If we asked a room full of business people to raise their hands if they’ve engaged in some sort of social media, most likely everyone in the room would have their hands in the air. But if you asked those same people if their company utilizes social media marketing, only a few hands would be raised. Knowing that so many people engage in social media, why wouldn’t your company take advantage of this growing trend and use it to market the business?
Social media marketing involves driving traffic to your website through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, or LinkedIn. It helps build brand awareness and improve your company’s visibility, which can potentially generate leads and increase sales. Today, customersprefer to engage more and more with brands through social media; that’s why your company needs to jump on the social media bandwagon.
So, how do you get your business involved in social mediawhile ensuring that it fits with the rest of your marketing strategy? Effective social media marketing goes beyond just creating a Facebook page or a Twitter handle. To capitalize on the possibilities of social media, consider implementing this six-step approach:
- Define a strategy
You need a well-defined strategy that sets outsocial media marketing objectives that align your business and marketing goals.Also, a clearly defined strategy helps top management understand that social media is a long-term commitment and not just a marketing tactic.
- Identify the right platforms
Identifying and selecting the suitable platforms to connect with your target audience is important — not all channels may be suitable for your business. Explore the different platforms to find the ones key decision makers/influencers frequent, and choose which ones are the right fit for your business. A good way to start is by monitoring the social media activity and profiles of your main customers to find out on which platforms they are most active.
- Create relevant content
Produce value-added content on topical issues on a regular basis. Don’t just share information on key developments and trends; back it up with a fact-based impact analysis and your company’s take on how this will play out in the future. Prepare a schedule that specifies content type, frequency, and the appropriate posting platform.But make sure that your posts match the platform — what works on Facebook may not work on LinkedIn.
- Build relationships
Participate by posting comments on blogs, joining groups/forumssuitable to your business, and answering questions posed by others. Connect with and follow influencers — they have the ability to shape opinions, improve the visibility of your brand by driving traffic to your site, and sway prospective customers in your favor. Identify influencers, engage with them, and turn them into advocates rooting for your brand.
- Measure performance
Evaluate the success of your strategy by establishing metrics on key performance indicators (KPIs) for each of your social media objectives. The most common goals of a social media marketing strategy are:
- Expanding brand presence: Check your fan following on different platforms to see if brand mentions and comments have increased to meet established metrics.
- Building positive brand sentiment: Scrutinize brand mentions to evaluate how your brand is viewed by other people. Check for positive and negative mentions.
- Forming partnerships: Track and interact with connections to identify opportunities for future collaborations and partnerships.Check whether your list of potential partners is growing.
- Driving traffic to your website: Monitor visits to your website and identify the channels that drive the most traffic to your site.
- Analyze and adjust
Analyze your performance against the established metrics and tweak your strategy appropriately based on what has worked. When you experiment and try new things, you’ll gain more value from your social media campaign.
It’s time for you to jump on the social media bandwagon — with a little work and a planned approach, you can get your business on social media and engage actively with your customers!