Just this month Facebook announced it had reached 1 billion users. The high level of involvement on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ is a great opportunity for online marketing success. However, like anything else it needs to be done properly. Brands can use social media marketing to connect with their consumers and increase brand awareness and social profiles are a good place to share content and attract new visitors and newsletter subscribers. Businesses need to keep an active presence on social media, but they need to have a plan of action to get the most out of their social media efforts.
Here are some tips to help get more value from your social media marketing efforts:
Social media marketing is not something that can be done in one afternoon. It also isn’t a “set and forget” method of communication. Highly effective social networking is the result of a strong and organized social media marketing strategy. Plan your social media marketing like you would your traditional marketing efforts. Define the goals you want to achieve through social media (i.e. increased traffic to your website, an improved conversion rate, etc.) and develop a strategy to accomplish said goals.
Create Calls to Action
Some businesses manage to attract a sizable amount of followers who become passive social media subscribers. While having 1,000 Facebook Fans is great, what’s their real value if they don’t interact with your brand? When you post content on your social profiles, you want to include a call to action to get your followers engaged. Instead of just posting your latest blog article or sharing a YouTube video, go one step further and ask them to leave comments or questions to keep the conversation going. What are their opinions, insights or feelings? Just be prepared to handle any and all feedback you may get! If you want to keep your social fans involved you can’t ask them to act and then ignore them.
Make Social Sharing Easy
Social sharing buttons allow your followers to easily share your content without having to leave your website. The more times a piece of content is shared the more valuable it becomes and, the more attention it is likely to get. You want to create numerous opportunities for sharing with the least amount of effort on the part of the reader. Make it easy! A social sharing button lets your followers share your content on their social media networks with a click of their mouse. More shares also allow you to attract more followers as you content is introduced to a wider network.
Share from Others
They call it “social” media for a reason! If you are using social media solely to promote your own content, you are limiting the long term potential of your profile. Don’t be afraid to share content from other reputable sources. Not only does sharing content from others help diversify what you are promoting on your own social channels, it helps build a rapport with other industry leaders. Everyone loves a little social love and you never know what kind of thanks you’ll get in return for sharing someone else’s content. If you are prepared to handle it, you can even ask your followers to submit their own content. Some of the most successful social media campaigns have been the result of user generated content.
How do you know if your social media marketing is paying off? Check your analytics. See how your social efforts on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites are driving visitors to your website. Look at what types of content are getting the most amounts of “likes” and shares (although don’t get so pigeonholed by the numbers you miss the big picture). Keep in mind that content can go “viral” without hitting millions of shares. If your content normally gets a dozen re-tweets and your latest post got 100 consider that a big success! Measuring your social analytics lets you gauge which networks are the most effective by their levels of engagement. Use this information to better tailor your social media strategy going forward.