I recently gave a talk on the importance of combining social media with advertising to a group of sales people. I was surprised at the number of sales people who were not using social media as a platform in getting their message out. And those who were using social media were using Facebook® and little else. Depending on the type of business that you have and the products that you sell, there are several marketing venues available to you through social media.
Let's face it, the smart phone has totally changed the manner in which we communicate. People are no longer sitting still to browse the internet, MSN messenger is a by-gone product as a fast and easy way to chat, and we now have a multitude of apps available to capture, text, and send our thoughts, pictures and streams from our phone. Our smartphones are kept within easy reach of our finger tips, left on in case we get an important message. They have come to be so prevalent in our society that laws are enacted to prevent us from using them while driving; announcements are made before live performances to turn them before the show begins; we check our phones while standing still for a moment in a line at the store, at a corner. They have become an extension of ourselves, making them an obvious choice to advertisers and marketers everywhere.
Facebook® is the largest social media platform to date boasting over a billion users and growing. Others like Instagram®, twitter®, Youtube®, and Whatsapp® etc., are also growing at exponential rates. Which ever one you choose to use, and by all means you should be using more than one, each one has its own idiosyncrasies and collection of users thus each campaign must suite that platform.
Before launching your social media campaign, plan it as you would any other marketing strategy. What are the goals? Are you looking to brand? Increase traffic to your website? Convert higher click through rates? To improve communications? Or are you collecting data?
Also, you need to answer; Who is your audience? What platforms are they using? Where do they hang out on those platforms and what are their interests? How do you initialize interaction? Consider your message. Who are you and what is your message?
Once finding those answers, conduct research on keywords and run comparative tests against your competitors to see how your product, and your website measure up. What are your competitors doing? Is it working for them and if so, do it as well but different and better. Be creative and have fun.
No matter which platform you choose, content reigns supreme. Like your website, the content you provide on social media should be relevant, informative, and interesting. Post on a regular basis. To keep your name at the top of the list it is imperative that you post at least once a day. A recent study done by Instagram® discovered that 48.5% of all brands in the USA post on Instagram®, and the most successful brands (those with a million followers or more), post an average of 4.9 times a week. Social media is a great way to show pictures, videos, info-graphics, how-to articles, and to demonstrate your community involvement.
They are a great way to drive consumers to your website, and blog. As I have stated before, blogs are a great way to increase traffic to your site and to your social media. Blogs should not be overlooked. They follow the same protocol of social media: make it informative, relevant, and interesting and most importantly write them regularly.
How you use social media is up to you but you need to be using it as part of your marketing campaign.