Stop treating social media as an advertising channel. Once you do that, you will finally discover their marketing potential. People love social media because it gives them a chance to be in the spotlight, share what they did or what they think about a particular issue. This is why before you enter the social media world, you need to know how you could adjust to this concept.
A clear goal in one’s mind starts every successful marketing strategy. In the case of social media, we recommend following Alexander DePaoli, Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing, Northeastern University.
“Think about social (and its toolkit) not as a means to drive advertising, but as a way to build customer satisfaction.”
What does this mean in practice? We’ve searched for answers among social media experts. Despite different tactics due to various business models, they follow the same hint.
If you put real value in front of your audience, it will come back to you along with growing engagement.
Let’s see how this strategy operates on some use cases straight from social media profiles.
On top of the funnel
Social media give you a huge margin for attracting new customers and building brand awareness. Think about joining social communities from your niche and building a real dialogue with users. Firstly, offer your advice and experience. Throwing a flashing banner even with an attractive offer can very soon end up with a banned account or a spammer label. Building trust takes time, but according to Syed Irfan Ajmal, Growth Marketing Manager at Ridester, it pays off. He says,
“Facebook groups are filled with people looking to create and exchange information about specific topics, and providing them with this information is a very powerful way to drive traffic to a blog. Join a few groups related to your niche, then establish a reputation as a thought leader in the space. Once you have done that, post a few links in the group.
Tip 1: Engage in insightful conversations with group members before posting links to your content.
Tip 2: Actively engage with members who respond to your post. When Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm sees a large level of engagement, it considers the post highly relevant and will show the post to more members of the group.”
The good news is that even in social media your strategy can scale better thanks to marketing automation. It will not replace you while building trust inside communities but it will help in spreading the best bits of your content
“The blog pieces that you write have tons of quotes that you can repurpose for your social media. You can customize it for Twitter and put it on automation so that you are publishing a steady stream of content on social media.”
- Mor Mester, Head of Marketing, Automizy
Brand awareness and credibility in your niche mean a lot. They take you to the next level where you convert the traffic into growth of sales and word-of-mouth.
From the middle to the bottom of the funnel
Paths to purchase leading through social media are very popular amongst B2C companies. Similarly to the content, only well-targeted offers can convert attracted leads into buyers. To see an example, Jay Perkins from Kettlebell Kings tells the story of their most successful social media campaign
“Our most successful social media campaign has been our Weekly Workouts, which prospects subscribe to and receive a free kettlebell workout each week from our website.
This has been a HUGE success for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it has gotten tens of thousands of people into our workflows, who receive regular content from us; and secondly the lead cost is so much less compared to AdWords or other forms of advertising.
The leads coming in by people signing up for workouts specifically on social media channels is about $1 per lead and our current return on investment into actual sales is about 10X.
The best principle that we follow is to always try to post something informative and helpful.
It is very rarely specifically about our kettlebells, but more about kettlebells and healthy living as a whole. Using this macro approach has helped us be viewed as a thought leader in our niche and a brand that people follow for knowledge and trust rather than just advertising to them.”
Promotions, gifts or discounts need to be wrapped in a catchy message. In social media, people are bombarded with tons of content and deals which try to grab their attention. No matter how loyal your clients are or how good the offer is, your posts should clearly correspond with customers’ needs.
“As a media personality who also offers marketing services I have found the best practice has been to tailor my pitch on social media to the needs of my audience on that particular platform.
My main success has been with Facebook where I have over 7k combined followers and friends. Instead of saying buy my service or giving prices I propose the value of what I offer and how it can benefit them.
Example of a post would be ‘Looking to improve your sales on Amazon.com? Let me help you share your product with the world.’
When the audience can tell that you are trying to do something for them and you are not just in it for yourself, it builds trust which has translated into new customers.“
- Cyrus Webb, the President of Conversations Media Group, Top 300 Amazon.com Reviewer and social media influencer.
Putting it together
Overall demand for a seamless, cross-channel experience makes lots of companies run their marketing through numerous media at the same time. The problem with social channels is that you cannot just bring your offers and implement something that works somewhere else. You need to get to know social media, and then design a new strategy built on its rules.
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