When it comes to a digital marketing strategy, social media is the new word of mouth marketing for businesses. The benefits of social media marketing are many. The primary goals should be to increase engagement with your customer base and to manage your reputation. Here are a few tips on the roles that social media should be playing in your digital marketing strategy.
1. Building Your Audience
For many businesses, maintaining audience engagement can be incredibly discouraging. It’s especially difficult if you’re trying to do it without the help of a digital marketing team. Let’s review a few tips that can effectively facilitate increasing your reach.
While social media platforms are free, there is much to be said about paid advertising on social media. Facebook’s algorithms limit the reach of your posts. However, by paying to boost your posts, you can significantly increase your reach.
One of the tools for boosting your posts is the option of selecting various characteristics of your ideal demographic.
For instance, you can select people from age 18 to 30, people within an hour of your business location, and people interested specifically in what your business offers.
Using the Right Platforms
All platforms are not created equal. Some social media platforms might work really well for reaching your target audience, but some might not.
By using platforms that really don’t effectively increase audience reach and engagement, you’re basically wasting your time and energy. Plus, you’re likely getting very little return on your investment.
For instance, say your target audience spends a lot of time on Facebook. It would be worthwhile to spend time and money increasing your reach there. Pinterest, however, might be a waste of time if your business is more service oriented as opposed to product oriented.
Do some research and develop a social media strategy for the platforms that will most likely increase your audience engagement.
Contests, Sweepstakes, and Giveaways
People love free stuff. Thus, contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways can offer incentives for your audience to engage with you. One example of this is offering a chance to win a free product or service to people who like and share your Facebook page.
You could also offer a free product or service to the first five people who tag you in an Instagram photo that’s relevant to your business. Here are a couple of examples. If you’re a restaurant, it could be pictures of your food. If you’re a business that sells a product, it could be pictures of people using one of your products.
2. Monitoring Your Reputation
A lot of businesses know that negative reviews, comments, and mentions can seriously hurt their reputation. However, there are some steps that you can take to keep your good standing within your industry and to address negativity as is surfaces on social media.
Check these out:
Preventative measures should be your primary focus. Create loyalty and trust with your audience. You may seem them come to your defense unprompted if someone attacks you on social media.
Be sure to consistently post positive, informative, and valuable content, and avoid being negative yourself. Don’t badmouth your competitors. Make sure anyone handling your social media is well-trained in crisis management.
If you receive a negative review, for instance, quickly and positively respond and address the issue or complaint. This can make all of the difference. You can likely remedy the situation. If not, at least then others who see that negative review will also see that you have quickly acknowledged the individual’s concern and are working to remedy the issue.
Additionally, there are a lot of tools that you can use to track mentions. This will help you keep up with what everyone is saying about you.
Remove the Content
If the source of the negativity is on one of your own posts, you can simply remove it. If, however, the negativity comes from an outside source, such as someone else’s blog or Twitter account, you’ll have to contact that individual directly. Most reasonable people, if asked politely and offered a remedy (or an apology), will remove the negative content.
Engage With Critics
Engage, engage, engage! Don’t just let negative reviews, comments, mentions, and articles go unanswered. Be polite and thoughtful, but don’t just let it go. Active attention to online negativity, at least shows other potential customers that you care about your customers. This will leave the impression that you want to hear about issues and work to remedy those issues. If you don’t respond, you look like you don’t care. If you don’t care about your customers, why should they care about you?
To be honest, this tactic should absolutely be a last resort. If you find yourself in a worst case scenario such as an angry customer who refuses to be reasonable, bury it. You do this by posting positive content. For instance, let’s say you receive a really bad review, and the reviewer can’t be placated. Contact some of your loyal and happy customers, and ask them to post some reviews. Most people who have had a positive experience with your business are happy to help you out. As another example, Let’s say someone has posted a negative blog post about you. You can lower it in search engine rankings by posting positive content using the same, or very similar, keywords.
3. Generating Leads
Ultimately, the goal of social media marketing, just like with traditional marketing, is to generate more leads and to help you convert those leads into customers. Are you thinking, “How am I supposed to get leads AND convert them using social media?” Well, it isn’t as difficult as you might think.
The idea is to get enough of a potential lead’s information to get them into your sales funnel. Social media actually makes this whole process relatively easy because of the willingness to share information online. Since you accomplish this online, there are a lot of possibilities for gathering data for each lead.
Have You Considered Email Addresses
This can be as easy as getting someone to enter their email address. Once you have that, you can begin to offer them content, products, or services that appeal to their particular interests. The more data that you’re able to collect, the better you’ll be able to tailor your approach to suit their needs.
Paid advertising on social media platforms is definitely a method that you should consider. Facebook allows you to boost content for a reasonable fee.
Twitter has Twitter Cards that allow you to use a call to action that instantly sends you a lead’s basic information without that person having to publicly share that information. Setting up these cards only takes a few minutes, plus Twitter ads offer analytics to help you assess the success of each promoted tweet.
To conclude, social media clearly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so you need to think about how social media marketing can work for your business.
Next Steps to improving your digital marketing strategy
If you aren’t really sure how to get started either implementing a social media strategy or improving your current digital marketing strategy, hiring a digital marketing agency may be a good solution for you. With a local Charlotte social media agency, you have a whole team working to maintain your social media marketing strategies, so you can focus on the other important aspects of your business.