Are you looking for simple yet effective tips to improve your social media marketing? Blogs and businesses are using social media to find targeted audience and customers, make more sales and boost their online reputation. Today, I have an article from Angie who shares her top 5 tips on effective social media marketing. I have also included my opinion which you will see. Let me know what you think. Take it away Angie…
Your customers spend lots of time on social media. They’re liking things on Facebook, pinning things on Pinterest and tweeting on Twitter. They’re commenting on blogs and searching for reviews before making a major purchase. Your customers inhabit the social media landscape, and your company should, too. Social media is a great way to showcase reasons that potential customers should come to you. There’s no perfect way to boost traffic to your site, but check out these five ways of incorporating social media into your marketing strategy.
#1: Consider social media your embassy to the web.
Sounds odd at first, I know. But think of your website as your country, and social media sites as other countries that house your embassy. Your country features all of the things you want people to see and do. You want to attract tourists from abroad who will boost your economy. By establishing embassies around the web, you can target specific groups and tailor your message accordingly. For example, the citizens of Reddit probably have different interests from the people of Pinterest. Both groups, though, could enjoy what you offer, and you can use each site as a medium for attracting those visitors.
Imagining social media as an embassy is useful for keeping your marketing team focused. Marketers often run into problems when they view social media success as the endgame. From your perspective, the purpose of Facebook is not to get more “likes” for your brand’s page. “Likes” aren’t the point of social media marketing. They’re a means to an end, and that end is engagement with your content and your product. Marketing teams need to remember that their allegiance is to your company, and treating social media as your country’s embassy can help them do that.
Salman: I like the idea of treating social media sites as embassies :). In fact, most readers these days come from social media referrals which means they land on a website or blog from a link shared by their friends on social networks. It is obvious that you are most likely to trust a link from a friend than a link found on the internet. I agree that different sites have different audience, for example pinterest is more geared towards females while facebook has a huge balanced audience which can be targeted through ads. You’ve been told again and again by social media experts that your entire business should revolve around something called “The Conversation.” You can post stimulating content to encourage conversation. “Facebook likes” give you good social proof but engagement is the ultimate key to effective social media marketing.
#2. Know your platforms.
Different social media sites require separate strategies, and knowing how to use each one is critical. Do you know how you would engage users on YouTube? Pinterest? Twitter? To use social media sites to your advantage, you must be attuned to users on each site. On YouTube, for instance, you might include video guides or demonstrations of products. You could also encourage users to share their own video reviews of products. On Flickr, you could upload photos related to your brand or product and label them with the tags you’ve generated. Pinterest enables community sharing and offers a way to make those photos go viral, while Twitter gives you a chance to engage directly with customers, resolving any customer service issues quickly and effectively. If you aren’t sure how best to use a social media site, first get a feel for how users engage with it and then look at other successful brand pages. Think about how you can apply those strategies to your product or service.
Salman: I almost forgot about flickr and how you could tag pictures with your keywords Flickr can drive traffic especially if you have photography blog. Maybe I am wrong as I haven’t used it for marketing but personal. But here’s a sweet tip: If you Google my name, you will see several images of me on the first page on Google images. These are hosted on flickr 😉 which shows they rank well with least effort. What if I uploaded all of the images on this blog, tag and link them with a keyword from flickr? Pretty interesting concept; yet to be tested. I am not linking to any flickr guides as I haven’t found a good one. Maybe I’ll write one soon. However, check out this 26 Social Media Marketing Tips from the Pros.
#3. Harness the power of reviews.
Research shows that customers trust the opinions of other customers more than they trust the opinions of companies. Almost all customers read at least one review before buying a product. Finding a way to integrate reviews in a positive, honest way is a great way to improve your company’s image. Social media is all about giving users a voice, so let users express themselves by actively soliciting reviews. Ask for video reviews on YouTube that users upload to your channel, or ask for short reviews on Twitter and provide a clever hashtag for them to tweet. Get creative! Whatever you do, though, don’t suppress negative reviews. Doing so can just anger your users and defeat the point of seeking their feedback. Instead, dedicate a customer service team for resolving issues that arise through social media. Responding to problems and concerns directly is much better than trying to hide them.
Salman: Whether you have a product, offer a service, own a blog, you will need reviews and testimonials for long term success. I agree when Angie said “Almost all customers read at least one review before buying a product.” I read more than three. As a matter of fact, you can correlate this with blog testimonials. For example, Glen at viperchill.com displays three awesome testimonials from authority sources on his sidebar. This drastically increases the chances for getting more subscribers. How? Imagine when you land on his blog, you read his stuff (its super awesome) but you are still not convinced about signing up to his email list. Soon you notice this awesome testimonial from awesome people saying cool stuff about him. You be like; hmm he seems like a cool dude, I wanna be on his list. Hell yeah! I hope you get the point here.
There are several famous bloggers I know who leverage the power of testimonials to convert their visitors into subscribers. Of course, these days you can easily pay someone and ask them to write a testimonial for you. This actually sucks because it works but then you are not cool anymore. The best legit way to get good testimonial for your blog for an example is by providing awesome content that solves real life problems. Once you see some love coming from your readers (which could be through comments etc), you can easily request them for a testimonial. Network, get to know more awesome people in your industry, help each other out, exchange feedback – how simple :).
Last but not the least; I would like to address the negative feedback issue. Of course you are not going to showcase them on your website or blog; unless you think it’s cool. According to me, whatever feedback you get, whether negative or positive, they both are awesome because they both provide value and lessons that you can learn from. Social networking sites are good spots for networking and getting your product right in front of your prospects so leverage it to the max.
#4. Don’t skimp on content creation.
This one is obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Your site must have quality and useful content for your readers, or they won’t engage with it. Content gives users a great reason not only to look at your website and social media channels, but also to return to them. Pairing good content with the right channel can have a huge impact on your web presence. Blogging is perhaps the most popular method of content marketing. Many companies contract a writer to publish articles about the company, its products, and its latest news. These articles give you a chance to explain products to users, and they give users a chance to interact with your brand.
Salman: This tip is my favorite because I keep talking about content marketing and the importance of it. You have heard me saying, content marketing is the next SEO. If you don’t have good content, your users will not share it on their social network, PERIOD!
#5: Use practical technology.
There are lots of widgets and bits of code that can make your social media marketing easier to manage. Social sharing buttons, for instance, enable users to share and promote your content on social media sites of their choice. If you don’t know how to create them, don’t worry: the code for buttons and many other tools are available for free online. And if you want feedback on your site, try Google Analytics, a free service that helps people track where visitors come from, how much time they spend on each page, and more. It’s a great tool for analyzing which parts of your site are successful.
I appreciate that Angie took some time to write this article and share it with us. Let me know what you think in the comments. Do you agree or disagree with some points? Also, don’t forget to share it on your social network 😉 A sweet facebook like or a nice retweet would be awesome. What other social media marketing tips would you recommend?
This is a guest post written and contributed by Angie Picardo who is a staff writer for NerdWallet. Her mission is to help companies stay financially savvy and save money with the best business checking accounts. The author’s views above are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Mastermind Blogger.