Social media marketing is now a standard part of brands’ digital plans—and research suggests that’s at least in part because of how effective it has proven to be. Why else do you think many marketers now rate social media advertising as more effective than search; What has Facebook done to help show how social ad effectiveness works, in turn, social in general; How does mobile fits in with social media ad measurement and engagement; Why are brands latching on to new social networks like Snapchat?
So many questions, isn’t it? Well, here are 3 things you need to know first!
1. You need to get your home base together. This is like your website. It’s on a domain you own. You control the user experience — from the content to the site design to the user interface. This is where you show that you know your stuff. That means building a nice cornerstone of high-quality content that demonstrates your expertise in a likeable, accessible way. First impressions matter, so make sure the design is clean, professional, and smart. It can still be stylish or funky if that’s your thing, but it shouldn’t look amateurish or confusing. Your home base is where you post content to answer your readers’ questions, give those interesting tips, and help solve their annoying problems.
2. Pick a primary platform by thinking about where your customers are. If you love Twitter but your customers spend hours every day on Facebook, you need to recognise that Facebook is probably a better venue for your business. It may not be as fun for you — but that’s why they call it work. Only move beyond your primary platform when you’re sure you’re handling it well. A lot depends on the industry you’re in.
3. Content first, conversation second – You’ve been told again and again by social media “experts” that your entire business should revolve around something called “The Conversation.” Too often, this form of Conversation leads to business owners spending hours every day chattering with potential customers and hoping someone will buy something. (Or, more often, chattering with peers and friends and hoping this counts as work.) Yes, be personable. Yes, keep an ear out for customer complaints so you can respond appropriately. And yes, network with peers in your industry to keep your links healthy. Instead, spend the bulk of your time creating content, whether it’s on your own home base or for a guest post so you can find a wider audience. Use content to educate your customers about what they need to know to make an intelligent purchase. Focus on customer objections, questions, and problems. When you find someone else’s content that your customers will find valuable, share that too — and add a few insights of your own if you like.