Tips to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

12 Jan

Social media exploded from 2009 onwards. Since then numerous companies have climbed on board, pouring millions of dollars into various platforms. However, many of these companies have learned the hard way that amassing “likes” is not the same as generating revenue.

Some, like German firm Kern and UK company Unilever, have launched brilliant social media campaigns that have translated into cold, hard cash. For the majority of large companies, however, social media marketing has been something of a let-down.

To be sure, this type of marketing does have its drawbacks, but those negatives can be overcome with sound planning and a great foundation in traditional marketing skills.

Limitations of Social Media Marketing

First off, managing several different social media platforms is somewhat time-consuming, which means that right from the start, the initiative is costing a company money. Impatient shareholders are seeking immediate results!

Even small companies and individual Internet Marketers can’t escape this one … one way or another, someone has to commit a large amount of time to social media marketing.

Worse yet, it is easy for employees to become distracted as they engage with sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Also consider that even if you have a minor employee handling the actual content management, a decision-maker higher up in the company hierarchy is going to have to allocate time during their hectic daily schedule to provide information and approve ad campaigns and other initiatives.

The second major drawback of social media marketing is that it can be something of a Pandora’s box. Whilst it is true that review sites like Yelp allow people to review your product or service whether you like it or not, as soon as you voluntarily engage with fans and critics in real time, you will have to monitor everything you type.

A single minor error can take months – and thousands of dollars – to rectify. There is also the unlikely but nevertheless possible situation that a trusted employee could go rogue, dumping confidential information onto Facebook or Twitter.

Social media moves fast! … your posts could be buried within hours, and you are going to have to continually create content to remain relevant. This could translate into time and money, resources you simply don’t have an infinite supply of.

Finally, a 2014 Gallup Survey of 18,525 American adults found that 62% of respondents claimed that social media had “no influence at all” on their shopping habits. Gallup claim: “Social media are not the powerful and persuasive marketing force many companies hoped they would be.”

What to Do to Turn the Tide

Turning social media marketing into a viable income stream is about three things: quality content, quality engagement, and quality reach. To begin with, though, you can mitigate the time requirement by using apps like Hootsuite that allow you to manage all of your social media accounts from one interface.

Some of these tools cost money, but the time savings is definitely worth the investment. You can also use collaboration tools like Secret Facebook Groups that allow your marketing team to collaborate in an environment that is close to where all the action is, but that you can still easily monitor.

You can very easily avoid a pitfall that many unwary companies have fallen into by simply keeping your money in your pocket in some cases. If you are inclined to purchase Facebook Likes, don’t buy Facebook likes from anyone but Facebook, and run Facebook contests sparingly. The likes you will receive from these activities vary from low-value to virtually worthless.

Finally, use Facebook Insights to find out what types of content your fans want, and then give them more of the same. Remember, social media consumers don’t convert right away … and your overall goal is to raise brand awareness.

It is also important to check Insights to see what time of day your fans are sharing your content and then release new content 2-3 hours before that time. The bottom line is this: if you create and disseminate high-quality content that your fans are willing to engage with, and you have a product that appeals to the masses, you should see a healthy return.

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