Social media has become a strategized corporate priority. Businesses of all sorts and sizes are jumping onto the social media marketing bandwagon, some because everyone else is doing it, others because they’ve truly realized the power social media has to offer.
For social media marketing to work, a solid plan has to be in place. Blindingly engaging in social media doesn’t lead anywhere. How are you going to quantify the success of your social media marketing if you don’t know what your milestones are?
Having a social media plan ensures you can engage with your company’s followers, create awareness and visibility around your brand, and hopefully turn more visitors and followers into loyal customers, thereby increasing sales.
Some questions you need to answer for your social media campaigns to be effective are basic. How do you write effective tweets? What’s the best time to post on Facebook? Do you really need to use Instagram too?
Once you’ve got these answers and a content marketing editorial calendar, you need to take into account the following questions:
Should you ever self-promote?
If you have a blog post you want to tweet about, you don’t just create promotional tweets. This is the number one mistake businesses make: using social media as marketers only, and not as end users.
To appeal to your Twitter followers you need to make them feel they’re on the same page as you are, sharing the same concerns and the same tastes. They need to feel you are sharing something because you care, not because your primary goal is to promote your blog and have more people read and comment on it.
That’s why you need to be careful when you repurpose content for social media. You don’t make it “pitchy,” you simply make it useful and shareable.
For instance, don’t say, “Hey! I just published my new post on how to increase productivity. Please share and comment if you like it!”
Try this instead: “Productivity is a state of mind you need to embrace. Are you guilty of these 3 sabotaging habits? Read more here.” A teaser tweet like this doesn’t promote, it educates; it doesn’t sell, it helps.
This is the difference between promotional content and educational content. Your social media marketing should mostly revolve around educational, informative content your users will find helpful and will be eager to engage with.
Do you A/B test your strategy?
What works for a multinational brand won’t work for your 5-employee company. The best way to see what works for you is to test various types of content. Experiment with copy, with audio and video, with infographics, with sweepstakes, and so forth.
See what engages your readers the most. What is making them share and comment, and what leaves them indifferent?
You cannot predict what will work, you need to A/B test it to find out – and then adapt your strategy according to the results.
Do you offer quality content, all the time?
You might waste a lot of money on a promising social media campaign only to realize it didn’t have the expected results. The most common culprit is poor content quality and lack of coherence and direction.
Don’t be present and active on every social network out there, because you’ll be spreading yourself too thin. Pick no more than 3 social networks to engage with, and make sure you give your full attention to your communities there.
Instead of wasting time and resources on being present on all social media, make it mission to offer high-quality, engaging content in just two or three channels. This way your followers will instantly realize you’re dedicated and will be coming back to engage with your brand.
Focusing on only a few social media outlets also has the added benefit of helping to ensure the quality of your content. The less you’re consumed with, the better the outcome.
Ultimately, for a social media marketing campaign to work, it’s all about undivided attention and valuable content that’s fresh. Good luck!
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