How to Manage Your Social Media Marketing Like a Pro
Over the last couple of years, we’ve all seen the importance of social media skyrocket for businesses.
- Facebook has over 1.19 billion active users monthly. This means that if Facebook were a country, it would have been the world’s third largest with 3.5x the size of the U.S population.
- 1 in 5 young adults aged between 18 and 24 use Twitter daily.
- Overall, Twitter receives an estimated traffic of 300K users per day.
- Between 2011 and 2013, LinkedIn experienced a 105% growth.
- 72% of online adults use social networking sites.
It’s safe to say that the need for businesses to get their social media marketing right is only going to get stronger over time.
Social Media Marketing 101
1. It all starts with picking the right types of social channels
Most marketers have limited time and resources to invest in social media. This makes deciding where to focus your social media energy an increasingly important decision. The thing to remember is that not all social media sites are created equal. Three things will determine which network you should sign up for.
- Your business objectives and goals
- Your customer demographic
- The type of product and/or service you offer
For example, if you run a website that sells beauty products, you will be sharing a lot of image-based content. This makes Pinterest an ideal social site. It also has a more women-skewed user base.
2. Publishing and Sharing Content
Many marketers limit their social media content to promotional updates. This won’t help you build trust or a community around your business. You need to broaden the scope a little. In addition to the occasional promotional update, try other types of updates including:
- Adjacent content. This includes content relevant to but not exactly about your business that may interest your audience.
- Joining conversations. Social media is all about interacting and communicating with people online. Take an interest in the conversations happening around you and jump in if you have something of value to add.
- Non-promotional company information. It’s always a good idea to humanize your brand on the social media sites. Let people in on what’s happening behind the scenes like if you’re doing any volunteer work or if you’re having a Christmas lunch for your employees.
- Humor is subjective and it’s not always acceptable so this type of post can be tricky. If you’re not sure about what you’re doing, it’s always better to put safety first. Remember that a joke is supposed to be funny. Not awkward. Not inappropriate. And not painful.
Then of course, how often you should update your social media accounts is another important consideration. The bad news is that there is no best practice that’s set in stone. The best frequency for making updates will depend on what’s appropriate for your business, the best practices in regards to the social channels you use and your audience. You will need to experiment to know what works best for you.
3. Optimizing your Social Media Presence
Your social media presence is an extension of your brand. This makes social media marketing both an opportunity and a risk. If done right, it can add tangible value to your business. Conversely, inconsistency in this area can lead to a negative impact.
To keep your branding and voice consistent, take care of the following:
- How your logo is represented across the different social channels
- The fonts and colors you’re using
- Your business description
- Your core message
- Your tone and voice across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and the other networks
- Other visual elements you may be using to amplify your marketing efforts and ingrain your messaging
At the end of the day, you want to provide a unique and cohesive customer experience to galvanize your community’s memory of your brand.
4. Earning Likability and Trust
Earning familiarity and likability is how you build a community around your brand in this social media puddle we are all in. To that end:
- Be there. If you don’t prove to your fans and followers that you are going to stick around, they won’t have a reason to invest in a relationship.
- Be human. It’s not easy to relate to a brand that’s very forgettable. If you want people to engage with you on the social networks, you have to be real, funny and empathetic.
- Add value. This is key to people seeing you as a helpful and authoritative part of the community.
- Keep a tab on current events. At the first sign of a catastrophic event, turn off any and all kinds of marketing messaging. This is especially important if you schedule your social media posts in advance. You don’t want to come across as insensitive.
- Crisis management. You would be surprised how a customer service issue can get amplified on Facebook or Twitter and cast a shadow over everything else you have to publish and share. On the social networks, chaos is best fought with clarity. You can work through any crisis if you just listen intently and show the willingness to correct whatever caused the crisis in the first place.