Monday, 30 November 2015

Tips For Creating Your Social Media Strategy

Need help getting started with your social media strategy? It’s no longer time to be sitting on the fence. Social media marketing has becomes a powerful lead generation tool. social media for marketing And it’s time you use it to your advantage! Why is social media so important for small business?It’s an inexpensive way to build a following, promote your brand and generate leadsIt’s become a major factor in the ranking algorithm for search engines like GoogleBut with the “avalanche” of social media platforms, how do you know which platforms to use? Basically this depends on the resources you have at your disposal and how well you know your target audience.Most small businesses don’t have unlimited resources. In fact the average size of an effective marketing team is now 5-6 people, with many smaller companies only having a “marketing-team-of-one”. For this reason spending time defining your target audience is a critical step in creating a solid marketing strategy.In the following 10 tips I’ll help you identify your ideal customer, choose the right social channels and create posts that support your business goals. Infographics are defined as graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.Dragan Mestrovic illuminates the benefits of infographics in four persuasive points:Infographics are shared on the web, Twitter and Facebook more often than other content online.nfographics are easy to understand, consume and share.On Twitter, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon, infographics get more shares than other content.Marketers love infographics because they offer an easy and powerful viral marketing tool to spread the word about your company’s products and services.
Infographics are a great way to synthesize information simply and visually as seen in the above image from social media marketing course When done well, an infographic is a perfect poster-child for quick and effective dissemination of information via social media. Why is it that some businesses are posting fast and furiously and others are crawling far behind? Chances are that the businesses posting more frequently had to justify to management the importance of maintaining an active presence.As we discussed in #5, autoposting does not offer a suitable alternative to real-live human beings who can respond to comments and post breaking news updates.A tool such as How often do you tweet could shed some insight: Monitor your social media engagement compared with your competitors’. Share the results with management to help justify a request to dedicate more time and resources to the company’s social media efforts. Klout utilizes Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Wikipedia and Instagram data to create a Klout user profile that is assigned a “Klout score,” a numerical value between 1 and 100.Many critics suggest Klout scores aren’t representative of the influence a person has and discount the scores, as well as the thinking behind Klout.Mark Schaefer offers an alternate view: “The ability to create and move content is the absolute key to online influence. So think about this—to the extent that you could actually measure that, wouldn’t you also be creating an indicator of relative influence?” When it comes to Klout scores, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Instead, ask what you can learn from your competitor’s higher score and how you can do what they’re doing with their content.

Know Your Business Goals

Make sure your social media strategy supports your business goals. Which probably aren’t to get more Facebook likes and shares. Instead they’ll be focused on generating leads, converting leads to customers and making a profit. b2b social media marketing If your goal is to generate more sales ask yourself, “How does my social media activity contribute to that goal?“.Every post should have a well defined goal that supports your business goals. For example it may be a Facebook post that pulls visitors to a landing page and into your sales funnel.Next, when you set a goal, regardless of whether it’s personal, professional or specific to a post, it should always be a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based) goal.As an example this Facebook post had a goal: “To attract 5 new leads from Facebook by the end of August 2014”. The post was well defined, in terms of a SMART goal, and using Facebook’s Analytics tool Insights it was easy to measure its success.You can start creating personas by interviewing existing customers. Choose customers you really enjoy working with, your ideal customers. Most companies will have 2-3 personas that can be used to generate content that will attract ideal customers. Understand the goals of your company’s social media content delivery to help you develop a more attainable strategy.Jayson DeMers suggests, “First you need to know what to measure. The end goals dictate the measurement metric.”He offers metrics for four social media goals:If you’re looking to generate traffic, your metric should be: unique visitors from social websites where you’ve run your social media campaigns.If you’re looking to create a following, your metric should be: subscribers, followers on your social channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).If you’re looking to generate interaction, your metric should be: quantity and type of commentary (Facebook comments, Twitter replies/mentions).
If you’re looking to generate revenue (which is the ultimate purpose), your metric should be: the precise dollar value of every lead a social post generates. social media marketing plans Small businesses can learn valuable lessons from the big-brand approach to social media.ick Mulready suggests three things big brands do very well that small businesses can emulate:Find where their customers talk and “go deep.”reate content that people want to talk about.Use social media to listen to customers.Starbucks, with over 34 million fans on Facebook, is a good example.On Thursday, June 6, they posted a Facebook offer “Enjoy a Grande Iced Coffee, Iced Tea, or Starbucks Refreshers Beverage for $1 on June 7.” The update was shared by 13,931 people and received 1,553 comments. The offer was not tweeted to their 3,852,454 Twitter followers.By promoting the offer on Facebook, where they have a significantly larger following, Starbucks leveraged the promotion on a platform where they were sure to get higher visibility, giving followers an incentive to follow the brand. Ensuring that your posts and updates have a good chance to be seen by your target audience is an integral part of a content strategy.Leo Widrich offers 3 key tactics:Frequency: Post around 5-10 times a day on Twitter and 1-4 times a day on Facebook for optimal outcome.Timing: Almost all research studies highlight the main work hours from 8 am to 8 pm as good times to tweet and post to Facebook.Multiple sites: Post to multiple social sites, in addition to your own blog or website.

Know Your Ideal Customer

This is where we start answering questions about which social channels you should be using. Before you even start posting or choosing social media channels, take the time to create buyer personas. social media marketing podcast A buyer persona is a semi-fictitious character that represent people within your target audience. People who share similarities, such as, challenges, ideas, the way they find information and the social media channels they use. Data from social channels (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and blogs) can be overwhelming unless you have clear goals to guide what you’re looking for and what you’ll do with the information once you find it.Douglas Karr points out, “The sheer volume of social media data makes it incredibly difficult to analyze.”He offers five practical ways you can use social data to benefit your business: Lana Bandoim writes, “Social media engagement is often defined as the real interactions that happen on these networks.” She points out that social media engagement relies on daily interactions among users to survive. While autoposting tools are one way to communicate, more businesses are beginning to understand that engaging with their audiences in real conversations will bring them better results and add more value to their social streams.Be available to your audience in real time, when you can have more meaningful back-and-forth conversations. Got the hang of your Facebook Page? Enjoy it while you can, because based on Facebook’s history, the only thing that’s certain is that Facebook will change.A Google search for the words “Facebook changes” brings up a great number of results with a range of topics such as changes to timeline, cover photo policy, implications for merchants, mobile layout and much more.
Google‘s new standalone reports, Data Hub Activity and Trackbacks, give marketers more in-depth insights into social networks and how users respond to a business’s content. social media marketing blogsThe Data Hub Activity report shows you how people are talking about and engaging with your site content on social networks. You can see the most recent URLs people shared, how and where they shared (via a “reshare” on Google+, for example), and what they said. The Trackbacks report shows the sites that are linking to your content, and in which context. This can help you replicate successful content and build relationships with those users who frequently link to your site. Promotions—hashtags make it easy to track a promotion’s activity across many social platforms.Unification—you can track a hashtag across all the major networks or filter them individually using new tools such as Tagboard. Conversations—giving a customer your website URL doesn’t make it easy to begin a conversation, but hashtags do.Targeting—unlike going after a general web surfer on the open web, people who use hashtags are likely to engage in social conversations and therefore are more likely to share a positive experience they’ve had with your brand once you’ve broken through.Innovation—because they’re so flexible, simple and ubiquitous, more businesses are able to find creative ways to add power behind the hashtag.

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