In the past few years, the online world has witnessed the growing importance of Social Media as a very important digital marketing tool that can give maximum exposure and greater marketing mileage for any brand, product or service. It has gone from being a mere fad or yet another simple platform where content can be published – and evolved into one of the most powerful marketing and advertising tools and strategies.
Small Biz Trends reported that online users in the United States are spending more time engaged in various activities in social media channels, more than any other destinations in the Internet. That is why up to 86% of marketers acknowledge the importance of social media in providing maximum exposure for their businesses. In another report from HubSpot, it was highlighted that up to 70% of companies surveyed indicated that they have a dedicated social media team or at least one person dedicated to social media.
The Small Biz Trends report however, also highlighted that 88% of businesses using social media acknowledged that they still have a lot more to learn about social tactics. They want to learn more about strategies that would be effective in engaging targeted audiences and increase brand awareness. Digital Marketing Philippines recognizes the importance of doing so and is gladly sharing these 10 amazing social media marketing strategies that will deliver more and better targeted results – and drive maximum exposure for your business.
1. Increase Online Presence in More Social Media Networks
It seems like yesterday but social media giant Facebook is already turning 10 this 2014. Growing into maturity, Facebook is still the most dominant force in social media with up to 757 million Daily Active Users (DAUs equivalent to 1.23 billion Monthly Active Users according to official reports from the social network). While the platform is the primary arena for social media marketing activities, it should not be your sole social playing ground.
Aside from Facebook and Twitter (another dominant social media force) there are new and upcoming social media networks that are slowly gaining ground in the social market share. Among these upcoming social networks, Google+ has gained tremendous traction and has overtook other networks to stand just next to Facebook in terms of average monthly users with a whopping 343 million active users.
Other social networks are also gaining ground, many of which are focusing on graphics, pictures and videos as main focus for content. This includes Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat among others, each focusing on certain user categories and demographics. If you want maximum exposure for your business, it would be wise to develop a strong social media presence not only in Facebook and Twitter but in other upcoming and very dynamic social media networks.
2. Tailor Your Content According to Specific Social Media Platform
Many business owners and digital marketers make the error of posting the same kind of content through all the social networks they belong to. By doing so, business fail in delivering the unique user experience social media users are looking for from each particular platform. Each social network is focused on a particular demographic and social user category, so broadcasting the same type of content to all simply will not deliver the results you want.
Users who use Pinterest and Instagram more often are more interested in content with a visual nature and will be more attracted to really high-quality pics and graphics that tell your story. The key to success in this regard is to tailor-fit your content for each particular social media platform – and check which format will work best.
3. Tell Stories instead of Selling Stuff
While social media is still a digital marketing tool, using this platform to sell your products directly right in front of users’ face will bring more harm than good to your brand or business. People love stories and they go to social media networks to read stories, be amazed with interesting features, and learn new things from uploads and shares. To use social media as an effective, you must learn how to tell a story first before you can even sell stuff.
When you tell stories, people will get interested in you and your brand. They would want to know more about you and thus want to read, view or watch more stories, pics and videos about you. There will come a time when their level of interest has grown to the right proportions that they can now be interested in your business, in what you do and in what you sell – and this will be the right time for profits to come rolling in.
4. Create and Share More Pics, Graphics and Video Content
When Facebook introduced a new feature that allowed Instagram videos to be introduced, the social network experienced up to 5 million video uploads during the first 24 hours right after their announcement. That’s the power of video and other visual elements and learning how to harness the power of these tools and elements can give you maximum exposure for your business. Now, micro-video is slowly gaining ground providing yet another form of content that will change the social media sphere.
Snapchat, Twitter’s Vine, and the new micro-video sharing feature in Instagram will definitely gain more usage, now that such video sharing activities can be done through smartphones and other Internet-enabled mobile devices. Pinterest is fast evolving and discarding its “women’s only network” reputation to gain more subscriptions from more and more online users regardless of gender or demographics. Other social networks in the visual content focus like Mobli, Path, Slideshare and Tumblr are gaining increased mileage as well.
5. Conduct Contests and Promotional Activities
One of the most effective strategies for social media in general is to get your targeted audiences directly involved in activities. Conducting contests and other promotional activities are perfect ways for driving their interests and soliciting their participation. You can be as creative as you can be in the type of contests you can conduct, but making use of the sharing and other viral components available in your social network can bring even more exposure for your brand or business as more and more online users join in.
6. Post More Educational Content
Research from Social Media B2B indicate that businesses who make use of social media strategies for content marketing like maintaining blogs generate up to 67% more leads than companies who do not have a social media presence. Through social media marketing, they can gain more of their targeted audiences’ trust and to do so they need to provide educational content that their readers will find very useful for whatever purposes or need they have.
In another study from HubSpot, it was highlighted that using and distributing educational content is a very effective strategy if you want to gain more exposure for your business and build a bigger and wider audience. Using targeted educational content that your targeted customers find relevant and interesting, you can extend the reach and coverage of your brand and business particularly if this is done on a regular basis.
7. Give Out a Lot of Freebies
It is better to give than to receive, the age-old adage would say, and it still works even if we’re talking about the online world. While giving certain percentages off from your regular prices and other discounts will prove valuable for your targeted audiences, the probability of them becoming loyal customers while your business exists can go much higher if you give lots of free stuff on a regular basis.
Free stuff doesn’t mean giving your main products away. Freebies may mean non-premium content, educational and useful articles, how-to’s, white papers, free webinars, free videos, and a host of other content that you can give away for free. The more you targeted audiences receive these freebies, the more they can get to know the value of your brand until such time that they transition into paying customers – that will be loyal to your business for the long haul.
8. Put Extra Focus on Mobile Social Media Marketing
In an official press release from Facebook, the social media giant announced that there was an average of 556 million Mobile Daily Active Users, indicating a year-over-year increase of 49%. This is translated into 945 million Mobile Monthly Active Users, registering a 39% year-over-year increase in users. This is just an indication of the power of mobile social media marketing which should prompt digital marketers to create more content and location based advertising targeting mobile social media users.
9. Respond to ALL Comments, Suggestions, Inquiries and Complaints
Social media users comments, suggests, inquire or even complain on business pages and social media profiles. They do this and expect you or your social media manager to give them some form of response or acknowledgement. Convince and Convert reported that this is what social media users expect and up to 42% demand that they be responded within a short span of 60 minutes.
Image Credit: The Social Habit
Social media is “social” and users expect some form of interaction from business owners and digital marketers. Those who respond to these comments and inquiries will automatically be in a competitive advantage from other businesses or digital marketers who do not. You should also know how to handle or address complaints with proper responses that will satisfy online users. Do not delete these complaints or these users will delete you from their lists.
On top of that, always show your gratitude for the time spent by online users in reading, liking, or sharing your posts and content. Doing so will put you in their favor and there will be more than likely chances that they will come back, read more of your content, and even let others know about you and your brand as well.
10. Practice Social Listening
Lastly, digital marketers should know how to listen, social listening that is. They should know the issues, keywords and key topics that their targeted audiences are talking about, so they can provide the right kind, up-to-date and very relevant content that their audiences are excited and very interested to know about. There are social listening software and other social analytical tools for this purpose that can gather and analyze data coming from the social media sphere. From the data gathered, you can gain valuable insight that will guide you towards the next steps in your social media marketing campaign.
Social media marketing is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing digital marketing channels there is. Social networks are maturing to their full potential and digital marketers should learn how to grow and harness what these social networks can bring that can deliver better brand awareness and maximum exposure for their business. Start with a little tweet, and upload, or a post – and let it grow exponentially from there.