Modern Internet marketing absolutely has to take advantage of social media to compete – but fear not, the benefits of social media are vast, and implementing great social media strategy is easy! Better yet, social sites give your business a direct feed to the minds of your customers and in return, your customers get a glimpse of your company in a more casual setting, thus building trust and desire for your product. Another benefit for using social media to advertise is that you get to see customers demographics — which is invaluable marketing information when developing a social media strategy.
You need to develop a detailed social media strategy and put it into practice sooner rather than later! Here are 20 great tips to help you develop your strategy:
1. Know What Your Customer Wants and Needs
Your customers are people. They have desires, and they have necessities. Find out what those are, and you have a foot in the door of their attention. When you know what your customers want, you can tailor your content to those interests and easily increase your presence.
2. Make Use of Tips Articles
Have you read a tips article recently? Simply adding the word “tips” to your favorite industry keyword will automatically pull in a crazy amount of views. Any time someone wants to learn more about your industry, chances are they’ll look for quick tips. Provide those tips and you’ve hooked a long-term reader.
3. Spice up your Content Writing
When you create content, does it sound dry and professional? Do you tend to use the same words and phrases repeatedly across your articles? Spice up your content creation with a bit of a voice. Content that looks written by a robot drives off customers, while a distinct voice will draw them in.
4. Take the Time to Choose Perfect Pictures
Whether you’re working on a blog post or not, be on the lookout for interesting and evocative images. Make use of search engines other than Google Image Search or iStockPhoto for your imagery. It might end up taking a bit longer to figure out the image licensing, but the reward is a much more vibrant finished post.
5. Be Conversational
Don’t write as if you’re a corporate god speaking down from on high. Reach down to your customers with a plain and level voice. Social media is social! Your customers are there to talk, not to listen to lectures.
6. Promote Events through Social Media
Social media is, of course, an advertising tool. Use posts on your multiple social media sites to advertise your events. If you’re holding a job fair, a product demonstration or anything else, you can draw in a larger audience with a few social posts. Once isn’t enough either, post frequently so that everyone catches it.
7. Keep your Brand Identity Consistent
You’re going to have social media accounts on a number of different sites. You need your brand to be consistent between them. Your customers need to know if they come from a Facebook account to a Twitter account, they’re still talking to the same company.
8. Engage your Readers with Questions
Readers love contributing to the conversation. End your blog posts or your social media updates with questions to encourage readers to comment and share those posts. This gives you a deeper insight into your customers as well as engaging them to the topic at hand. This can be particularly informative when you bring up a controversial topic within your industry.
9. Don’t Fear Outsourced Content
Your social media accounts need to be updated constantly. That means you need significant amounts of manpower invested in social management. Often, this manpower is taken away from content generation, or vice versa. In these cases, don’t be afraid to outsource some of your content. Copywriters in your industry specialize in writing exactly what you need, so take advantage of their services.
10. Network on Every Platform
Even if it doesn’t seem useful at first, set up profiles on every social media site. Make sure, at minimum, you have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. If your users have a presence, you can set up Orkut, Pinterest or other specialized sites. You might even consider a Tumblr account, if you can handle the unique culture.
11. Implement Responsive Mobile Design
Your users are using mobile devices to browse. It might be a smart phone, a tablet or an e-reader. Your site needs to be accessible on all of these devices. Responsive web design is the easiest way to achieve this, but mobile-friendly site design works as well.
12. Be Proactive, not Reactive
Social media, like SEO, is constantly changing and evolving. It’s as minor as trending hashtags and as major as new Facebook layouts or new sites opening up. It’s far, far easier for you to look ahead and take advantage of these changes when they happen than it is for you to scramble to react when they catch you unprepared.
13. Post Frequently
Post during work hours, when people are distracted and browsing their favorite social sites. Post 5-7 times a day on Twitter, but only 1-4 times on the slower sites like Facebook and Google+. When you post new content on your blog, share it on these social sites. Don’t be afraid to post more frequently if an issue comes up, but avoid spamming your users with low-content posts.
14. Utilize Infographics
Inforgraphics are tricky to make, but they are a very attractive means of presenting information. Generally, all it takes is a few choice colors, a visual way to represent statistics and some clip art. They’re very attractive, and they require the user to open the image to view the content, leading to a higher initial involvement with the post.
15. Use Google Social Reports
Google Analytics now offers Social Reports. These reports give you plenty of information on what posts are being shared on what sites and in what manners. Use this data to tailor your posts to these methods of sharing for maximum visibility.
16. Analyze Trending Social Data
Looking to the current trends will give you something to talk about. It really is that simple. Analyze the mood of your users, the subjects they’re talking about and how best to work it into your posts. Take advantage of the data they’re giving you simply by taking part in social media.
17. Engage Customers in Conversations
Conversations are a great way to make your company more real. Speak to them like people, act like a person and they’ll trust you more. Simply setting up a queue of autoposted articles and event notices gives you all the conversational skills as a billboard — and makes your profile about as effective.
18. Always Work Towards Success
Pick a goal and work towards it. If a strategy doesn’t work, kill it and start again. If you’re always moving towards success, you’re more likely to reach it. Having a goal in sight gives you a target for step by step planning.
19. Don’t Wait to Act
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by social media and hesitate. It’s easy to put off registering for these sites until you have content to post. It’s easy to lose out on traffic because you’re too busy making sure every last detail is perfect. Opportunities pass you buy if you wait before you act.
20. Engage your Team
Your social media team isn’t an autonomous unit. They need feedback to function. Make sure you’re engaging with your team and keeping them appraised of your goals and policies. Happy and knowledgeable social media managers are much less likely to cause social scandals.