The news that social media marketing is growing in significance will almost certainly not come as a big surprise, unless you’re just discovering the internet today; in which case there are thousands of more interesting things you should be looking at right now, like videos of screaming goats or a dog cycling.
But for those more familiar with World Wide Web (and who have already watched those videos), I want to point out why this widely-known factette is actually worth considering.
Social Media Examiner – a big-time social media know-it-all – carried out a survey reporting that 64% of marketers use social media for six hours or more every week. Now, that stat might not have had the shocking impact I would normally hope for, but these numbers are definitely on the up.
The report also stated that 37% or marketers use it for 11 hours or more and nearly 19% spend 20+ hours each week on social media. The reason for this is that growing numbers of business owners are appreciating its value for developing a brand, building awareness, growing reach and creating a community of customers and brand evangelists.
How can you join this trend? The businesses doing social media right…
1 Pick a focus
Don’t spread yourself too thin by staying overly active on every channel there is. Doing this could dilute your message, or even see you broadcast your message to an audience that isn’t remotely interested. What’s the point in that?
Concentrating your social media efforts on a select few platforms (picked depending on your industry) will also allow you to better allocate your content catalogue, which you would otherwise burn through a lot quicker than you’d prefer.
2 Publish original content
This speaks for itself. Original, well-written content builds brand credibility, shows expertise and strengthens your position in thought leadership.
Repurposing original content will help you get the most out of your back catalogue. Also, being flexible in where you publish it makes sure you’re speaking to as targeted an audience as possible and encourages customers to engage with you.
3 Engage with audiences
It’s a two-way tool, after all, and not doing this defeats the purpose of social media. Building relationships and humanising your brand should be two of your primary objectives, and you can’t do that without customer interaction.
Failing to respond to your audience could negate your social media marketing altogether.
4 Make use of tools available
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like make life pretty easy for you to post and interact with your audience, but management applications such as HootSuite and Buffer give you much more control over several channels at once.
These platforms also help when setting up a schedule; and having an episodic schedule shows you as dependable and lets your audience know when to tune in.
A social media strategy should be implemented before any business can expect success. In the digital age, it’s not uncommon for community managers to attach large goals to their strategies, but this is fairly unrealistic. Lasting success is incremental, so ensure your plan represents that.
Plus, having a strategy in place cements your company goals. For example, if you want to use social media for recruitment purposes, you’ll want to implement a plan that best promotes your company culture and career opportunities.
One last stat from Social Media Examiner: 74% of those who spend 40+ hours per week on their social media marketing efforts bring in new business.