Working with businesses large and small on their social media and website strategy and content I've found many people have similar questions when it comes to their social media.
Questions such as 'How can we gain greater attention?' 'What should we be posting, and where?,' and the one I hear most often 'How do we make more sales?'
So this is the first in a series of articles giving you some effective tips and tools to make more of your social media.
Before we do, here are some fundamentals:
1. Know your audience: Just as you need to know who your audience is with any piece of marketing or presentation, it’s vital to know who your market is online too. That way, you’ll know how to reach them, and which social media is your best avenue.
2. Choose your mediums wisely: We’ll cover this in more detail as we progress, however, if you identify your audience is mainly B2B (business 2 business), then LinkedIn is your primary channel. If you’re wanting to ride a new wave, also get onto Google +. If, however, you’re a florist or online retailer, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest will be better for you because they’re mainly visual mediums. Images abound here, and even if you have a story to tell, consider using images to relay the story.
3. Set clear goals and expectations. Is the main purpose to increase brand awareness or are you going to create a competition to capture contact details and build your database? Are you wanting to increase your circles of influence, or are you seeking to establish your credibility in a new market? Unless you have goals like these you won’t be able to measure the impact you’re aiming to have. As some sales might not be directly attributable in the early days (or if they are, you might not know how to measure them just yet), you’re much more likely to persist strategies, and hone them if you set benchmarks along the way.
4. Measure your impact: This has been the biggest lesson I’ve learned. Rather than keep activity up for its own sake, I now measure:
a. How many responses clients (and we) receive on particular campaigns
b. Where those responses come from.
One of your main objectives with social media should be to gather data, and interpret it for cues on your future direction. For instance, if you’re getting increased attention through your social media, leading back to your website, but not getting enquiries leading to sales, then perhaps you need to revisit your web pages.
Check out your traffic sources in Google Analytics to find out more on those metrics.
5. Don’t sell too soon. Don’t get me wrong, I believe social media needs to lead to sales. but while that’s the overall goal, it usually fails with the initial introduction. It’s a little like dating. Let some flirting happen first. Show genuine interest in the other person. Allow your personality and values to shine through, put your best forward, but don’t aim for the sale too soon or your date will think you’re completely self interested and only after one thing.
A concrete example is:
- Write an article on your blog you know will add value to your audience
- Ask them for response to see if and how you helped them, or how you could help some more
- Let them know that’s just the tip of the iceberg, leaving clues for them within the article about the bigger better offerings you have in store. Using our dating analogy, we’re letting them get to know us first, and we’re getting to know them a little more too. Linking social media once more to sales, one of the most memorable sales quotes I know of is ‘great salespeople leave clues.’ What clues are you leaving for your audience?
- Lead them back to your website (ideally directly to a specific product, service, special offer or page). Now you’ve earned the right to sell.
There are many more strategies, tips and tools to cover, such as:
- Social media as a cost effective PR tool
- Creating blog content
- Aggregating your content
- Automation tools
- Using social media for prospect, job, or client research
- Batching your content creation to save you time
- Twitter tricks, Facebook facts, LinkedIn essentials
- How to stay on brand with your social media channels
The keys to social media effectiveness are to choose channels that work for you, your industry, your audience, and your brand. Then keep honing those strategies to action them in the least time with the most consistency for the greatest impact.
Integrating your social media and digital strategy with your offline (face to face) brand and customer experience is vital. Leading your clients, prospects and visitors back to a well designed website, mobile or tablet interface is equally important. Because if you're spending time and effort in gaining social media interest you want to lead your followers back to places that make your business one that's easy to buy from.
In fact, in a recent report on the online customer experience by Forrester Research, improving that experience was the most common objective for most companies at 77% for the third year in a row.
Want to know more about social media strategies?
Join me for two upcoming workshops next week in conjunction with Clearly Business and the Enterprise Hub in Sydney.
Monday June 17. Secrets of Successful Marketing in Sydney's CBD.
Tuesday June 18. Stay on Brand With Your Social Media in Randwick.
Places are limited and I understand Stay on Brand has over 30 participants, so booking soon would secure your place.
Until next time...