Social Media: Getting it Right

As part of our continuing ‘Insights from the Commercial team’ series, Jenna, the team’s Content and Marketing Executive, shares her advice for successful social media marketing.

Social media is growing ever more important in the business world and yet so many brands still overlook its potential. A report by Nielsen Wire shows that 53% of social media users follow brands that they want to engage with. If you don’t have a social presence, your audience will turn to those that do.

The key to using social media to successfully target consumers is to fully understand its purpose. So many brands fail because they see social networks as a broadcast channel. 80% of all content on your social channels should be engaging, conversational content. That leaves just 20% for link pushing. ‘Is that all?’ is probably what you’re thinking, and yes it is, but don’t be put off.

Marketing via social channels does not work in the same way as traditional marketing. Social networks give you the opportunity to humanise your brand and let your customers do the marketing for you. Create a voice, create a personality and engage with your customers. 70% of consumers make a purchase following an online or peer recommendation – that is a huge number that cannot be ignored.

What should I be sharing?

  • Your views – Share your thoughts and opinions on current events, particularly those relevant to your niche, and do it quick. Striking while the topical iron is hot will increase the chances of your posts being shared. Let’s take Valentine’s Day as an example. I witnessed brands promoting Valentine’s Day across their social channels from as early as the 31st January. The topical iron was not even warm yet and giant hearts were being thrown in my face. By the time Valentine’s Day came around, I had lost interest in their posts. We promoted a Valentine’s offer on the Just Dating Group Facebook page and waited until the 12th Feb to talk about it; our patience paid off as our blog saw the number of unique visits increase by almost 50%.
  • Images – Whatever it is you’re talking about, attach a relevant image. If you don’t already have one, create a Pinterest profile. A survey from June 2012 showed that Pinterest sent more traffic to websites than Bing, Stumble Upon, Twitter and Google referrals.
  • Videos – Stats show that by the end of 2013, 90% of all internet traffic will be video. According to an article on Video Brewery, a one minute video is worth 1.8 million words. That’s equivalent to over 3,000 web pages. With that in mind, is there really an excuse for you not to be video marketing? With the launch of Vimeo and Animoto, it’s easier than ever to create simple original video content for social sharing.
  • Stats – Slicing stats into your content gives it a sense of credibility, however nobody wants to read a page of numbers. An infographic is a great way to display your stats, and are proven to be highly shared across social networks such as Facebook and Pinterest.
  • Competitions – Competitions spread like wild fire through social media channels, so take advantage. Use a branded image and make your customers work for you. Ask them to share and RT your competition info to be in with a chance of winning a prize. You’ll see the money you spend on the incentive returned in engagement and traffic.

Before you start any social activity, have a plan in place.

  • What is the purpose of my Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Pinterest/YouTube page?
  • What campaigns am I going to run?
  • What are my competitors doing that I can do better?
  • What is the tone of voice for my brand?

When your plan is in place, it’s time to get to work.

Good luck, see you out there!

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