Given the complexity of social media marketing, tools, and analysis, this may seem like an elementary post. You might be surprised that only 55% of businesses actually utilize social media for business.
It’s easy to think of social media as a craze that has no value for your business. With all of the noise out there, many businesses underestimate social media’s business power, but social is so much more than tweets and cat photos: It’s now where customers go to search for products and content, follow and engage with their favorite brands, crowdsource opinions to get recommendations and referrals, and share content with their networks. Placester
For marketers utilizing social media, a significant 92% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, up from 86% in 2013 – according to Social Media Examiner's Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Overall, social media budgets are expected to double in the next 5 years!
Surprisingly, we don't push every client to jump into social media. We don't because we often find that they don't have the other foundations of their online presence in place. They lack an optimized site that's easily navigated. They lack an email program to communicate regularly. They lack the ability to drive visits into conversions. Or they lack the ability for a website visitor to research their site and find the information they need.
Social media is a communication medium, not just another medium to echo your marketing efforts on. There's an expectation from the audience that you're going to be responsive, honest, and helpful through social media. If you're able to do that, you can leverage social media a ton for sales, marketing, feedback, and amplifying your reach. Companies often think that just starting up a company page on Facebook is social media – but there are a lot more elements of a social strategy:
- Building Authority – If you wish to be recognized and respected in your industry, having a great social media presence is critical.
- Listening – It's not just people speaking to you on social media, it's people speaking about you that's important. A monitoring strategy is essential to find conversations about you that you're not tagged in as well as the overall sentiment of your brand, products and services.
- Communication – Sounds basic, but ensuring you utilize the channels where people are listening is essential. If you have important news or support issues about your company, your social channels better be the goto destination to execute your public relations strategy.
- Customer Service – Whether you believe your social media channels are for customer support doesn't matter… they are! And they're public channels so your ability to remedy customer service issues quickly and satisfactorily will help your marketing efforts.
- Discounts and Specials – Many people will sign up if they know there's going to be opportunities for exclusive offers, discounts, coupons and other savings.
- Humanity – Brands, logos and slogans don't provide much insight into the heart of a brand, but your people do! Your social media presence offers an opportunity for your followers to see the people behind the brand. Use it!
- Add Value – Your social updates don't always have to be about you! In fact, they probably shouldn't always be about you. How can you add value to your customers. Perhaps there's news or an article on another site that your customers would appreciate… share it!
This infographic from Placester provides some solid advice for businesses looking to start engaging on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social platforms. The infographic walks the user through some basic resource expectations, setting up your profile pages, and how to develop your communication strategy so you don't sound like a spammer!