Social media allows any business, regardless of its size, to connect directly with its customers; this is the main reason why pretty much any entrepreneur considers using or is already using social media marketing (SMM) these days. Still, since doing social media marketing properly is a time consuming operation, it is important to be able to measure the return on investment (ROI) that you are getting through the social media activities.
But why should you care about SMM in the first place? The most important benefit is the fact that your business will get a much better exposure, and this leads to increased website traffic, visitors that can turn into clients. At the same time, the search engines give a much greater importance to the social signals these days, rewarding the websites that engage in social marketing activities with better positions on their search results pages. This will also help you get more targeted website visitors, of course.
Selling your products or services through social media is not an easy task; the sales will start growing significantly only after your brand gets the proper recognition and the people become loyal company supporters. And all the social marketing experts agree that creating relationships which turn social media followers into customers takes time.
Nevertheless, the effort is definitely worth it, because it will not only generate new leads, but can also help you make new connections, partner with other businesses and thus increase the ROI for your company’s overall marketing activities.
Nurture your tribe
Building an enthusiastic fan base is the key factor to success; you want your followers / fans / connections / etc to get involved and interact with the company as much as possible. Creating and posting fantastic content, linking to interesting industry-related information and setting up the proper mechanisms that turn your social media followers into your company’s advocates is an art in itself.
Take Twitter for example: since you are limited to 140 characters per message, writing a tweet that attracts your followers’ attention (and not a plain “visit my website” message) can be tricky sometimes. Getting new Facebook fans is easy, but how do you turn those thousands of fans into customers? How can LinkedIn help your business grow? And is there a recipe that can maximize the chances of a video becoming viral? These are just a few questions that need clear answers at the beginning of any social media marketing campaign.
Professional social media campaigns
It is not a secret that all the important social media websites are full of people that are trying to promote their offers. What separates a powerful social media campaign run by a responsible company from an amateurish one is the actual value that the followers are getting during the process, no matter if we are talking about tips, advice, and so on.
Let’s discuss a real-life example: company A pushes “buy my product” tweets each and every day as its sole social media promotion strategy, while company B also offers free information, presents the latest trends in the industry, responds to the customers’ questions, and so on ; it is clear which one of these companies will gain trust, and thus will sell more on the long run.
In addition to this, company B will be perceived as the expert in its field, as the followers start seeing it as a credible, authorized source of information in larger and larger numbers. Under these circumstances, it is not a surprise that the people will listen to company B’s recommendations – they trust it!
Let us assume that your company sells insurance policies and you see a lot of people asking “what type of health insurance policies should I buy”. This is a great opportunity to write a comprehensive blog post that explains all the options clearly; then, whenever somebody asks this question, you can post a short answer and a “I have written a detailed post that explains all the options here…” link to the blog post.
In fact, you don’t even need fresh content to get this started; if your website contains several useful articles that offer solutions to people’s problems, you should use them as they are.
While most entrepreneurs use social media to consolidate their companies’ reputation, some people use the very same social channels to write about the companies they’ve had some unpleasant experiences with. By using the proper social media tools, it is quite easy to discover the messages that were posted by your unhappy customers quickly and deal with the problems before they get out of control. These are the most important elements of a properly executed SMM campaign.