“Social Media: it’s the interactions between people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.”
Why is Social Media Important?
I could give you at least 100 reasons why social media is so important for growing your business but for now I’ll name the top three – If you’re using social media effectively you can increase revenue, build lasting relationships, and further build your brand.
I’ve heard it time and again, “My customers just aren’t using social media.” – You’re WRONG. Think about this, there are more than 1.5 billion active users on Facebook alone.
Social Media is changing the world and making some traditional marketing teams look like they’re clicking stones together but social media marketing isn’t just posting on Twitter or Facebook. It’s about building relationships.
“For a community to form you need to give people a reason to care and a place to communicate.”
When you’re planning your social media marketing strategy, you should keep a few things in mind.
1) Be Patient – Nothing worth having comes easy, including building an online community.
2) Know Your Audience – The most important part of building your social media plan is to know who you’re talking to. Meaning, know what platforms your audience is using and start engagement there.
3) ENGAGE – Don’t just post and run! One of the biggest mistakes I see people (companies) make is just posting about their products, their content, and expecting that will be enough to generate leads/sales. Too much self-focused content is a No-No. Social media is about exchanging thoughts and ideas about a subject that is interesting and relevant to your target audience. Engagement is what makes social media work.
- Posts with images get the highest amount of engagement.
- Make sure you’re mobile – 71% of people are engaging in social media via their mobile device (is your website viewable from mobile devices?)
- The most appealing posts provide information but not too much information, in doing this you increase the likelihood of a click-through. Speaking of clicks, when posting links you can use the Bit.ly, TInyURL, to track your click-throughs. Analytics is awesome, just saying.
I’ll say it again, ENGAGE – Social media marketing doesn’t just stop at that one post, it continues to grow as you carry on the conversation.
4) Use Multiple Platforms – You get the best results when you are consistent and post a variety of things across different channels. No one platform is the same. Posting the same thing across all channels limits engagement. Remember, each platform has a different demographic. Know who you’re speaking to.
Here are some statistics to help you chose what platforms are best for you. Infographic courtesy of Digital Insights
5) Let The Data Do The Talking – Don’t just post all willy-nilly!
Use Analytics to track your efforts and then use that data to change and adapt based on what’s actually working. Unlike traditional marketing, with social media it’s easier to track your return on investment. Using Google Analytics you can measure how much traffic you generate to your website through social media and this is helpful because it shows you which social media platforms you should focus on. If you’re an analytics freak like me, you can get a bit more data using tools like Hubspot – HubSpot is cool because it can show you exactly which posts are generating traffic and how much of that traffic converts into leads.
6) SEO & SEM – Social media is now a HUGE part of SEO ( Search engine optimization) and SEM (Search engine marketing)
Traditional SEO focused mostly on content and link backs to decide how websites were ranked and while they still use these to determine rankings they’ve taken it a step further. If you think about it, Links are like recommendations for your website but the problem is that they’re easy to fake. So social media and search teams teamed up. When you have a following in social media you’re creating fans who can share your content and when you allow people to share your content you are allowing people to “recommend” your content – Which Google thinks is GREAT! The more recommendations you have the higher your rankings will be.. See the connection?
The biggest problem with the way SEO used to be is that you were constantly creating links and putting them in places where no one is looking so they were just sitting there.. useless and lonely… Poor dead links. In the crazy world of social media things are constantly moving, interactions are constantly happening, in real-time – Greater recommendation opportunity – The point is that Google is definitely measuring your social media fingerprint. How often you are sharing content, the number of people visiting your website from social channels, How many connections you have, and can the content on your website be shared in a mouse click? These are all things that factor into your rankings today. Social Media is the new link building tool and this is why it’s so important that you have a social media PRESENCE – Not just a bunch of stale accounts. 90% of consumers trust peer-to-peer recommendations – Likes, Retweets, and Shares are all forms of recommendations.
7) Know When To Post & Set a Schedule – Roughly 80% of Americans live in the Eastern & Central Time Zones. I am on the west coast so if I post at 8/9PM then I am probably going to miss that 80%. I try to post important things around 10AM-1PM.
TIPS – Thursday and Friday have the most social media engagement during the week but for the best engagement post on a Saturday. You can do some research about ideal posting times in your area. There are also loads of tools to help with your posting schedule, my favorites are HootSuite and Buffer – check em’ out.
8) Moderation Is Key – If you over post you risk being unfollowed but posting too little means that you may not be seen by the right people.
Summary – Be patient because all things worth having take time, Know your audience, Engage by starting and carrying a conversation, Use multiple platforms but remember each platform is unique, Use analytics to track your progress and focus on areas that are getting results, your social fingerprint is becoming more and more important to search engine rankings, Know the best times to post content to maximize the sharing opportunities, and lastly don’t flood your social networks with information… Spread the content out.
Lastly, why don’t ya share this post… Since you’re in the mood.