Get More Reach With Social Media Marketing Strategies That Work for You

Your business is probably already on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and all of the other platforms you need to be in order to reach out to your customers. But even so, it doesn’t feel like you’re gaining the proper traction or posting the proper media to inspire the engagement that you know you need to get. In short, your social media marketing strategies aren’t fine tuned and some might even say, non-existent.

Finding the Strategies for Your Niche

One of the main problems with many company’s marketing strategies is that they are applying the same methods as a universal solutions program for their social media team. This means that essentially, they are taking social media marketing strategies that they’ve heard about and using them “as is” instead of tailoring them to their specific niche or industry.

For example, social media marketing strategies for restaurants are going to be very different than social media marketing strategies for Fortune 500 companies. Of course, when we put it like that, it seems very obvious-unfortunately, the constant failings of social media lets us know that it’s not. The problem arises because not only are the outcomes and goals of each industry very different, the means to the end have to be as well.

Why Using This Strategy for Your Industry is Vital

For instance, in our example above, a restaurant’s marketing strategies should be to entice viewers to come in and eat. This means that taking pictures of different dishes and posting them up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is a good ploy. That creates salivation for the food and people are likely to Like, Share, Re-Tweet, etc. the picture. That keeps the restaurant fresh in the customer’s mind and next time they are looking for a place to eat, they’ll remember how good the food looked and make reservations.

On the other hand, a Fortune 500 company isn’t going to get much interaction off of photo media. Sure, Bob in accounting might be interesting to talk to, but a picture of him analyzing graphs on his laptop in the break room isn’t likely to inspire the right kind of interaction. That’s because the goals of a Fortune 500 company on social media are likely to bring in more clients, keep current clients engaged and recruit top talent for the firm. The best way to do this would be to employ social media marketing strategies that establish the company as an industry leader. For example, sharing blog posts and articles that contain relevant and useful information is a great way to market yourself as on the forefront of the industry.

How to Tailor Your Social Media Marketing Strategies

Of course, with so many industries and niches out there, it would nearly impossible to go through each one, showing you how to tailor your marketing strategies for your exact niche. Instead, it would be more time-efficient to go through how different goals affect your marketing strategies. Simply think about what you’re trying to achieve and then match it up with some of the following suggestions. Keep in mind that interaction is the ultimate short term goal for social media, so whatever gets you to that point-no matter how strange or unconventional it may be-will be best for your company.

  • Expand your Customer Base. If you’re looking to expand your customer base through this marketing strategy, you’re going to want to post content that is highly sharable and branded. This means that the more viral potential your posts have and the easier it is for those posts to be traced back to you, the better it is for business. A great way to do this is to post links to your blog on your website, provided of course the blogs are high-value in terms of information and content. This allows people to share the link to your website, meaning the more viral it gets, the more leads will be coming into your site. Be sure there is a strong CTA (call to action) at the end of the blog leading to your contact or sales pages. If your social media marketing strategies in the past have shown to be effective when media images and video are shared, make sure the pictures are watermarked with your brand.
  • Strengthening Your Current Client List. Another great benefit of this medium is that you can strengthen your current clients’ loyalty. We all know that it cost more to bring in a new client than to retain a current one, so this is a big chunk of social media marketing strategies right here. The key is that you want to constantly provide value to your clients. This means that if you’re in an industry where new information is constantly coming out, you should be the ones providing your fans with that info first. Ask yourself this: what am I giving my followers in terms of value? If you can’t list at least five things, you need to start doing a better job right away. Alert your fans to events that pertain to their interests, share articles, posts, recipes, etc. Give opinions and loose advice but stay away from risk-the bottom line here is that you want your customers to remember why they need you in their lives every single day.

Using Your Social Media Marketing Strategies Wisely

When it’s all said and done, when it comes to social media marketing strategies, whatever works for you is the best rules to follow. Social media is still a fairly young marketing game (compared to television, radio, print, etc.), so nothing is written in stone. Even the so-called “experts” in the field are still fine-tuning their marketing strategies, so you can expect things to change on an almost consistent basis over the next decade or so.

Until that time comes and it become a science, the best you can do is keep your ear to the ground and stay afloat with all of the latest information, techniques and trends.

Social Media Marketing & Automation

I had a conversation with a client this morning that triggered this piece.

To his credit, he is what I call an ‘atypical’ client, in that he fully understands both the power of social media (when used correctly), and how much WORK one has to put in to gain any kind of traction in this marketing space.

Until you’ve done it, you don’t get it, and he’s done it.

On more than a few occasions, I’ve heard small business owners complain about the cost of hiring someone to strategize, build and run the chunk of their marketing that is social media (and let’s face it; isn’t it all social media by now?).

Because social media started out as something that only ‘teens took part in, it was purely ‘social’. So some business owners appear to be largely unaware of the impact that social media has now. They generally have no idea how muchwork it is to cut through all the white noise that’s already in front of their prospective customers on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

Ask that business owner about buying ad space in their quickly dying local paper, and they’re all about it. But talk to them about social media/digital marketing, and the objections come fast and furious.

As someone who lives in the social media space, I’m surprised by those who assume that what we do, is still purely ‘social’, like it’s some kind of ‘add on’ to their already existing (or non-existent) marketing. Some even ask, “why should we pay someone to do this for us, when the tools are free, and from what we understand, can be automated?”

The question always makes me smile. It’s not a good smile.

I think that the majority of those who manage social media for companies large and small would agree with me when I say that managing this marketing aspect for those companies is anything BUT free.

It takes time, it takes patience, it requires strategic knowledge, and it definitely requires skill. Sure, the tools can befree, but even then, they’re only free to a certain level. Past that point, you’ve gotta “pay to play”. And if you’re paying, you’d better damn well know what you’re doing.

Learning how to apply strategy to the use of those “free” tools costs a lot more than money. It’s insane how time consuming it is, and you know how quickly those computer minutes can add up. That time, is time that the average business owner can’t afford to spend on social media marketing because he/she has a literal hundred ‘more important’ things to do, and think about.

He’s not interested in ‘getting his hands dirty’ with all of the testing and tweaking, and more testing and moretweaking of his marketing strategies. He thinks that he’s “spending good money” on someone who can simply put his marketing on autopilot, and forget about it.

Let me let you in on a secret; there’s been a ton of ‘chirping’ about automation when it comes to social media, but fully automating your social media marketing isn’t a good thing.

Social media for business is essentially meant to start a dialogue with your customers, past, present and potential. Period. Conversation leads to familiarity. Familiarity leads to trust. Trust leads to sales. It’s that simple.

With regard to automating your digital marketing, how does a customer ‘trust’ a robot?

So now you ask, “But Debbie, can’t I micro-target my automated social media messages, and set messages that ‘sound’ more human to those people?” Meaning, rather than automate all processes at random, you’re targeting to a specific type of market, and ‘programming’ a specific reaction to that market.

To which I’d say, “Sure you can! You can do whatever you want!” But the main problem with automation with regard to micro targeting is this;

Let’s say that you ‘follow’ me as a potential business lead/customer on Twitter, and, acknowledging that yours is a product/service that I could use, I follow you back. The act of following you back triggers an automated message on your part, thanking me for following, and/or asking a simple question by direct message or simple ‘tweet’.

The first problem with this is that if I know anything about social media, I’m going to take a peek at your own timeline to see if I’m one of dozens (or hundreds) who’re receiving the exact same message (in the email world, we call that ‘Spam’). You’d be surprised at how often that’s actually the case, which is a total turn-off.

The second problem is; if you’ve sent me an automated ‘direct message’, what happens afterwards when I send a ‘human’ response to your account?

I’ll tell you what happens; nothing. Radio silence. And as the human component, I’m thinking one of two things;

  1. “Why’s this dude ignoring me?” or
  2. “Crap. I just got sucked in by a robot.”

I usually assume it’s the latter.

So sure, your micro targeting paired with automation snared your ‘ideal customer’ and got her to respond, but you’ve chased her away by ignoring her or worse; making her feel like she’s been tricked into responding to your ‘robot’.

There was no ‘dialogue’. There was no interaction. And now your potential customer is chapped because she ‘spoke’ to your robot, thinking that it was human, or at the very least, that someone was monitoring it for interaction.

So with all this automation, who’s actually paying attention?

For some, the ‘social media game’ is about who can acquire the most followers in the shortest period of time. Targeted or not, they don’t really seem to care (just ask the CRM companies who’re auto-pitching their products to other CRM companies on Twitter).

They’ve got themselves an audience at whom they can ‘pitch’ their products or services. But when that audience actually responds, they get nothing back.

So essentially, you’ve sucked them in, so that you can ignore them. Or worse, now that they’re ‘following’ you, they get to see your ‘sales pitches’ in their feed, and you’re ignoring their messages.

That’s kinda crappy.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some social media tasks that can easily be automated, and in order to scale your marketing efforts, they should be.

But it takes time, patience and skill to set up and run a social media marketing strategy with automation that works in a way that doesn’t send your customers sprinting for your competition.

There’s no substitute for monitoring your automation processes. Period. And to that, I’m sure some would ask “then why bother with automation?” That’s another article.

From my client conversation about automation and micro targeting in social media; “If you aren’t gonna follow up when you get a response to someone that you targeted, then you are a total idiot and I’m curious as to why you would have a Twitter account at all, and try to get me to respond?”

I took the long way getting here, but he made made my point in a nutshell.

Strategy Must Drive Your Social Media Marketing

When it comes to your business, you must have a strategy for your social media marketing efforts. If you don’t have a strategy in place, you will not to really make good progress. At least not the progress that you will make if you do have the strategy working for you.

The purpose of your social media marketing strategy

Your social media strategy serves as a guide that you can follow in order to get from Point A to Point B. It allows you to stay on the correct path for your business and it helps you to increase your traffic with top-quality target audience members. If your business does not have a social media marketing strategy means that you will not be in control of the direction that you follow and exactly where you are going to end up. It may mean that you will be all over the place and you will have the possibility of never reaching your goals (at least, not all of them). As daunting as social media may be to you, it is definitely important enough to leverage because it will make your business become more successful.

Does social media contribute to your strategy the way that you expect?

As you are creating and working your social media marketing strategy, it is important that you feel confident about the idea that it is really making a positive change to your business. Your strategy is very important in such a situation and it is essential that you know exactly what you are doing and how you are going to go about accomplishing what you set out to do. If you choose to delegate your business’s social media activities to someone else, if is very important that you choose that person very carefully and very wisely.

Actually creating the social media marketing strategy

Your business’s social media marketing strategy is very important and not only do you need one in place but you also have to make sure that your strategy is well thought out and effective. Part of what you must include in your social media marketing strategy is a specific approach.

First of all, it is critical that you establish your objective(s) before you do anything else. Without objectives, you will have a very difficult time of getting where you need to be. If you try to think of developing your strategy as something fun and interesting, it will not become a “task” but, rather, will become a pleasurable activity. You will see that it will go smoothly and easily if you use that approach.

Aligning your social media marketing strategy with our objectives is an extremely important second step. You must make sure that you have an established connection between the two. This all ties into getting from Point A to Point B. Without the alignment, you will not make progress. There are many different social media marketing objectives that you can focus your business on. Some of the more productive ones are:

  • Generating new leads.
  • Dramatically increasing the number of people who opt in to your newsletter or other offerings.
  • Promoting a particular event.
  • Attracting more traffic to your landing page.
  • Promoting your new offerings.
  • Paying close attention to analytics so that you can understand clearly how your business is progressing.

Giving credit where credit is due. It is very important to acknowledge your fans and followers who have been nice enough to support your efforts and to pass on the word to other people they know and trust. Express in some way how much you appreciate what they are doing for you and your business. Some of the analytics that you should pay attention to are the number of conversions you have made, how much revenue you have generated through those conversions, and the total amount of money that you have earned through your social media marketing efforts.

Figuring out how to define success. Being able to define and measure success is extremely important when it comes to your social media marketing strategy. There are several ways that you can measure that, including:

  • Stepping up the number of conversions that you have been able to make.
  • Multiplying the number of retweets on Twitter that have occurred.
  • Increasing the number of new visitors, time spent on your business’s website, and the number of times that visitors viewed your page.

Conclusion

The victories that your business experiences should be closely linked to your social media marketing activities and tracked through the analytics tools. It is critical that you understand that your social media efforts are tied closely to your business’s success. If you wish to succeed professionally, you have no choice but to be as active on social media as you can. Remember to be consistent, persistent, and discrete in your social media marketing efforts. It will be worth the effort in the long run. Whatever you do in business, make sure that your efforts bring forth results that work for you.