Let’s face it: social media is here to stay. 88% of business owners said social media increased their exposure, and 72% said it increased traffic to their site. Facebook has over 500 million users, with at least 50% of daily activity. It is the perfect opportunity to increase company exposure, customer engagement, and lead generation. Twitter has 106 million users, and 67% of brand followers are more likely to make a purchase. 57% actually recommend brands and services through tweets. Mashable’s Social Media by the Numbers infographic highlights the impact social media can have on a company—if done right.
Social media is not just a piece of technology or another online marketing tool. It’s a conversation. And it’s happening with or without you. By not being where your candidates, customers, and potential target audiences are, it only provides the opportunity for competitors to get to them first. More likely than not, the competition is already are there. So the question remains: Is your company active in the social media world?
If you are new to the social media scene and still trying to figure out how to effectively use it, here are some three things to keep in mind:
- Adapt or Fade Away
The social media landscape is constantly evolving. Just when you think you’ve got Facebook down pat, or mastered the ropes of LinkedIn, the companies throw a curveball and launch major updates that may force you to rethink and change your strategy. Thankfully, those same updates can also make you much more effective when it comes to reaching out to audiences and gaining leads.
Spend some time keeping up to date with the latest trends in social media. Dedicate some time for social media training and look for certified courses online that are more cost-effective and productive for you and your company. Analyze case studies and apply these ideas to your individual company’s needs. Social media is not a “one size fits all” gig; you have to analyze and try (and perhaps fail) in order to come up with the best social media strategy for your company.
- Your Culture is Your Brand
Marcus Sheridan, author of the Sales Lion Blog, states “In today’s information age of Web 2.0 and marketing, a company’s website is the key to their entire business.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement-but I think that there’s more to a company than just a website. And yes, social media is to blame. The company website should be the home base to all of your social media activities. All the social media accounts that your company chooses to take part in online should all include a link back to your company website.
Social media gives your company the opportunity to provide a voice behind the product, to give a customer a sense of what your company stands for and who is working behind the products/services. Be visible and engaging, people want to work with other people, not robots. You’re creating your company culture with these accounts, so make sure that they all integrate together, consistent, and have the same branding. Make sure that the messages in your social media accounts all correspond with each other. Transparency is a key factor to success in this day and age, if you don’t put your best foot out there, you could be missing out on potential customers!
- Make the Most Out of Content Marketing
Companies are jumping on the content marketing bandwagon, devoting time to develop new content for articles, newsletters, blogs, etc. to better attract and engage customers. Many companies approach content marketing like taking a random shot in the dark, in hopes to hit the target. Instead of developing a body of content that grows and builds momentum over time, companies will randomly create “content” that has little or no informational value to their customers.
What makes content engaging is relevancy. You need to connect your target audience’s interests with the content that you are providing. Understand why and how your audience uses technology and align your communications efforts accordingly. People want news and information about the things they care about. This is where listening comes into play. Listen to what your consumers are looking for, what they are having problems with, what they don’t understand, and tap into those needs. Remember, we’re all learning here; the best listeners will end up the smartest.
I’m curious: what are you social media tips? Anything that you have done for your company that seems to have worked out great? Leave a comment and share your story.
Megan Curth is the Marketing Coordinator of Automated Business Designs, Inc., software developer of Ultra-Staff staffing software for the staffing and direct hire industry. Ultra-Staff is a staffing software business solution with components for front office, back office and the web. Megan’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information on Ultra-Staff go to www.abd.net