‘Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.’ Chartered institute of Marketing
When done correctly marketing brings with it a wealth of opportunities and in today’s digital world both individuals and businesses have wisely turned to social media to broadcast their brand.
Social media – allows the creation and exchange of user generated content.
There are approximately 250 social media sites and each one has a specific purpose or community. It is essential to use the right tool for the right job. Social media offers fast and rapid delivery. It also offers the ability to intelligently tailor the message for the correct community or target audience.
Key messages are timely, short and relevant. They are designed for the engagement and delivery of news with the ability to tailor and send frequently. This enables a higher level of interest, are much harder to ignore and in extreme cases can even go viral!
To ensure you tap into the right sites with the right messages make sure you know your target audience. Who are you talking to? Look at demographics, what motivates them, their work ethics and at what stage of their life are they. All these will determine how to communicate your message and ultimately how you get your target audience’s attention.
Once you know your target audience find the sites that tie into what you are doing and explore how you can become part of that community. Two of the most popular sites that have taken the media world by storm are facebook and twitter, but there are many more out there that should be tapped into. Just a few include:
Make sure there is one voice for the brand. You may have more than one person conducting the social media for your company but the brand voice must be consistent.
Brands who communicate successfully often offer their followers incentives, such as competitions, discounts or exclusive news on upcoming events or what’s next for the brand.
Take photos, tag your followers. Their friends will then see your brand in their newsfeed in turn creating brand awareness. Retweet on Twitter and follow as many relevant companies and individuals in the industry.
Respond to legitimate concerns. You need to let your customers know that you are listening to them and care about their experiences of your business. If you’re going to dive into social media, you need to do so with a proactive mind-set. The first time your customers hear from you should never be when things start to go wrong. Don’t only interact with your follows when there’s a problem, you’re more likely to get a positive response from your efforts.
Let your personable side shine through. Some businesses are boring to follow online because they simply share repetitive information. This just fills up people’s newsfeed and timelines so they are more likely to unfollow.
Don’t use sarcasm – this does not translate well online. Not everyone understands a joke when’s it’s in text form.
Interact with other businesses and your follows but don’t comment on everything! You need to decide what comments will be worthwhile and what will simply annoy others.
It is better to do nothing than go to a social media with half a plan and no follow up. A bad social media plan can damage a reputation extremely quickly.
Other forms of social media include:
A blog is only social media if users are allowed to comment and respond to you, but again when done correctly can catapult the individual or brand into dizzy heights of success!
The beauty of the blog is that it’s personal opinion. Always written in the first person it should be rich in content and written for the audience intended.
Blogs give the opportunity of delivering more content than social media sites, but in turn social media can make people aware of your blog post, both working in unison to create brand awareness.
Blogs are useful for reviews, thought leadership and sharing experiences.
Forums are useful for discussion or a place for people to ask questions. Content here is primarily generated by the target audience hence it is a great place to get involved with real questions and concerns.
Video marketing can come in various forms such as video clips, video email or live broadcasting. It is a great way to be creative and capture your audience’s attention. When done well this has the potential to go viral!
Having mastered the art of social media the next step is to track and monitor your results and the best way to do this is through Google Analytics. This enables you to see exactly what is happening on your site which is essential to either improve results or sustain success. Demographics can show you where people are viewing your site from, behaviour can show you new users vs. returning users, how frequently they have been on the site and the level of engagement. Traffic sources can show you where the visitor was before they came to you and content shows you exactly what pages are being viewed….
Top ten social media measurements:
Social media leads
Membership increase and active network size
Brand mentions in social media
Your analytics give you more information than any other form of marketing, making it an imperative part of the whole process.
If you haven’t already make sure you jump on this band wagon!