Social media is a form of branding and PR used to promote the goodwill and personality of your company, while also engaging potential, existing and former clients. To many companies, social media can feel like a labyrinth of decisions. A strong strategy is a must for turning your social media efforts into profitable results. Here are some tips on how to get your social media marketing profiles from being just another page on the internet to becoming a part of your social media marketing strategy:
1. Research your target audience.
As with all marketing, knowing your target audience is a vital starting point of any social media campaign. Get to know your public. Who are they and what do they want? What is the benefit that your company can offer them, and what will motivate your audience to want to do business with you? Because social media is a public forum that encourages interaction, you can study posts that receive the most responses and adjust your future interaction on that particular social media site accordingly. Also based on responses from your audience, is there anything that they have posted that may reflect their needs or wants not being met? If so, how will you incorporate this information into your daily business routine? Market research via surveys is also a great way to obtain valuable information about your particular public.
2. Create a branding statement for your company.
If you had to describe what your company does in one sentence, could you? Would the unique value proposition designed to attract your target market be included in that sentence, meaning what’s in it for your audience if they decide to become one of your clients? What makes you stand out from competitors who offer the same value proposition? If you have not formulated this information, meet with associates from several departments of your company to formulate your branding statement. Incorporate this information into your social media. Many people fear the unknown. For individuals who happen across your social media profiles and know nothing about your company, your branding statement should tell your target audience what you do and what you can offer them, as well as entice them to want to learn more.
3. Design your social media pages.
Much like a website, social media pages need to be designed as well. Use your logo, colors that reflect your brand,
photographs that reflect your company culture and your branding statement to make a business-savvy, professional profile.
4. Offer valuable content based on your expertise.
The best social media marketing strategies begin with valuable content that is presented to your target audience on social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Social media should be a part of your company’s business marketing plan and establish you as a credible and authoritative source in your field of expertise, attracting your audience back to a well-written and well-designed website or blog that will provide your audience with additional information and further entice them to become a customer.
Incorporate valuable expertise into your social media posts. Be creative: What are tidbits of information that people may not know about your company or your industry? Your posts should be educational in nature and not a direct form of selling. Link posts back to your company’s website or blog. If necessary, hire a professional copywriter to assist you with this valuable content.
5. Interact with your public.
Begin to build your following by liking or following others’ pages, preferably pages that belong to potential customers. Interact by commenting on their updates.
6. Don’t neglect your social media.
As of January 2013, 74% of brand marketers saw an increase in website traffic after investing just 6 hours per week on social media. On your calendar at work, incorporate social media into your daily routine. Set goals for posts, interaction and frequency.
7. Convert potential customers into buyers.
You have created and designed your social media pages. You have told those who go to your page who your company is by way of a branding statement and linked potential customers back to your website or blog. Next, continue to engage your audience with valuable content on your website or blog. Potential customers become buyers when they have a need or desire for your services. Tell potential customers how you can make their lives, businesses, etc. better with your product.
It may take a while to build your online presence through social media. Use these tips as part of your long-term strategy. The pay-off could be great.