Beyond Gathering Likes: Moving Past Followers & Fans
When social media was new, the main go-to metrics were how many Twitter followers, Facebook Fans (remember those?) and even MySpace friends you had. However, social media marketing is continuously evolving, and marketers are learning that it is important to go beyond the numbers and focus on actually engaging this consumer base they have built.
The C-suite is realizing there is real potential in gaining a large following that is also willing to engage with your brand. By providing the type of value and content your target audience wants to see on its news feed, there is a high potential for ROI.
The Right Content
Having the content your target audience is interested in is crucial to your social media success. This goes beyond Facebook and Twitter, however. Your company should also have a blog that is regularly publishing high-quality, interesting content. Websites with blogs have more traffic and indexed pages than those that don’t.
Tie in your blogging with your social media: make them go hand-in-hand. For instance, if your blog has a new post on productivity, look for related content to tie in and publish the same week, referring back to the blog post.
The “media” of your social media content is important as well. Blog posts with photos are great for Facebook, as updates with photos generally get more clicks and engagement than updates with text only.
You can also create visuals from your blog post content by pulling out important quotes and putting them on a photo background (using a service like QuotesCover or PicMonkey if you don’t have Photoshop) and then posting those on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Facebook users also really like cartoons and humor. This can personalize your company and make your audience trust you.
Choose Your Promotions Wisely
Promotional content is something that can also affect audience trust. Whenever you are self-promotional on any social media platform, do so very wisely. Make sure it is something customers actually want. A Facebook-exclusive promotion for your worst product that has terrible reviews won’t be effective at all.
Ask your customers what they want and follow through. See what others in your industry are doing and strive to be better than they are. All users like free shipping, free gifts and discounts they aren’t getting anywhere else. Just make sure it is free shipping for products they want, free gifts they will use and discounts on products they need.
Social media isn’t just for telling people about your products and services or sharing cool cat videos. Many consumers now prefer to contact companies via social media rather than going through phone or a traditional support form. (After all, isn’t composing a tweet so much easier than filling out an entire contact form?)
This means companies have to use social media as a customer service channel, no matter how much social media influence a person has. It’s safe to say that even Oprah has a friend with only 40 twitter followers. People can get loud and angry on social media; so, being prompt, friendly and understanding makes a big difference.
Also, it doesn’t make a difference if it makes you mad that consumers use social media and blogging to complain about companies. They are, so take it as an opportunity, not a nuisance.
Paid Promotions Can Get Results
Besides complaining on social media, users are interacting with brands in big ways on these platforms. The key is getting your content seen.
If you’re looking to grow your social media presence, paid campaigns can help. Promote clever posts on Facebook and important messages on Twitter. Many posts don’t take a large budget (especially if you are targeting a specific area or age demographic) and can get you a larger, more engaged following.
Just make sure you have ample calls-to-action and links to your website to make paid campaigns (and time spent on social media marketing) generate a higher ROI. Tabs to newsletter sign ups, free high-quality e-book downloads, and even exclusive discounts are all ways to make your social media marketing go beyond the likes and into a crucial part of your online presence.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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