Just about every business needs a social media presence. It’s become an essential tool in promotion and generating interest in one’s company and should absolutely be part of your marketing mix. It’s also vital for creating a community of like-minded fans who are drawn to a brand, an idea or an experience.
Traditional advertising is being overtaken by content marketing and social media is the way forward. Your customers want to know about the company. Who are you? What do you stand for? What makes you different? The challenge for business, particularly small to medium sized companies is…
- selecting which social media channels to focus on;
- keeping those channels supplied with content that is relevant and appealing to the viewer
- leveraging that activity and content to benefit the business. Some company’s do this well, but many fall short of the potential they could achieve. How is your business tracking?
Knowing your clientele or audience is vital whether you use social media or not. Just like you might select conventional broadcast media like TV, radio or print to reach your target market, different audiences congregate around different social media and you should select the one(s) that best fit your company.
- LinkedIn has carved out an identity in the B2B category. If you mainly supply goods and services to other businesses this could be much more beneficial than Facebook or Twitter because you can zero in on businesses that fit the profile of your core customer as well as build credibility as an expert in your field.
- Conversely Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as Pinterest and YouTube are consumer and community focused. They’re also much more visually driven because users ‘dip in and out’ through the day checking status updates so a high impact posting captures attention more than text alone.
Determine who your prime customer group is and invest more time perfecting your message for the channel(s) they spend time on the most.
Feeding the beast is where most small to medium size enterprises (SME’s) struggle. For some it’s a challenge to find new and interesting things to say about themselves, their industry sector or their products and services. This can be overcome with taking the focus off you.
Here are some suggestions on developing content for your social media:
• Contact some past clients and ask them how they’re benefiting from doing business with you. Share their stories
• Ask your employees to contribute ideas and content
• Consider people you’ve met recently through networking, do they provide you with a new perspective?
• Discuss new business you’ve won through Bartercard
• Run an online survey about innovations people would like
• Offer your clients advice around cyclical events (holidays, change of season, end of financial year)
• Post product videos or testimonials both on your website, YouTube and Facebook
• Repurpose content to save time and effort. (A well-written blog can be posted on your website, added to your LinkedIn profile, excerpted as a bold headline to post to Facebook or Twitter. Add strong images and you’ve now taken one piece of content and spread it across several social media avenues.)
• Make it possible for the viewer to respond to (by allowing comments) rather than just consume.
In all your social media content, try to be seen as useful rather than just selling.
What will make your social media efforts really shine is when you can create audience engagement. This happens when you post comments or content and generate feedback. That can be either through direct responses from viewers/readers as comments or through sharing, liking and re-tweeting. Everyone would love the big viral explosion that gets your name on the prime-time news or breakfast TV program, but those are rare and often engineered (gasp!, it’s true).
Pay attention and monitor your content. When someone reacts to you, be ready with a response. Your objective is to convert the audience into brand ambassadors willing to tell your story, and here’s the best part, for free.
Developing that two-way communication is implied permission from your audience to continue hearing from you with future postings, offers, special deals and invitation-only events. Invite them to get to know you better and talk about you. Many a career has emerged from obscurity in the modern age of advertising from someone becoming “the face” of a brand. What you absolutely shouldn’t do is ignore a user who replies to your social media efforts; or even worse someone who initiates contact with you through social media.
Compliments and complaints are a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your customer service commitments. A photo tweeted by a satisfied passenger who complimented the ground staff of an Australian airline got favourite and retweeted by the airline to all their followers and the passenger got a personal thank-you letter and a $25 travel voucher. What did it cost the passenger to recognise good service? Absolutely nothing, except a few moments spent texting. What did the airline earn from acknowledging the passenger? A loyal customer who shared their positive experience with the airlines audience. Social media is a powerful tool for brand equity. Never underestimate the capacity of your clients to carry your brand to a whole new market.
Connect all this activity back to your website. This pays huge dividends from search engines. The more content that links back to you and the more frequently it’s refreshed boosts you to the top of the results listings on search engines. This isn’t about stroking your corporate ego, but helping to drive more search traffic to you instead of your competitor. It’s easy to integrate a Facebook or Twitter feed on your homepage. Have a page dedicated to your media gallery of images and videos. Write a blog so you position your company as experts on what you do. Moderate and monitor comments, and act on them. Dedicate at least a few hours a week to keeping on top of it all, or engage an expert part-time to help you. There are dozens of Bartercard Marketing service and consulting members across the country to guide you.
Walt Cudlip Asia/Pacific
Gabzebo Pty Ltd
Interactive Video Recording Booths
Op. Hrs: 8am – 6pm, AEST.
T. 1 800 GABZEBO
Gabzebo Interactive Video Booths provide an integrated social media experience that creates and shares user-generated content.
Our technology platform empowers you to capture audience opinions, ideas, stories and data that feed directly into your online strategy.
Completely customised and branded for you, Gabzebo connects you to your audience.