Although social media has been a part of our communications landscape for about two and a half decades now, it can still be difficult for business owners to use it to full effect in their marketing.
This is partly because social media platforms are constantly changing in ways both subtle and visible. The companies that run them are always trying to boost engagement with their products, and promote socially responsible usage. When they change programming algorithms to make it happen, it can affect your business.
Fortunately, there are a number of key strategies you can use that will help you build and strengthen your brand as you engage on social media. Doing all of it or even just one facet of it very well can take a fair bit of hard work. Feel free to contact us at Rev CMO to see how we can help!
In the meantime, let’s take a look at five of the strategic points that will up your social media game.
1. Build Authority and Credibility With Authentic Participation
One of the most important rules about social media marketing is that it works best when you position yourself according to your expertise in your market sector.
What that means is that you need to use your accounts to share content that is relevant to your business and industry, and is accurate. You should also be active in commenting on the same kind of content shared by your partners, competitors, and anyone else.
It does not mean that you have to be the one true expert, the most knowledgeable person in the world for your field. It just means that your content should show your audience that they can trust what you say, and therefore, what you sell.
2. Connect With the Right People – Your Customers – and Help Them Spread the Word
If your business is a local shop, don’t worry so much about events on the other side of the world. If you’re an e-commerce operation, don’t fantasize about overtaking Amazon.
Focus on your niche. That means paying attention to your local customers and the people who are looking for exactly what you offer, and on giving them amazing service.
If you can get your customers to interact with your social media posts, it’s likely that their own local connections will see that activity and drive even more interest in your brand.
As an example, offering customers a discount for checking in on Facebook while they’re shopping at your brick-and-mortar location not only incentivizes their purchase, but represents essentially free advertising to about a hundred other potential customers.
3. Remember That You’re Not Alone
Social media isn’t just for you to reach your customers and vice versa. It’s also a way for you to gain insight from those who’ve gone before you, and a way to reach out to other peers who are learning, too.
Networks like LinkedIn are great for this. By fostering professional connections on a global scale, social media acts like a worldwide rotary club. It can also be an important way to find the talent you need as you grow.
4. Go Beyond Social Media – The Old Methods Still Work, Too
Remember what we said earlier about how social media is always changing? Don’t pin all of your hopes and dreams on the success of your social media marketing. What works today may be irrelevant tomorrow. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing today, but it means you should have diverse backup strategies.
Remember Myspace? It used to be the most-visited website in the world. Now, it’s a shadow of its old self, having been overtaken by Facebook and dozens of other platforms at the top of the social media food chain. How long will Facebook stay there, though? It’s anyone’s guess, but there are already strong signs of imminent decline as young users opt in favor of Instagram and Snapchat.
The point is that your social media strategy should only be one part of your overall marketing efforts. Don’t put aside search engine optimization and paid ads. Traditional PR is also still good. Customers still love real-world events and giveaways just as much as they ever did!
5. Repurpose and Recycle Content the Creative Way
Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to produce content for multiple platforms? Don’t fret, but don’t just copy and paste, either. What works well on one platform may fall flat on another. Each platform has been developed to work in certain ways for specific content formats.
What you can do, though, is create large amounts of derivative content from a relatively small number of cornerstone articles and videos. A single blog post can be mined for dozens of tweets, and video clips and screenshots from a single hour-long interview or meeting can result in a multitude of instagram posts. The trick is to make each derivative piece just different enough to be unique, and hide customer incentives across all platforms, so they’re worth looking for.
Letting Social Media Marketing Benefit Your Business
With these five strategy points, you can see how social media marketing can be complex but also immensely rewarding.
The most important thing is to get started. Having a limited and basic social media presence is better than nothing, but it will only get you so far. Be sure to reach out to Rev CMO when it’s time to take it to the next level.