Once upon a time, if you wanted to know about a company you only had a few avenues to use:
1 – Look them up in the Yellow Pages to find out basic information (and hopefully the company forked over the big bucks for the large-side block ad that had hours and basic service stuff listed, otherwise you had to call to find out),
2- Call the BBB or Chamber of Commerce.
3- Ask friends and coworkers what they think of the company.
Now, you can still do all of those things, but the majority of people look up businesses on Google (hence the reason for needing a good site with good content), and they check out social media. This is the area that hurts some businesses because they either don’t have a social media presence or they have a weak one due to infrequent posting or their content is one big advertisement. No one wants to read ads, ever.
Why Are You Investing Time in Social Media?
Before you put that first post up, or if you’ve been flying by the seat of your pants with your social media efforts – stop and read this. Set a goal. What do you want to accomplish? You can use different networks to accomplish different things. Facebook is great for interacting with your followers. Twitter is fast moving and the place to share information about your brand in 140 characters or less with snappy images or video. Instagram is image-driven so you need killer images to share your brand there and build trust through information with your images and video. Food, fitness, and fashion brands tend to do really well on Instagram in my experience. Ditto with Pinterest , it is also a great platform to market your brand on. Add in high -quality images, you’ll get your message across for your product or service shown in the metrics of pins of repins at first, later with conversions.
Early on, you need to build awareness by gaining followers to your accounts. So your goal will be to watch your reach, impressions, and follower numbers as they grow. Notice what posts get the most of these elements, then rinse and repeat. Don’t fall into the trap of buying followers. Fake accounts don’t engage, don’t interact, and certainly won’t be buying from you. It’s okay if you only have 50 followers early on, these are 50 people that are interested enough in your brand to see what information you put out there. Other goals to set as you spread brand awareness are conversions, referrals, and positive mentions.
Who are You Talking to on Social Media?
Ever looked into building a buyer persona? It’s worth it to build at least one and better to come up with more. This enables you to target your marketing like you’re speaking directly to that person. You will take into consideration all types of things about your buyer persona as a potential customer and it will enable you to target your message. Whenever we sign up a new client for social media management, one of the first questions we ask is, “Who is your ideal customer?” and it’s usually easy to come up with the voice we need to project in their individual social media marketing plan.
The Five Things
No matter if you’re B2B or B2C, there are five basic things that your social media should accomplish for a brand.
Bring Awareness -first of all, you’re on social media to bring awareness to your brand. This is where you build your content to target your audience most likely to become not just a customer, but someone brand loyal. To see how you’re doing with this metric, look at your impressions and reach numbers for each your posts.
Engagement – This is a term you will hear often in social media. But what does it really mean? Once you have the eyes of individuals, you need to keep those eyes coming back. This is done with a regular posting schedule that engages your followers. Basically, you want your posts to create a feeling (like trust or happiness) or response (answering a question or quiz) with your visitor. Likes, shares, and responses are good ways to measure how you’re performing with engagement.
Decide and Convert – This is doing social media right. Your awareness and engagement campaigns build trust in your brand and bring the conversion you seek. You get the signup, make the sale, or whatever your goal is. You have set a goal, right?
Adopters – Once you get followers who have decided or converted, they are Adopters. Adopters are brand loyal and tend to interact with likes or shares on social media. Their interaction helps fuel the trust and engagement of people just discovering your brand. They have used your brand or developed trust through the experiences of someone they know that has a verifiable usage of your product or service.
Advocates – This is the final phase of the social media journey of your follower. They fully trust your brand, they feel good buying it and recommending it. They inspire others to trust your brand. You will know you have advocates when you see social mentions of your brand, referrals, and USG (user generated content) praising your brand. Appreciate your Advocates by sharing their Tweets, Facebook posts, or Instagram photos they post about your brand with a thank you.
It takes time and effort to plan your social media, if you are just posting ads and specials, you’re missing out on the sheer power social media can deliver for your brand. One of the smartest things you can do is outsource your social media if you don’t have the time to devote to promoting your brand on social media.
What do you consider to be your biggest social media challenge for your brand?