automatically pull your posts from Twitter (which slaughters formatting). Take the time, and spend the $10/month, to make your posts look as good as possible.
There are also good management tools that can help you maximise all of your social media. Don’t be afraid to use them.
There are plenty of other ways that you can improve your social media in the coming year, but these are four good ways to start. Don’t be afraid if these don’t provide an immediate impact. Social media marketing is a long game, but you need to know what to look for to make the most of the effort.
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Have you made changes to your social media that have had a big impact? Let us know in the comments below!