Social Media has evolved in how your business can utilise Social Media, traditionally Social Media was about listening, collaboration and interaction. Today a business engage in Social Media Marketing and use Social Media as a powerful Sales tool. How important is Social Media Marketing to your business? Have you ever found a customer via Social Media? Have you interacted with any (potential) customers on Social Media?
The way we engage online has changed significantly. The way you get your brand launched or discovered has changed significantly. Website and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is only part of the tool set, you need to include Social Media Marketing.
According to a TNS Group Survey of SMBs – 94% of all businesses use Social Media Marketing, and of them 61% have found it useful in finding new customers.
How do you start with Social Media? Most peoples initial experiments are revolving around creating a presence – creating pages in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and increasingly Pintrest. This is about creating a word of mouth experience – click to like, shares, retweets. Customers are seeking products that your friends and colleagues have endorsed, endorsed by engaging with. If you get your Social Media right you don’t have to pay for this marketing.
Social media marketing is about content. Content is how you get people engaged with your Social Media. The mistake that businesses make is that they perceive content to be directly about your brand, your product – in other words advertising. The content you build needs to support your product and brand whilst not being a direct advert for or buy me. You want people to revisit, engage, and share your content which then builds your product, brand and company as a leader in the market.
This is not to say you can’t advertise on Social Media. In fact Social Media offers you better opportunities for advertising than traditional forms of advertising. Most Social Media platforms allow you to target by very tight specific – Age, Geography, Sex, Job Title, etc. People also engage more frequently on mobile devices – for example according to Informate Mobile Intelligence, an average of 4.7 on their smartphones hours per day in December 2014 – this is more time than they spent watching TV.
With this opportunity comes the challenge, how do you as a business stand out and become relevant. Content is the answer, the difference between what you want to say and what your audience want to hear. You need to be relevant.
With Social Media Marketing you need to focus on the engagement pyramid. The engagement pyramid is a six level concept. At the base of the pyramid is watchers or observers – people who have a Social Media profile but don’t engage. They read, they listen but they don’t post or share. At the top of the pyramid are the Leaders. They have moved through the steps of the pyramid initially watching, learning then they start engaging by sharing and posting. As they move up the pyramid they start creating content, contributing valuable insights to their audience. As the content becomes valuable they become Leaders. Most businesses hover in the mid-section sharing and commentating on Social Media. To be a Leader is a true content marketing strategy.
To become a Leader you need the correct tools to assist and complement in your strategy. Tools like Zoho Social allow you to initially listen to audience, identify trends. It then allows you to engage with your audience. Then you can report – you need to measure what was successful, what works / what doesn’t work so that you can change your strategy to be more successful.