Almost 50% of all companies with an online presence also have specific content marketing strategies. Social media marketing budgets are expected to double in the next five years. SEO–search engine optimization–is more important than ever, with 33% of click-throughs going to the very first result of a Google search.
Still think your business’s social media marketing strategy is okay as it is? These tips will help you optimize, increase efficiency, and develop an online presence that will enable you to reach out to current and potential customers:
1. Listen First, Then Share Stories
According to Inc.com, some of the most successful social media marketing out there right now is from companies who tell personal stories, rather than try to sell right off the bat. This is an opportunity for you to get a bit personal and let customers get to know more about you. Creating that engaging link with your customers can make all the difference.
2. Actually Respond
Dave Kerpen, chairman of Likeable Media, reports that 60% of brands with an online presence do not respond to customers on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, according to Inc. By responding to both praise and complaints, you’ll set yourself apart from the competition–and let customers know that you are concerned with what they have to say.
3. Keep Your Communications Relevant
You don’t have to constantly, actively push sales through social media in order to keep your content targeted toward your audience. Providing helpful information and newsy bits keeps customers in touch and coming back for more. Need info about the latest in online security? Customers know they can log on to their favorite social media site, or just look up LifeLock’s Twitter page and find relevant info. Find your niche and give your audience the same kind of targeted information.
Making sure your company has a presence on all the major social networks keeps your name out there, and prevents unruly web surfers from creating similar accounts with negative information that can derail customers. Also, tailor your social media to each network. You wouldn’t post the same in-depth article on Facebook as you would on LinkedIn Instagram. You’d focus almost exclusively on visual appeal. According to Wordstream.com, you should also stay active on Google+, which is likely to become a key player in the next few months and years.
5. Choose the Right Niche to Target
AudienceBloom.com offers a fantastic semi-statistical breakdown of the biggest social networks out there, their likely growth over the next few years, and the slices of population that favor each. Did you know that Google+ is dominated by men (70% of users are male)? Or that on Pinterest, college-educated women claim 75% of user accounts? Focus your social media on the networks most pertinent to your business’s niche.
5. Don’t Expect Immediate Magic
Patience and persistence are the kings of social media marketing; simply updating your business’s Facebook page or creating a Twitter account isn’t going to boost sales overnight. Stick with it, keep updating your pages and responding to customers’ comments and concerns, and work to target content to provide vital, interesting information about yourself and your products. Over time, you’ll be impressed by the results.
Guest post by: Britney Nicholsen
Britney runs the marketing department for a real estate firm while preparing to go back to school for her masters in English. She blogs to keep her writing skills sharp.