Why Your Business Needs a Social Media Strategy

Posting blindly on your social media platforms with the hopes of vitality and engagement, you’re wasting your time and your money. Taking the time to develop a custom social media plan is a necessity if you want to see engagement on your posts, interact effectively with customers, and establish an online presence reflective of your company’s mission.

Customer Relations

According to an article by Revlocal.com, “It’s no secret that social media has, essentially, taken over our lives. The latest data has us spending five years and four months on social media over the course of a lifetime.” With so many people and businesses on social media, you need to have relevant content that draws customers to your company versus your competitors. A strategy based on engaging with customers can enable you to receive valuable feedback, and create lasting brand loyalty.

Establish Your Brand

Social media is likely to be the first thing a customer sees from your company. From Facebook posts to Instagram pictures, the best way to get your brand out to as many people as possible is through social media but you need to know how you want your brand to be perceived. Do you want the rough and rugged attitude of Duluth Trading Co. with their clothing or do you want to bring out your inner athlete with Under Armor? Each company has a brand they’ve built and continue to showcase through their advertisements and social media. You’re creating your own exclusive brand that will then be shared with the rest of the world. Think about what steps you go through before you purchase from a business. Main Street ROI says in their article, “Of course Google is one of the top sites to search, but many are also turning to Facebook and other social media networks to see if a company is established there.” Customers want to see what type of environment surrounds your company and if other people trust you.

Organization

It becomes much easier to create posts and ads when you set specific goals. How many posts do you want per week? How long should the posts be? Who do you want to see these posts? Questions like these help steer your strategy and enable you to see the kind of results you’re getting through analytics. Knowing what you want to accomplish helps the planning process. Like outlining a paper, you know what you want to do before you do it. It makes the actual process of content marketing more beneficial and utilizes your time effectively.

Having an Advantage

Posting blindly without goals in mind is times consuming and wasteful. Let your competitors do that. You want to give yourself and edge by posting with a purpose. Having a plan enables you to properly prepare posts and use the responses and interactions on those posts to calculate their effectiveness. Your post may do well at 9:00AM but you’ve noticed that posts made at noon seem to have more interactions. You can use that knowledge to plan your posts and adjust but without taking the time to review your posting strategies and the results of them, you’ll never improve your social media standing.

Many companies have established their brands through social media. From Wendy’s roasting people to small businesses posting quick vlogs on Twitter, your ability to reach out to the public has never been greater. Study what you’ve done and use it to make adjustments to your plan and maximize your efforts. Take the lead in your market and niche, establish yourself as a thought leader. Social media is here to stay but it changes rapidly. Be sure to keep up.

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4 Reasons You Need Social Media

Social media has taken over the way companies reach new and current customers. Forbes links articles on their website, Wendy’s roasts people on Twitter, even police departments around the country have Instagram accounts where they post updates and interact with the community. These social platforms have revolutionized the ways in which companies reach consumers.

Establish Your Brand

Any opportunity to get your brand on someone’s timeline is valuable. Your company’s first contact with a new client could be as they stumble across a post of yours on their timeline. Social media is exactly where people can hear your company’s voice and goals for the first time, rather than researching your mission statement on your website. According to Hubspot, “92% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses.” Social media gets your company in people’s field of view and allows it to grow.

Shareable Marketing

The ability for people to share their favorite posts of yours is something that is new to the world of marketing. In the past, if articles were shared it was done mostly via email. Now people can share articles, posts, and other materials immediately on their Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and even by reposting pictures and captions on Instagram. Facebook even allows you to create ads that “can target customers by factors like age, location, education level, industry and even user behavior.” This ability to have instantly shareable ads that reach all across the land of Facebook and other social media sites allows marketing to reach more people than ever before.

Interact With Your Customers

Social media enables you to communicate with your customers instantly. Hubspot points out, 72% of marketers are using social media to develop loyal fans.” Boundless amounts of valuable feedback are at both yours and your customers fingertips along with the ability to create and maintain relationships. These types of relationships can increase brand loyalty and enable you to provide better service to your customers, leading to a profitable relationship on both sides of the coin. Forbes notes “if a customer complains about your product on Twitter, you can immediately address the comment, apologize publicly, and take action to make it right. Or, if a customer compliments you, you can thank them and recommend additional products. It’s a personal experience that lets customers know you care about them.”

Company Updates

New product lines, additional services, and customer tips are now easily shared with your community of followers. Press releases are easily shared across multiple platforms. Your customers are more in the loop, hearing of new developments in real time. News sources, businesses, universities, and many other institutions are utilizing social media to interact with and keep their followers up to date with the developments their experiencing, enabling customers to feel like they’re a part of the action and as a result feel closer to the community to which they’re subscribing.  

Social media drives companies forward as more and more customers shop online, do their research online, and communicate online. Being a fast and accessible means of gathering information, social media is the link between your and your potential customers who are on the fence whether to go with your product or another company’s. Seeing an established social profile full of videos, pictures, and relevant information carries a lot of weight when a customer is deciding who he/she should do business with. People want to know about you and your products. Provide the link that allows them to see just how great you and your company are.

4 Social Media Secrets For Business Owners

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are drawing more users than ever before. A recent study by Statista.com shows that 81% of Americans have at least one social media profile, and that number is growing steadily each year. For business owners, social media offers a great opportunity to boost exposure and improve the bottom line of that earnings report. In fact, Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite, says “over half of American companies report sales increases after adopting a social media platform.” However, managing a social media platform isn’t all that easy. Keep these trade secrets handy when developing your social media presence.

You Need a Plan

Like any marketing strategy, a social media platform calls for direction. Above all else, know your business, your audience, and your goals. Understanding the consumers in your industry will help you tailor your content to exceed their expectations. Kimbodesign notes the importance of diversifying your social media, having a content strategy, and establishing a schedule for your social media to keep your strategy on track. Create a schedule early stay on top of it. Monitor your progress in terms of followers, views, sales, and other metrics that are valuable to you.

Content is Crucial

As a business owner, you work your tail off to provide the best goods and services on the market. Share your achievements with the world, and build your brand! Posting unique and creative content will increase your popularity among users. Part of your strategy should involve brainstorming for new ideas. Again, your content largely depends on the needs of your customers.

You Have to Acknowledge Your Followers

Social media has made interaction with your customers easier than ever before. You would never ignore a comment or suggestion in person, right? You might not meet your customers face-to-face with social media, but building a rapport with them will strengthen your reputation and make your company more personable. With that in mind, remember to be yourself. For example, have you seen Wendy’s roasting people on Twitter? You might not take the sarcastic yet hilarious route with your replies, but this shows how an established business can communicate and interact with its customers to get easy immediate feedback.

There’s Always a Cost

Social media might not affect your wallet unless you use ads or promotions, but it will require some time and attention on your part. As a business owner, you know better than anyone how valuable your time is. Investing in social media is a smart investment, but you will have to decide whether you can afford to manage it yourself. If not, utilizing a social media manager may be the more cost-effective route for you to take.

None of these facts should scare you. Instead, they should help you see the opportunities available with social media so you can take advantage. For more questions about social media management, talk to the specialists at MarketLeaf Solutions, LLC.

Ryan Pierson is a contributing writer and intern for MarketLeaf Solutions. His expertise lies in his ability to connect with clients, his research, and his ability to look outside the box in his approach to marketing.

3 Ways To Measure the Effects of Social Media

Social media is becoming a massive factor in today’s business world. All over you can see businesses on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. But social media can be a bit of a gray area since the benefits can be a little harder to show. One benefit that’s obvious is the ability to easily communicate with potential clients and establish a brand presence. But how can you measure social media’s effect on your business? Is the time it takes to tweet and post actually bringing you revenue? Well, here are three ways to measure the effects of your social media profiles.

Analytics

Almost every social media platform available today comes with software that can measure your post’s reach, how many people are viewing and clicking it, and whether or not your business is being talked about. Facebook offers analytics software for business pages that allows you to see your posts’ engagement, narrow the demographics of your posts’, and allow you to see if they are bringing more unique customers your way. Twitter also offers software so you can see how many potential followers have seen your posts, new followers you’ve gained, and see how many people are using a unique hashtag related to your business. Both of these sites allow for reports that show new followers, the number of people reached, and unique impressions that are solid measurable progress for your business. Tom Pick says in his Webbiquity article, “website traffic and “vanity metrics” (friends, followers, “likes”) are the most common metrics marketers use to measure the business impact of social media.”

Social Media Interaction and Revenue

According to Phys.org, “participating customers on a firm’s social media site contribute 5.6% more revenue and visit the business about 5% more than non-participating customers, [Ashish Kumar] explains.” These studies done by Texas A&M and the University of Buffalo actually found solid evidence of something social media users have questioned. Building online communities of users does increase revenue as those users who interact on social media platforms are more likely to purchase items from that business and are also more likely to be repeat customers.

Goal-Driven Campaigns

Setting out to reach specific goals with a social media campaign is a great way to narrow your focus and energy. Your type of campaign will depend on your type of business. For example, for businesses with online stores, your goal could be to turn visitors into buyers. You can track the number of visitors and the number of buyers, establishing a conversion rate, as well as seeing what those buyers did on your site that led them to finalize a purchase rather than just visiting. Christine Moorman says in her Forbes article, “If a social media campaign is designed to generate brand awareness, then engagement is an appropriate metric.” This is for simply getting your business out there and reaching more unique users, a fantastic way social media gets more people engaged in your business.

Social media used to be a difficult area to navigate. There were no means to measure its effects on businesses and revenue. Now, each social media platform comes with analytics that do exactly that, measure how your profiles are being engaged and by whom, allowing you to see just how social media is bringing you closer to old customers as well as starting relationships with new ones. By utilizing social media analytics, establishing goal-driven campaigns, and interacting with users on social media, you can see just how much your social media profiles are bringing to your business.