Social media is quickly becoming an essential resource for sales and marketing. This is a natural choice considering over 2.8 billion social media users worldwide. However, just because social media is popular doesn’t necessarily mean it’s well-known.
This is the story of two companies. When taxi drivers protested the immigrant ban, Uber took to social media – each with a different result. Uber’s tweet promoting discounts for stranded riders came across as a demeaning gesture. Lyft, on the other hand, used social media to support the American Civil Liberties Union and publicly donated $1 million. Lyft was condemned by users who rallied behind it using the hashtag #DeleteUber.
Although social media can be a powerful tool for communication, there are some risks. Even the slightest mistake can lead to significant problems. You can get it right with a bit of knowledge.
Social media is worth the investment. A positive experience on social media will encourage 71% of customers to share a brand with their friends, according to Ambassador Software. It can help you connect with customers and provide excellent customer service.
However, anyone can comment on your company’s behalf, so most conversations about your company must be outside your brand channels. Brandwatch found that 96% of those discussing brands online weren’t their followers.
It is difficult to cut through the noise due to the sheer volume of social media content. Havas Media’s study found that only 20% of Facebook posts elicit an emotional response. These challenges aside, social media can still be a powerful tool used extensively.
Take it from the professionals who have used the following strategies to achieve social media marketing success:
1. Target smaller-scale influencers.
Influencers can help you reach new audiences and drive the conversation with fans about your brand. Although it might seem sensible to attract large-name influencers, smaller-scale ones will pay more.
Laurie Cutts is the VP of Marketing at Acceleration Partner. She points out that micro-influencers (or influencers with tens of thousands of followers) have better relationships with their fans. This means they can provide more engagement and meaningful conversations about a brand at a lower price.
She cites the Markerly study that shows megainflucers can reach millions of people through a single post, but those who follow them are more likely to engage. Think smaller if you want influencer marketing to impact social media.
2. Try different approaches on every platform.
Social media is a great marketing tool because it allows for cost-effective, easy testing. Different strategies can be tried on other sites.
“To find an approach that works, test it across multiple channels with different messages,” Jon Brody is the co-founder and CEO at Ladder. Trials can show what works on Instagram and not on Facebook. They also help you to determine which platforms are best for your approach. “Try creative and personal messaging.”
3. Reduce your focus.
Companies create highly targeted brands to target specific consumers. Social media strategy should be the same. Keep your brand identity consistent across all social media channels.
Susan Gunelius is the CEO of KeySplash Creative. She explains that being a specialist is better than doing everything. Focused social media and content marketing strategies that build strong brands have a greater chance of success than broad strategies that try to be everything to everyone.
4. Take a look beyond the Millennials.
Although millennials are the main target of social media marketing, they should not be the only ones. According to Deep Patel, founder of Owlmetrics, an Instagram analytics tool, Generation Z is increasingly important.
He says, “A recent study by Goldman Sachs concluded Generation Z was more valuable than Millennials to most organizations.” Today, Gen Zers are 22 years of age. They are just starting to enter the workforce and will soon have more buying power.
Meet Gen Z on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram to tap into their passions. Your social media platforms will last if you invest in future consumers.
5. Negative comments should be dealt with quickly.
Customers should have positive interactions with social media users when they reach out to you via social media, even if the reason is negative. “Responding effectively to negative posts can also make lemonade out of lemons,” Chris Silver Smith, president of Argent Media. “The corporate world often forgets that it’s OK to be human, to communicate with people humanely and to have open communication with them — and this will win people over more than cold, sterile communications.”
It would help if you created a plan for providing excellent customer service via social media. This will include how you will handle customer complaints and your response time. You’ll earn a positive reputation if you follow that strategy.
Social media is now an integral part of every company’s marketing strategy. Although it is easy to use, making mistakes can also be straightforward. Avoid getting lost in a digital sea of noise or drawing negative attention to your company. Craft your approach carefully to ensure a high return on your social media strategy.