It’s no secret that Social Media is widely used. I mean c’mon it’s 2019. Some people’s entire job relies around being an influencer on social media.
But what exactly is social media or social media marketing? Is it simply having a company page? Posting photos or videos, paying for ads, engaging with your followers?
With things constantly changing—algorithms, platforms, uses—it doesn’t make it any easier to define.
However, the good news is that there really isn’t one right way to go about social media.
The only thing that is important is that you are utilizing social media for your business.
There are so many opportunities out there that it would actually be hurting your business not to leverage social media for your business. Just look at the definition below:
Social Media Marketing = The process that involves identifying opportunities for leveraging social interactivity among consumers in open and flexible social media environments with fast paced flows of information
While there are a lot of different social strategies out there, we’ve gathered our top 6 tips for leveraging social media for your business.
I know this may seem like a lot of information, but it’s important to know that this doesn’t mean you need to conquer everything all at once.
Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day.
This is probably one of the biggest pieces of advice I could give for using social media for your business. With the Facebook—Cambridge Analytica data scandal still being so recent, and fake news being thrown around left and right, consumers are very wary of company’s and social media.
Even if you are a smaller business, it may be a bumpy road getting social media users to trust in general. So, the biggest thing you can do to assuage this is be transparent and open.
Never use click bait. Never post fake things or try to be something/someone you’re not. Show your true brand’s personality and voice so that it’s the same person or brand on social media as people are receiving from you in person.
Brand storytelling is not a new concept; there’s just something about stories that draws people in and opens them up to you—or in this case, your brand. There are multiple ways, and again no single right way, to tell your story on social media.
However, telling a story using multiple different mediums and formats (videos, photos, blogs, etc.) so that people can get a really clear picture of who your business is from different angles, can be beneficial.
One huge feature to utilize is Instagram Stories – I mean story is in the name. And if your Instagram Stories are engaging, people will pay attention.
On Stories, there are numerous options as well as unique effects and features for you to add to get creative with storifying your social page. You can add GIF stickers, filters, text, interactive features—polls and quizzes—and much more. The great thing about Stories is that it is quick and to the point.
And if you’re a verified user or a business account with over 10k followers, you can add the ‘swipe up’ feature to your Instagram Stories. This is a great way to increase engagement.
Another social platform that is great for storifying is LinkedIn. Utilize this channel to tell your brand’s story or even your own personal career story if it makes sense in context.
Take Advantage of the Fast Flow Nature of Info
From the definition at the beginning, one of the main distinguishing characteristics of social from other digital media or traditional media is the fast-paced flow of information. Take advantage of this aspect!
Different platforms can warrant different types of information due to the different speed at which information flows. For example, because Twitter has shorter post lengths and is constantly updating, it is great for sharing breaking and recent news.
The general quick nature of things on social media can also be played to your advantage. Use your social media to announce new products or services, or even a sale. Share news and content that is recent and relevant to your industry or business.
And when posting other content, you can use the 4 R’s—Remarkable, Repeatable, Reasonable, Relevant—to ensure you’re posting quality content that has a better chance of being shared.
Lastly, with social media there is a trend for ephemeral content. Creating that sense of urgency can stir people to action much sooner.
Use Multiple Social Platforms
The truth is relying on one social media channel for any particular purpose is myopic and ineffective.
Leverage social interactions among consumers across multiple channels. Each platform—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, etc.—has a different audience, a different purpose, and therefore, different content. I’m not saying you need to create a page or account on every single social platform out there. But you do need to use multiple in the context in which they make sense.
When you are using multiple social channels (and even into other digital platforms), it is crucial to have a unified view of your customer. This will help your collect data across channels and devices and tie that data together to build holistic profiles of your customers.
That way when the same prospect goes from one platform to the next, there is a fluid movement between your accounts and a consistent view from the prospect’s perspective.
Much like you need to use multiple social platforms, you also need to create campaigns that integrate your social media activity with its other digital and traditional media counterparts.
It can be difficult because yes advertising and eWOM (electronic word of mouth) are competing for the same budget. But at the end of the day, they really are complementary to each other.
Both are necessary. Social media along with other digital marketing activities and even traditional advertising at times. Social media marketing often acts as amplifiers of traditional and digital marketing which is why an integrated campaign is crucial.
Crack the Commerce Code
Social media commerce may seem like a big, scary beast, but it’s really not. Yes, it takes some time and work. However, once you figure it out, it’ll be like the light gets switched on in your business.
Just like in the digital or traditional world, there too is a social shopping funnel that consumers follow.
The biggest key here is to align your social media marketing (SMM) objectives with the social sales funnel. The most common SMM objectives are:
- Increase Brand Awareness
- Increase Brand Engagement
- Cultivate Positive Brand Attitude
- Generate Leads
- Customer Retention
Know what stage consumers are at and what the best objectives and tactics are at each stage.
- Brand Awareness (Exposure)
- Brand Engagement (Engagement)
- Positive Attitude (Influence/Engagement)
- Lead Generation (Action/Convert)
- Advocacy (After Conversion)
- Retention (After Conversion –> Back to Exposure)
Okay I know that was a LOT of information.
First, take a deep breath and remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is your business’s social media presence. Great things take time.
However, while that is true, it’s also important to acknowledge the other side of the story:
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour
Meaning, don’t get so caught up in everything you have to do that you’re too overwhelmed to even start doing something.
Don’t get into the weeds with the details that you forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
In the moment, tackling one of these suggested social strategies for a few weeks or a few months may not seem like you’re doing anything effective. But if you step back and look at the overall picture of your business, you’ll start to see that the daily work is adding up to make a difference.
Working on your social media and pairing that with killer integrated campaigns (plus patience and time) can and will make a huge difference for your business’s growth.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.
Here’s your brick. What are you going to do with it?