In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!
Social media has changed the landscape of business; it has altered the way companies and customers interact with each other. It’s important to remember that social media is not your ticket to a quick sale, or an excuse to intrude on personal space. It is about cultivating a relationship with your customers and building brand loyalty.
1. Set-up your hub. This is the place you want customers to go to view products or services and make a purchasing decision. It could be your website, blog or newsletter for example. Driving traffic to your hub via links will help convert fans and followers into customers, and will increase your search engine rankings. Every inbound link to a website informs Google that others are checking out the site, and demonstrates that it offers good content.
2. Choose your social media platform(s). Some of the most popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Choose the social network where you are most likely to reach your customers. Be where they are! Set realistic goals on how many social networks you can handle, because an inactive profile can actually do more harm to your reputation than not having one at all.
3. Identify your activity goals on social media. Know the outcomes you would like to receive from being on a social network, so you can take strategic steps toward achieving those goals. For example are you looking to gain valuable feedback on your products, receive more engagement on your posts, get more customer referrals, or build a community for support and customer service.
4. Determine brand positioning. Before you start promoting your business online, decide what messages you want to communicate to your fans. Are you tech savvy? Community focused? Earth friendly? Are you a financial services company that offers a better way of doing business? Find ways to weave in what your company is about. Customizing the Facebook cover image or Twitter background is a great place to start.
5. Research your target market. It all starts with research. Before you start engaging fans, you need to find out what their needs and desires are. Don’t be afraid to visit a competitor’s page for inspiration and note what types of posts are (or are not) getting engagement.
6. Make a calendar. Decide the types of posts you want to make and how many posts you will have each day/week/month. This requires a little extra work up front, but will save a lot of time in the long run and keep you focused and consistent. If you find your activity level is becoming too time-consuming, consider signing up for a social media management system or seek out a PR agency to manage social media for you.
7. Create your own content. It’s nice to share others’ content, but it’s best to share your own. That way YOUR key messages, differentiators and personality are being communicated with YOUR audience. When creating content, make it visual, concise and deliver it in a human voice.
8. Don’t wait for others. Start the engagement. When you a make a post, think, “Who can I mention or tag in this?” This is a way to gently alert someone that your post involves them. Keep in mind that this works both ways, if someone kindly mentions or tags you, comment back.
9. Promote your channel. Just like a new product on the market, promotions are necessary to let people know what exists out there. If you have a new social media profile, let people know! Embed feeds on your website or blog, add icons to your promotional collateral, and add links to your email signature and regular newsletters. If on Facebook, you may want to think about running targeted ads to help build your community.
10. Measure results. Go beyond likes and followers. Those are just numbers. Keep track of how well your posts are engaging others. Have your links been shared, pictures commented on, or polls voted on? Bitly.com is a free tool that shortens long links and measures how many times the link has been clicked. Google Analytics is another free tool that can be easily embedded into your webpage or blog to measure traffic. After you have discovered new insights, make adjustments to your strategies where needed.
Now you are ready to engage your customers and spread the word about your company. Clearpoint Agency regularly provides expert social media support to our clients, so if you feel overwhelmed, check out our social media page for ways we can help you.
This post was contributed by Rachel Hutman, Clearpoint Agency Account Executive