Social Media Tips for 2014
If you are still on the fence with social media or not sure where to focus your social marketing efforts for 2014 then two recent posts from Mashable will be of interest to you.
In short 2013 has shown us that there is a growing global business in accumulating friends and followers on social media.
- Social Media Can Move Markets: Any tweet or post, authentic or fake can create a ripple effect and impact the stock markets in a few minutes which makes social media every bit as valuable to day traders as it is to newsmakers.
- Social Media is Increasingly Visual: You can say a lot in 140 characters, but a picture is still worth a thousand words. Snapchat, Vine, Pinterest and Instagram confirm that.
- Social Media Isn’t Just for Kids: Global leaders are embracing social media.
- Social Media Advertising Is Growing and Evolving: A well timed tweet can have a bigger impact than a coveted 30-second TV commercial. There is lots of money to be made with social media advertising.
- Social Media Could Be TV’s Best Ally: This could be the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship.
When it comes to a successful social media marketing strategy, it can be tough for small businesses to sort through the noise, statistics and flurry of misinformation. One statistic claims that a Facebook fan is worth about $174 but small business don't see these kind of results.
For small businesses seeking to engage audiences via social media and get the most bang for their buck, figuring out where to start and what to do can be a daunting task but the 7 tips below are a good start.
While it is free to join social media platforms, if you want to see results, you need to have a social media advertising budget and use it wisely. Focus first on getting your loyal customers to join and interact with you on social media and provide quality content that will keep them there. “If you take care of that core and show them that you care, they'll reciprocate by singing your praises to their own networks, thus increasing the opportunity to build your audience more organically.” Second step is to use the advertising features on your social platform of choice to bring in more leads and sales.
2. Pick Your Platform(s) Wisely
Go where your audience are more likely to be and keep in mind that visual content generally performs better than text-only posts. Observe each platform first and only pick the one that you are most likely to stay active on.
3. Create a Community of ‘Insiders'
Use social media to interact and listen to your followers to create a close community of brand insiders who feel comfortable regularly engaging with you. Take their suggestions and feedback to heart and respond even if the comments are negative.
4. Social Is Not a Hard Sell
Social channels are not the place to force your brand messaging on unsuspecting fans. Follow the formula of 80% valuable content and 20% sell. Have a content strategy that appeals to your audience emotions and give them something they would be proud to share. And it's not just what you say, it's how you say it.
5. Social Is 24/7
Social media is not a 9 – 5 job. This is a strategy you have to monitor 24/7 catering to a global audience that want valuable content round the clock. “Social media never sleeps.”
6. Sweepstakes and Giveaways
Everybody loves free stuff, engage your loyal followers with sweepstakes and contest to generate a buzz but keep it in balance, you don’t want to cater to the low-value customers only. Conduct research on successful examples and best practices before jumping into this avenue.
7. Agency vs. In-House
While hiring an in-house social media manager will ensure your brand messaging is on-point and accurate, not everyone has the budget to add a new head count, especially if you are a small business. This is a serious job and should not be left to junior staff or interns. If you are working with an agency that you trust, then you can outsource your social media, especially if you are creating a big on off campaign.
The answer lies in your budget. Both options can work and add value to your brand.
top image: Flickr, mkhmarketing