Like. Comment. Share. These words have a whole new meaning with the advent of social media. As consumers adopt this newer form of communication, businesses will need to learn to speak their language.
But it’s not as simple as 140 characters. With so much to learn and new strategies constantly developing on how to utilize this new platform, it can be hard for marketers to decipher what is important. Here are the top five things we think you should know about social media for your business.
1. Social media provides a direct line to your customers.
This may seem obvious but social media can be a great asset for communication with your customers if used effectively. You can interact with your customers as never before. In the ‘old days’, communication between a brand and their consumer was effectively a one-way street with all communication coming from the brand. Now it’s a one-on-one world. They can reach you with the tap of a few keys. This sure beats the traditional means of business communication via billboards, direct mail, or newspaper ads. Social media makes things much more personal, something which you should take full advantage of. Capitalize on the opportunity to engage your fans. Respond to their comments. Answer their questions. Be prepared to deal with complaints. This type of communication ultimately builds brand loyalty because customers know that there’s a person behind the logo and that person is listening.
2. Advertising works.
As much we hope that someone will come across our social media page by accident, fall in love with it, become an influencer on our behalf, and tell the whole world about us, let’s be realistic. You have to be proactive about spreading the word and cough up a few bucks to get noticed, especially now that Facebook’s organic growth dead in the water.
Yes, this means spending money, but the good news is that it’s not nearly as expensive as other forms of advertising. Plus, social media advertising lets you hyper-target your desired audience. The best part? You can do it on your own (no salesperson required).
3. Content can boost your social media footprint.
As helpful as social media advertising can be, you can’t rely solely upon it. You must also develop a strong content strategy. In a recent Socially Stacked article, ShortStack’s CEO, Jim Belosic says that content is how you can boost your social media presence. He says that knowing your target audience and creating content that resonates with them is important. If you put out good content that’s sharable people are going to want to distribute it.
Cliffedge has been growing our Family Attractions Card social presence (Shameless plug? You bet!) by posting content that is of interest to our demographic and doing it often. We’ve found that 1-2 posts per day is good number of posts for our Fans and we make sure to keep the content relevant, fun and appealing to our Fan base.
4. Do you really need a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, tumblr, Vine, and SnapChat profile for your brand?
According to Jay Baer’s excellent post from the digital marketing advisor site Convince and Convert, you shouldn’t try to be on every social media platform that exists. Chances are, your target audience will only be on a select few sites, and your goal should be to focus on those. Being on too many social media platforms can be overwhelming to keep up with and can make you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin. It is better to create quality content for a few sites, than average content for many. Focus on the social media platforms where the bulk of your customers are.
5. The world is bigger than your brand.
Be very careful when incorporating your product into politics or current events. While it’s great that your business supports a certain holiday, anniversary, or commemoration, realize that your brand should never be the centerpiece as it can end up backfiring and polarizing your Fan base. A good piece of advice is if you’re not adding value, don’t say anything.
An example of a company that did not heed this advice is Epicurious. After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, they used the tragic event to promote two breakfast recipes to its more than 385,000 followers. Needless to say, it did not go over well and Epicurious was forced to publicly apologize.
We hope that this little tutorial helps with your social media planning, but if you still need help with your #hashtags or want to tweak your Tweets, send Cliffedge a PM on Facebook, comment below, or reach us the ‘old fashioned’ way and call us at (314) 241-0606. Yes, we actually still use phones to talk too.