How to make an impact on social media
In order to be part of business today you need to take part in social media; more business than ever is being undertaken through social media spaces.
However, in order to make a successful impact you need to ensure that the voice you choose to use represents the values of your company – is respected and above all else trusted by those you want to reach.
The following points are intended as a guide to how you can use social media in your businesses marketing strategy.
Know your market
Since you can’t target everyone (though you can sell to anyone), you have to define, identify, and understand your audience so you can speak to them on social media.
Before undertaking any social media marketing make sure you know how to communicate effectively; read case studies that will help you differentiate between “mass broadcast” and “conversational” style messages to ensure you understand the best method for your business and social media campaign.
If you want to use social media effectively it is about interacting with existing content; you need to be actively contributing to online communities such as LinkedIn, Twitter and online blogs. If you do not understand the platforms available then your campaign will fail in its execution at the outset.
Be a strategist
A social media strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media. It guides your actions and lets you know whether you’re succeeding or failing.
The more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be.
You wouldn’t go into a business meeting without a business plan or structure would you? The same approach must be taken with regards to your social media strategy within your organisation. The strategy you develop should be used company wide to ensure that their is consistency of your brand message, identity and also to build up trust amongst your target audience.
By creating a social media strategy you will be able to use this within your business to benchmark tactics against objectives and also to show results and measure any return on investment. All important elements of being able to analyse your social media campaigns.
In using your social media strategy you will be listening to the conversations taking place around you; you will be researching what challenges your clients are currently facing and also spot any potential areas you can tap into and prospect for new business in.
The biggest benefit of listening to conversations is that it gives you a unique insight into competitor analysis; companies are more and more shouting about their gains and successes on the social media platforms. You may get first wind of a new idea or the chance to seize an opportunity.
“Thanks to the growth of social media, brands and consumers have unprecedented access to each other. While this intimate connection fuels amazing experiences, it also puts additional responsibility on everyone involved. Consumers’ cards are on the table—they want more transparency, now. It’s time for brands to step up to the plate and deliver.”
Sprout Social, ‘#BrandsGetReal: Social media & the evolution of transparency‘
Social media works best of all when you are open and honest in your communication. This means you need to be transparent in everything you do. Use the platforms available to interact with your customers and find out where you can improve and become a better organisation.
Social media creates a long lasting imprint online and comments you post can be tracked for a log time – an open door policy from the outset will lead to a better relationship with your audience.
Be in it for the long-haul
Many want to approach social media in the same way they would print advertising and online website design. Even more are expecting immediate success from their Facebook startup or Instagram account. Both will lead to disappointing results especially when centered on a short-term approach. To create a strong social media campaign that will increase conversion rates while growing the loyal customer base, a long-term plan is the best strategy for success.
Grand Marketing Solutions, ‘For Social Media Strategies, Think Long Term!‘
Social media is not about quick wins – what you start now will have long term benefits if you follow the suggestions above. By adopting a strong long term strategy you are laying the foundations within your business for successful future marketing campaigns and have a better chance of engaging successfully with your audience.
Ensure that any social media platforms you use to broadcast your messages are updated regularly so that your competitors do not move in and seize your spot; even short term campaigns can have increased longevity and effectiveness when linked to larger activities.
Remember, content is king
“Start discussions on recent industry news, ask a question, start a debate…”
Impact Plus, ‘5 Ways to Successfully Start a Conversation on Social Media‘
If you write drivel expect no response or little take up. Social media is about engaging conversation – start topics and conversations that are current and will kick start a debate. Use the internet to carry out research and create white papers which you can offer out to your wider audience.
The more you seek to create unique and engaging content the more you will become recognised and respected in your industry field.
Remember, social media is not like t-shirt; one size definitely will not fill all. Each business will have to adapt different strategies to fit their industry and audience but no matter what route you take the above principles will remain the same.
Spend time and effort in creating a social media strategy now and you will have more fun and better engagement in the long term.
For more inspiration, check out Sprout Social’s Marketing campaigns & social media examples to inspire you in 2021.