Article contributed by Guild of Bloggers
Social media marketing can be crucial to the success of any business — though not many people maximize its potential.
In fact, most people focus solely on the number of followers, likes, and shares, and decide that’s enough because they’re told social proof is crucial for establishing trust with site visitors.
While social proof certainly has its merits, there’s much more to social media than gathering a bunch of followers or sharing your content on multiple platforms.
If you want to ramp up your social media marketing efforts, and are looking for new strategies to add to your marketing arsenal, you’re in the right place.
Keep reading to learn how to use social media marketing strategies to go beyond merely existing on social media to have a substantial presence that your target audience relates to, interacts with, and feels has actual value.
1. Set Goals
Writing down your goals is a great way to start social media marketing.
After all, chances are high that you’ve probably been winging your social media plan up until now and have no clue what you really hope to achieve using social media.
Here are some common goals to consider when developing your overall social media plan:
- Increase Brand Awareness. Focus on expanding your reach to a broader target audience. Avoid excessive promotional messages. Instead, concentrate on posting valuable and informative content that new customers can relate to. Doing this will start the process of building lasting relationships with your followers.
- Drive Sales. If you own an eCommerce shop, it makes sense that using social media to drive sales will be one of your goals. Make sure to focus on providing value to potential customers, addressing their pain points, and showing them how you can solve all their problems. It won’t hurt to throw some advertising and exclusive sales in the mix.
- Improve ROI. If you’ve been aimlessly posting on social media up until now, it’s time you make a budget and track your results. There’s no sense spending money on social media ads that don’t generate revenue. Monitoring your expenses and income will help guide your social media plans.
- Establish Yourself As An Authority. Consider keeping tabs on your competition so you can see what works for them. Then, develop your own strategies, using what you’ve learned, to establish yourself as a leader in your industry.
Join the 3% of people that actually write down their goals and start pulling ahead of everyone else that refuses to invest time in thinking about their future.
If you do this, your success rate is bound to be 30 times that of someone that doesn’t write any goals down at all.
2. Integrate a Chatbot
Chatbots are quickly becoming the norm these days.
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And rightfully so.
They can answer your prospective customers’ answers day and night and add an interactive element to your social media platforms that many have never seen before.
Not to mention, the right chatbot can gather information about your audience such as:
- Product and service preferences
This information is crucial to you and your business. In fact, you can use that kind of data to create better products and services and even target the right people in specific regions.
If you’re looking for a popular chatbot creator, check out MobileMonkey.
Integrating seamlessly with Facebook Messenger, MobileMonkey offers the following features:
- Easy creation of chatbots without any coding knowledge
- The ability to take over with live chat
- Schedule appointments, answer FAQs, and even track purchases
- Segment your audience and add them to chat-blasting lists
- Create sales funnels that convert
- Receive alerts when a high-quality lead is chatting with your chatbot
With a tool like MobileMonkey, you can drive engagement with your brand, keep your users satisfied with prompt replies, and generate more leads that hopefully lead to more sales.
3. Monitor Your Social Media Presence
So, you know you’re on the social media platforms your customers like the most.
Using a free tool like Social Mention, you can automate and streamline the process of monitoring your presence to make sure you’re hitting the right metrics:
- Strength: the likelihood your search term will be mentioned.
- Sentiment: the ratio of positive to negative emotions.
- Passion: the likelihood people will be talking about your search term frequently.
- Reach: the depth of your search term influence.
Track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, products and services you offer, or any other topic you feel is relevant to your brand.
In addition to monitoring mentions in blogs, images, and video, Social Mention also tracks mentions in over 100 social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google, and more.
4. Use Twitter to Help Your Plan
Using one of the most popular Twitter tools on the market today, TweetDeck, you can really get a handle on your social media marketing efforts.
- Organize multiple Twitter accounts from one convenient location
- Line up all accounts and their data next to each other for comparing
- Filter text, authors, and sources to fine tune your tracking
- Schedule Tweets from the dashboard
- Create searches to track topics, events, and hashtags
Though this tool is only useful for Twitter, if Twitter is where your target audience is found, and you’re looking to expand your reach to a broad audience, this free tool is worth looking into.
5. Get Involved
Posting to your social media platforms is one thing. Engaging with your audience is another.
Prove to your customers that you care about them as people and don’t just want their money by interacting with them on the platforms you post to:
- Ask your audience questions and take their answers seriously
- Share newsworthy information that’s not related to securing sales
- Like and share some of their posts and follow people back
- Add a variety of content – imagery, funny videos, and even podcasts
- Go live to show people you’re real and ready to engage with people that show an interest
- Answer any questions posed to you by followers
- Direct followers to your website where they can get more valuable content
- Run contests, surveys, and exclusive deals
Getting people to relate to your brand without injecting some real personality is nearly impossible.
Show your followers that you are the whole package, not just a salesy company out to make a profit.
6. Use the Right Username and Hashtags
Just like your website’s domain name, a social media username is going to have a significant impact on your eCommerce shop’s success.
In fact, many companies have offered regular people a whole lot of cash for their social media usernames.
When you first set out to create an eCommerce website, it’s important you think long and hard about which domain name you want to buy.
After all, whatever you choose will end up representing your business.
Well, it turns out, the same rings true for social media usernames.
You can build brand recognition by choosing social media usernames that are similar (if not the same) to your online shop’s URL.
Doing this will help people know that they’re interacting with the right brand, help spread awareness of your business, and make things less confusing when you direct users to your shop.
So, take the time to think about your social media username just as you did when you decided on a domain name. The amount of traffic, conversions, and sales you get may depend on it.
7. Actively Follow and Engage with Your Followers.
If you want to grow your social media you need to actively follow and add users. Using the law of reciprocity you can greatly boost the number of your followers by following others who are following you and finding new people to follow. Twitter changed it’s API where many 3rd party apps no longer allow you to mass follow people on Twitter. By constantly cleaning up and adding more users you can grow your audience and build out your brand.
At the end of the day, there’s no room to forgo developing a solid social media marketing strategy.
So many potential customers spend a lot of their day scrolling through feeds, liking images, and sharing content. If you don’t capitalize on that, you risk losing out on future business.
If you run an online shop and hope to scale your business, you have to tap into the power of social media and access your target audience in an organized and focused way.
That’s the only way you’re going to have an impact on the millions of people on social media that are being pulled in many different directions by some of your biggest competition on a daily basis.