6 Top Tips For Implementing A Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

4 Jan

There’s no need for me to argue the value of social media for businesses. Every day, stories crop up about exciting new social channels and the brands that are using them effectively to engage their customers.

However, there are just as many stories about company blunders on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. So if you are putting together a social media marketing strategy, it’s important to understand the basics.

Whether you are promoting a large corporation or a small start-up, the following tips can help you to create and maintain a positive relationship with your target audience.

Pick your channel

First of all, think logically about which social media channels are the best for your business. If you are trying to reach consumers, Twitter and Instagram may be better channels for you. If your company is B2B focused, LinkedIn is where it’s at.

Don’t rely on an intern

The person, or team, you hire to implement your strategy, and measure the results, should be an experienced social media expert trained on how to use the specific channels that your company has chosen to utilise. Placing responsibility on the shoulders of an intern, or a member of staff with spare time but minimal experience, is not good enough. Once you have the right person in place, it is better for them to focus on building an effective social media strategy for a few channels, rather than spreading themselves too thinly. So be selective.

It’s not just about content

Engagement is just as important as the content you push out, so as well as all the beautiful videos and captivating infographics you post, remember to read the comments and queries posted by your followers. Social media is first and foremost about communication and businesses that remember this will undoubtedly reap the rewards. Also remember to tailor your content according to the channel. For example, on Twitter you can only post a few sentences, but on LinkedIn you can post much lengthier pieces.
People buy people

Take steps to encourage as many of your employees as possible to be as active on social media as possible. Of course, there should be two or three main company spokespeople who can be positioned as brand ambassadors, but everyone who works for the company can also be an influencer (as long as they conduct themselves properly). The main reason for this is that people are more likely to engage with individuals than brands, so your social media success increasingly relies on your employees’ interactions. If they share company updates with their followers, it should increase interest in the business from potential customers.

Connect with influencers

Set up search terms to identify people on social media who are popular with your target audience. Then follow them, engage with them regularly via forums or groups and be sure to repost some of their content. You might be able to develop a two way working relationship with an influencers that will benefit both parties. You might also want to pay a key influencer to shout about your brand. There’s no harm in exploring a mix of paid for and organically generated opportunities.

Provide customer service

Use your social media channels as customer service platforms. When people are upset, or when they have an urgent request, they want an answer right away. They don’t want to wait 24 hours for their email to be read. Neither do they want to wait on hold on the phone for 30 minutes. So social media provides the perfect opportunity for marketers to respond on the phone to customers in real time. Set up alerts so that you know when your brand is being talked about and humanise your service by communicating with your customers like a human, not a robot. Also be sure to keep an eye out for mentions of your brand that do not include a hashtag or @ symbol, as these can be easy to miss.

Analysis of social intelligence will also be the key to improvement. Rome wasn’t built in a day and businesses shouldn’t feel discouraged if their first crack at a social media strategy doesn’t quite go to plan. Analysis of social activity allows marketers to learn about what works and what to improve on. But analysis should be carried out daily, not after several months or just at the end of a campaign. Real time feedback allows you to better understand your audience, who you should be targeting, the conversations you should be joining and the problems your customers face. Setting up multiple searches to keep an eye on subjects relevant to the business is also part of this process, as it allows you to contribute any useful insight in good time. Social conversation is an ever moving beast and real time analysis is the key to keeping up.

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