Social Media is now playing a huge part in most people’s lives. With approx 62% of adults worldwide now using social media of some kind, there is a huge marketing opportunity for every business sector. New Social Media sites are springing up daily, some fail, some prove immensely successful,
Social media statistics
Firstly, some interesting statistics regarding Social Media;
- Over 10% of the world’s population have a Facebook account.
- 47% of customers are likely to purchase from a brand that they follow or like.
- Facebook reached 55% of the world’s global audience accounting for roughly 75% of time spent on social networking sites and one in every seven minutes spent online globally.
At a conference in 2010 Eric Schmidt, the then CEO of Google stated
“Every two days, we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003”
- Only 26% of businesses frequently include calls to action in their tweets – 49% never include a call to action (a response you would like your users to complete).
- Only 22% of businesses have a dedicated social media manager.
- Among online retailers, only 33% have metrics in place to track social media ROI.
- Only 29% of brands on Facebook have offered deals within the channel.
Stats via The Social Skinny.
Your Social Media Campaign
With the above in mind, and many more statistics reinforcing just how powerful Social Media is, this medium cannot be ignored by businesses. Unlike traditional advertising, setting up your social media profile is (in the most part) free and immediately accessible by a huge audience.
1) Before starting a Social Media Marketing campaign businesses need to prepare in a number of ways. Begin by answering the following;
- Why are you embarking on a Social Media campaign?
- Where does Social media marketing fit into your overall Marketing strategy?
- Do you currently have an online presence (where are you now)?
- What do you hope to achieve?
- What do your clients want from your Social Media presence?
Establishing what content would be of interest to your audience can be achieved using online surveys or by simply asking your clients when on the phone or meeting with them. However you collect this information, the more responses you receive the better.
Using Social Media is all about interaction, conveying a positive image of your brand and improving your business. There are many ways to make your feed more visually appealing. The most prominent of these is to include photos with your articles (and previews of articles). A whole page of text posts on your Facebook profile is far less appealing than relevant images accompanying a short extract of the article and a link to the full text.
- Running competitions for your ‘followers’ is an effective way to engage with your audience and also to increase your presence. The chance to win a prize is very often shared between friends on Social Media sites. People are more likely to follow or ‘like’ your page if it is recommended to them by a friend. Word of mouth is VERY powerful!
- Humour is a great way to engage and interact with your audience too. Including an element of fun in your feed is important as most people will log on to find interesting and amusing information. Entertaining these people as well as informing them is a powerful way to increase followers and ‘likes’.
- Don’t ignore comments where a question has been asked or, more importantly, a complaint has been made. Being seen to answer questions and resolve issues is a great way to build trust in your brand. This will help with future interactions and business opportunities.
- Mix it up a bit, if you continuously publish only the news specific to what you do as a company and nothing else then the feed is likely to become stale. Building content will create a true resource for your followers rather than simply a place to find out what your company is doing right now. Don’t be afraid to post interesting articles from 3rd parties. Linking to other sources of information can help to build links and relationships with other businesses of interest.
- Consistency in ‘calls to action’ is also an important element of Social Media campaigns. Simply asking people to read or watch something that you have published is a way of interacting with your audience and providing consistent, relevant and interesting information will show that you are an authority in your field.
- Create a community, not just followers. By encouraging your audience to interact with other followers, as well as your business, you can create a community. Individuals involved in a community are more likely to return and contribute in the future.
- On Twitter, include hash tags of the important keywords and also a consistent hash tag of your company name (shortened if necessary).
3) Once your campaign is under way, make sure you monitor how well you are doing against targets. This will not only assist you is gauging how well you are doing, but will also show you where improvements can be made and give you the momentum needed to continue creating quality content on a regular basis. If you discover a particular type of article or call to action that works for you, then make a note of it and use it in the future. Equally, if there is something that doesn’t work for you, then try to improve it or avoid using it in the future.
Monitoring traffic referrals from social media sites (as well as sites that may have linked to your content) to your corporate website is a good indication of what content is proving popular. Other areas that should be monitored are;
- Specific milestones regarding the overall project.
- Monitoring your company name, brand names and product names as well as your competitors is a must.
- Monitor individual promotions within the campaign.
- Email subscriptions to your news letter and RSS subscribers
- The number of social bookmarks your website receives