Why bother with social media?
What value does social media marketing add to digital marketers, bloggers, and business owners?
- Does it increase traffic?
- Does it increase leads?
- Does it increase conversions?
- Does it increase brand awareness?
The simple answer to this is, yes! However, only if you do it correctly.
How to do it properly, though?
Providing insightful, useful, relevant, and engaging content to your social media network of choice is a great way to get more traffic, leads, conversions, and awareness of your brand or offer.
Let’s look at 6 more reasons you want to use social media before getting into how to do it correctly.
6 Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms are a great place where customers can post testimonials and reviews.
Therefore, they can collect and display social proof through third-party testimonials.
Also, you can deal with negative comments publicly to keep your image pristine in the eyes of both your following and other prospects checking out your offers.
Although there is much debate about how valuable social signals are to search algorithms, many big-name digital marketers use social media to boost their SEO efforts because:
Social profiles rank in search engines even though shares may not.
Social media itself is a search engine (search channel).
Bing Search may still rank social signals even if Google is not.
Google’s stance on not factoring social signals as a relevance indicator may not always be the case as they continuously update their algorithms.
People buy a brand’s story more than they buy their products.
People buy products but just not for the sake of the products alone. They buy the story behind the product and that story is the brand.
On social media outlets, brands can keep their audience engaged with what is going behind the scenes and show them what they are doing besides marketing their products.
This makes a brand more “humane” and so creates a higher level of trust among its audience, which leads to more loyal customers and brand ambassadors.
Social media offers marketers and brands a more expansive prospecting reach.
Search engines, for instance, limit prospecting to those searching for a specific product or service.
Email only allows prospecting to one’s own set of subscribers, or if using someone else’s list, only to a specific niche.
You can deliver social media content to various demographics and interest groups outside of a brand’s typical target audience.The result is the ability to tap into potential buyers you would never discover without social media channels.Click To Tweet
The result is the ability to tap into potential buyers you would never discover without using social media channels.
Providing authoritative content on your own website can promote your status as an industry leader but posting the same content on social media will solidify it even more because social content can spread far and wide through social shares.
Again, social proof plays a major role as other people sharing your content proves it is not just you saying you are the “go-to” person or brand within your industry but it proves it through third-party testimonials, specifically through shared content.
Competitor analysis is easy to do on social media.
You can “spy” on your competitors by monitoring their profiles and see what type of content they are producing, the engagement they are getting, and which audience members they are targeting.
This can give you an inspiration to not just follow the steps of their success, but to expand upon it and do it even better!
General Social Media Tips
So now you know, if you are not on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn already – then it is time to get going.
Having a social media presence alone does not guarantee the benefits listed above. For that, follow some general guidelines.
What are those guidelines?
The following tips are not just about posting updates, sending friend requests, and uploading your latest blog post (more on how to create engaging content later) because everyone is doing that.
These social media tips are about standing out, separating yourself from the competition so that people will like you, trust you, and follow you and your brand.
Don’t talk at your audience, talk with them!
Social media is about relationships – family, friends, and like-minded individuals coming together to share and connect. You want your brand to be personable and approachable, just like a friend or family member.
Every time you post something, be sure that your audience knows that you are accessible if they have questions, comments, or concerns. You want to help them and you are there for them.
Remember, people want to do business with people, not cold-blooded, money-hungry companies!
Did I mention that there would be more on how to write better content for social media later?
Engaging content is share-worthy content.
It adds value to your audience and so they share it to add value to their audience and sphere of influence.
You don’t have to make every post or upload on your social media account share-worthy, just be sure that most of the content you post on your social media profile “fits this bill”.
The result of posting relevant and engaging content to your social media account is more exposure, more followers, and more conversions.
This is all about making your marketing message clear and concise – it should be in line with the message you are putting out on your website, blog, and other marketing mediums.
The easiest way to do this is through cross promotion.
Post your blog content on your social media profiles.
Use social media “Follow Me” buttons on your blog linking to your various social media profiles.
Include a signature link within all of your emails (email marketing) that points back to your blog, site, and social media accounts.
The more ways you offer your audience a chance to engage with your content, the more they will.
While social media is a great way to do competitor analysis, it is not advisable to do the same things your competitors are doing on their social media accounts.
To stand out, your company, your brand needs to be different.
You do not always have to reinvent the wheel but you can add to what has already proven to work and test a few new ideas from time to time and see if your audience likes it.
Your competitors may have different goals than you and so their strategy will not help you achieve your goals.
It is alright to get ideas from other social media profiles, but do not to copy them exactly.
5 Awesome Social Media Content Tips To Boost Engagement, Loyalty, and Conversions
Brands who interact with customers through their social media accounts get more purchases, simple!
But it is not just any interaction that gets people to buy. Brands who use social media the wrong way scare away potential buyers and eradicate any chances of building a loyal following.
- 88% of consumers do not appreciate it when brands make fun of their fans.
- 71% of consumers dislike when brands post about or engage in politics.
However, consumers like to see a particular content being posted on their favorite brand’s social media profile.
- 86% of consumers like brands who produce honest material.
- 83% of consumers like brands who are friendly.
- 78% of consumers like brands who offer customer care through their social profiles.
- 75% of consumers like it when brands use humor through their social media accounts.
Therefore, brands must use the right content to attract and keep customers.
What kind is the right kind?
The following 5 social content formats proved to produce more engagement, more referrals, and more sales than any other.
Do you want more referrals?
Then, strike up a conversation!
Earlier, we spoke about being friendly but did not get into the specifics of what being friendly is.
First, your audience must be able to talk to you before they can talk about you.
Here is how:
Create Polls: Aside from opening the communication lines between you and your audience, pols a great way to get feedback on the kinds of content your audience wants to see, their impressions about your products or services, and how better to serve them.
Respond to Comments: Nothing will upset engaging audience members more than not engaging back. If someone comments on a particular post, shares it or offers feedback, do not ignore it. People want to know that there is a breathing person behind the brand that cares enough to answer back.
*** Hiring a virtual assistant (VR) is a great way to help in responding to comments, especially if you don‘t have time or someone in your company assigned to this task.
Addressing Mentions: Your audience will not always post comments or offer feedback on your social media profile but may do so on their own social media accounts or on someone else’s.
When you spot this, be sure to comment on their “mentions”.
This is content that gives your brand a lot of brownie points as you have taken the time and effort to not only locate them but show your appreciation for their kind words or settle an issue they may have had with your brand, product, or service.
People engage with visual content more than any other content on social media.People engage with visual content more than any other content on social media.Click To Tweet
This is because as humans our brains are hard-wired to respond to images more than to any other form of stimuli.
This does not just pertain to visually oriented social media channels like YouTube, SnapChat, Pinterest, and Instagram either.
Even Twitter, known for its short text posts, gets 150% more retweets on visually enhanced tweets than standard text tweets.
The following are great ways to incorporate visuals, other than standard pics, into your social media content to get more engagement – use them all to break any monotony in your content delivery:
Over the past decade, technology has super-charged businesses across the globe and provided 3 major benefits to organizations in various industries:
- Streamlined Operations
- Established Global Presence (Increasing Reach)
- Customer-Oriented Environment (Customer-Centric Organization)
Content marketing is also getting a boost from technology.
Content Personalization: Big name brands like Google and Amazon have already been experimenting and seeing positive results with customized content for years. Now, with accessible technology rise, companies and brands of all sizes can reap the same rewards.
Investing in analytical tech that can target buyer avatars (ideal customers), track audience profiles, and create personalized content for both is a must for any brand wishing to supply their audience with the content they want when they want it.
Customized content will be the norm in the years to come, so it will no longer be a luxury but a necessity for brands who want to engage and keep a loyal following.
Mobile-Optimized Content: 69% of digital media engagement happens through mobile. A large part of that number is attributed to social media engagement.
This means that making all of your social media content mobile-optimized is an absolute must or people cannot consume it.
Social Content Publishing: Social media itself is a technological breakthrough that has allowed people to share their content with the masses. Now, we expect the same technology to take social media to the next level – publishing.
It just makes sense that social media networks would want to keep their users on their platforms instead of “clicking off” to another site to consume distributed content.
Using features like Facebook’s Instant Articles allows brands to post their content on their platform instead of linking to it.
This can help increase engagement as users rarely want to leave their social profiles to consume content, even if that content is of particular interest.
Social media users want to be notified, yes, but more importantly, entertained.
Social media is entertainment!
Entertainment equals emotion and emotion equals engagement.
Social media posts that create joy, laughter, and amuse their audience are more likely to go viral.
This is not only good for brand awareness and engagement but also for profitability.
One study showed that customers who connect emotionally with a brand are 6x more valuable than customers who have no emotional connection at all.
How to build an emotional connection through content?
- Post on company events and celebrations.
- From time-to-time post silly questions or silly puzzles.
- Crack jokes but not at the expense of your customers.
Another way to evoke emotion is to tell a story.
Stories about your business, products, services, struggles, and accomplishments make you, your brand, and your company more “human” and so relatable in the eyes of your audience.
Stories can be in the following formats:
- Educational Content
- Entertaining Content
- Unique Content (brand-oriented)
- Visual Content
- Imaginary Content
There are no limits with stories. The most important thing is that your readers should relate to them to stir up emotion.
Live content, in the form of live video, is becoming the most consumable form of content on social media.
Live video goes beyond visual because it connects you and your audience with each other in real-time.
What does live video produce among your audience?
There are a host of content topics you can choose from for live video streaming:
- Product Demos
- Behind-The-Scenes Tours
- Product Events
Basically, any topic you know your audience would love to consume.
Live video is the most personal form of content and invites your customers and audience into your brand’s life and so allows them to become a part of it.
Bonus Tip: iPhone & Instagram
Remember that more and more social media users are accessing their social media accounts through mobile devices.
Well, the new iPhone XR and iPhone XS MAX are being touted as great business smartphones and technology experts are urging businesses to switch to them.
So, if you or your company operates within the B2B sphere, open up an Instagram account, if you haven’t already.
Why is that?
Many business owners and upper management – the ones who make the “important” decisions at a company – will use their business phones for personal use.
Therefore, you can use Instagram, already optimized for displaying content on both phones, to promote your B2B business indirectly and attract important decision-makers’ attention while they are accessing their Instagram accounts for personal reasons.
Again, this tip works for B2B businesses but it also displays the “out-of-the-box” thinking that helps companies marketing online take advantage of content and technology related trends in a way that has not been thought up yet.
Businesses who stay ahead of their competition get more customers!
ConclusionHaving a social media presence is a must, not a recommendation!Click To Tweet
Producing engaging content that your audience wants to consume is a must, not a recommendation!
The above tips on which types of content to use and how to use them is a must, not a recommendation!
They are “musts” only if you want to keep the customers you already have and attract more of them.
Since you have read this far, I assume this is exactly what you are looking to get from your social media content and your overall social media marketing efforts.
Use them, profit, and prosper!
About the Author
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters