I’m the first to admit that digital marketing with all it’s SEO’s, SEM’s, PPC’s , CPC’s and CTR’s would not be my number one topic on Eggheads, in fact when entering into my first marketing job over 13 years ago we did very little digital ‘stuff’ and social media didn’t surround us as it does now.
I’m still very much of the era of the printed glossy brochures and flyers, face to face interaction through events and the good old-fashioned telephone conversation. Don’t get me wrong I’m not completely new to digital, I have been doing e-mail marketing and web content writing for a number of years but with how fast processes move and new topics cropping up, I confess I’m having to scrub up and widen my knowledge quick-smart. And I’m sure many others are in the same boat.
I’ll leave the wider digital marketing elements for John to blog about as I focus on a small segment of it; social media. So, this is my Social Media ‘Back to Basics’ blog, discussing what exactly it is and more importantly, how do we make the most of it? There’s no mistaking that as well as having a smart, responsive, fully functioning website (we do those you know, click here) digital marketing plays a huge part in a companies growth and success – it’s another touchpoint on a customers journey to choosing you, below I will discuss the best ways to get noticed socially… for all the right reasons!
So, what exactly is social media?
In a nutshell, social media is a collection of online forums with a huge potential reach; a way for people to create, publish and share content with like-minded people and communities. The Oxford English dictionary sums it up as Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Because it’s online, your audience potential is worldwide.
How will it benefit your company?
The effectiveness of social media can vary dependent on industry and demographic but it’s certainly not a medium that should be ignored.
In 2016 it was reported that there were over 3.5 billion internet users worldwide and of this over 2.3 billion users have social media accounts (source: Statista) – this is a phenomenal gateway to reaching your target audience, somewhere among the billions! It works well as a channel to have dialogue with your customers to not only maintain existing client relationships, but forge new ones. There’s also the wealth of data that can be obtained, the targeting opportunities that can be reached and the high conversion factors too but I’ll save that for another blog.
You’ve got it – now how do you promote it?
Interaction is key. It’s not hard to build up followers and quite often family and friends become ‘brand ambassadors’ for you to get the engagement going and spread the reach initially. You can also promote yourself on your website, on your email footers and across other social media platforms to shout about your online presence. There’s also the option for super-targeting via paid promotion. Do remember to regularly post with blogs, events and news to keep content updated and keep everything fresh.
Management – is this a full-time job?
Well, for some of it is but dependent on your size of business and budget – that luxury isn’t available to all! Schedulers such as Buffer or Hootsuite are great but try not to repeat/duplicate content as if people follow all channels they may switch off or unfollow if they keep seeing the same content pop up across all platforms.
Different channels, different sectors
It’s certainly a social minefield out there – where do you go? What is the right channel for your business? What has the best reputation for business? Should you go on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ – a select few, or all of them? Take a look at this chart for an infographic run-down conveying key points.
Image courtesy of: Leverage New Age Media
Handy Hints & Tips
• Talk to your audience, become a personality, someone they can resonate with – don’t just talk at them, about you – they’ll soon switch off
• Always respond to comments, questions and reviews – in particular, the negative ones. Whilst they’re the ones you really want to delete and ignore, your response can turn a negative into a positive situation earning you kudos along the way. Look at how viral the Tesco ‘Six not seven bacon rashers’ and Sainsbury’s ‘Worm in salad’ responses went!
• Share relevant content about your industry – and for a bit more engagement, why not comment with your response to it
• Photos and text often gain more engagement than text only posts
• If you make the decision to start being active, don’t suddenly stop posting – with the amount of facts available on the web it doesn’t take long to find something relevant that you can share with your audience.
And lastly, remember up to 75% searches are carried out on mobiles with Google reporting that ’61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. And, even worse, 40 percent visit a competitor’s site instead’ (Source: Mckinsey)
By the way, if you too are still in the printed literature era with me – we do that pretty well too. Just click here!