The social media revolution has made marketers’ lives much easier. It’s true that the field finds itself in uncharted territory. After overcoming the learning curve, however, the possibilities are endless.
Social media not only gives marketers access to a larger audience than ever before, but allows them to act efficiently without leaving their office. When individual updates can reach millions of people, the odds of generating leads can be exponentially higher than before. But simply making an online profile isn’t enough – you must know how to capture its full potential.
1. Listen to your audience
There are countless methods of expressing your message across social media, but you need to know which ones will best reach your customers. Any given shopper could be a regular user of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – or maybe they solely depend on LinkedIn when looking for products in your field. Devote time to research where these users frequent and then decide the most effective manner of marketing to them. Each online network has its own style, tone and purpose, and adapting to the culture of each website is essential to delivering your message properly.
2. Promote relevant material
The results are in: customers don’t like being annoyed by meaningless advertisements. If you want to attract their business, it’s best to offer them something with relevance outside of the buying process. Marketers have found social media success by taking on the role of content providers – for example, by posting relevant articles that appeal to their target audience based on the product being sold. This encourages like-minded people to follow your online stream for informative or entertainment value. When you do choose to advertise a new product, they will not only be around to see it, but will also have a favorable perception of the brand.
3. Stay aware
Social media makes it easy for your customers to stay updated on your brand – and the same logic holds true for your competitors. Observing the competition’s marketing scheme will help your company stay one step ahead. What may be more important is the need to play defense by listening to what others are saying about your own brand. The vast open atmosphere of social media levels the playing field for all of its citizens. Resolving criticism from unsatisfied customers can help public image tremendously – on the contrary, criticism left unanswered can do unjustifiable damage.
4. Create a schedule
Timing can make the difference between going unheard and breaking through to thousands of followers. An update posted in the middle of the night, for instance, has a much worse chance of being seen by followers if it’s buried under a mess of competing posts by the time users are awake. Study the daily and weekly habits of your target audience, but also be attentive of other events on the company calendar. Scheduling social media activity around key announcements and sales can help maximize exposure when most needed.
5. Never stop improving
As the world of social media continues to turn, today’s marketing tactics may not prove as useful tomorrow. Social media is a relatively new concept that has seen rapid change – especially for businesses. Regardless of the transformations that will occur to the platform as whole, you can start improving your social media strategy today by experimenting and taking note of the actions that were most responsible for attracting fresh leads. Learn what qualities made those efforts successful and then apply them wherever else possible. No outreach strategy is perfect – they need to be refined through trial and error.
Frank Paterno is a creative marketing executive with experience identifying, creating, delivering, and communicating value with technology-based products and services. He is Vice President of Marketing at IntelliConnection, a lead generation and marketing automation service that enables businesses to focus on closing sales instead of searching for prospects. IntelliConnection has delivered reliable services for three decades and continues to stay relevant and focused on its customers.