For some, social media marketing may seem almost as complicated as inbound marketing. What is the right mix? What tactics really drive results in social media? What sites should I be focused on? What results should we be expecting? How much money should I invest in social media?
Social media marketing continues to be this black box that business owners, CMOs and marketing executives are struggling to understand, optimize and utilize to drive results.
Here are a few of the proven social media marketing best practices that drive results for your business.
Focus, focus, focus.
Most people think social media is about getting into as many social sites as possible. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the best ways to drive results is to focus. If you are a B2C company, focus on Facebook. If you are a B2B firm, focus on LinkedIn.
If getting a higher ranking in search engine optimization is your goal, then Google+ might be the social site for you to focus on. If your product is highly visual, then Pinterest might be the best site for you. Focusing all of your attention on one or two sites generates much better results than trying to do a lot of average work across many social sites.
Drive the conversation, not just the post.
Continuing with this focused direction means you have to go deep into the social sites you've selected. You can't just put your blog posts up and expect to get social media traction. You have to pay attention to your social sites.
You have to add content from other resources. You have to encourage your followers to participate. You have to engage them with controversial content to get them talking – the more interesting the conversation, the more people who participate and share. The more you put in, the more you are going to get out.
Leverage educational content.
The people visiting your social sites are looking for the same educational content that they are looking for on your website. Taking some of the content from your website and posting it on your social media sites is a great way to get a bigger bang for your buck, create some consistency between your website and your social media sites and use your social media connections to drive leads for your business.
Create an experience.
Social media was built to deliver interactive experiences for users. You have to think like a user, not like a business. That means posting videos, surveys, pictures, games, controversial infographics and other elements to make your social site the one people want to stop by, check out and contribute to. Perhaps most importantly, the better your content, the more it’s going to be shared, and that is the goal.
Make it visual.
Let’s face it. People don’t really want to read on social media. Sure, maybe they will browse through a short post, but mostly they want to look at pictures, watch videos and play games. If your social sites are filled with articles, you probably aren’t realizing the true lift from a great social media effort. Shift your efforts to visual elements and track the progress.
What gets measured gets done. You want a growing number of fans, followers, connections, friends and viewers. The more people you have connected to your business, the greater chances you have of generating leads for your business. Set goals for your social reach. Make sure that these numbers are growing by at least 10% month over month. You'll find that once you get to a critical mass, these numbers start accelerating. For instance, once you get over 500 Twitter followers, the next 500 are going to be exponentially easier to obtain than the first 500 were.
You have to commit to social media to make it work. Stop thinking it’s not for you. Every business needs to embrace social media and use it strategically to deliver their message, share their stories and engage new prospects.
Start Today Tip – You must evaluate your current social media sites. Most business sites are in need of major upgrades. Make sure your sites reflect your current brand and your current website. Make sure there are offers on your social sites. Make sure the content is fresh and current, and make sure your social media outlets are used as more than just posting sites. Benchmark your current reach and drive towards improving that reach each month.
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