How well is your social media strategy working for you? Everyone knows that when used effectively, social media can be a powerful asset. But, there’s a vast difference between causally posting a blog article or two and a well thought out social media marketing strategy.
Previously, I outlined a simple how-tosocial media playbook for small businesses for those who are strapped for time or managing social media may not be your day job. Now, I’d like to take it another step forward by helping you make social media work for your business. To do so, I want you to think about 5 key questions.
Question 1: How Can You Build And Engage A Local Community?
Building a loyal following on social media begins first and foremost with creating meaningful content. What do I mean by meaningful content? This is content that is not only valuable and educational, but also highly relevant to your community. You need to provide content that is useful to them, in the moment they need it.
Once you have a library of meaningful content, the key is getting others to share it. People are far more likely to take the time to pause and view your content in their newsfeed if it comes from someone they know, like and trust.
But, building a community will only work if your audience is actively engaged on that platform. Facebook instantly comes to mind, but so does Instagram and Twitter. The important thing to remember is that you should be where your customers are. If you build a group on Google Plus, is anyone actually going to join it?
Once you have the beginnings of a community in place, nurture that group by engaging with them in open conversations. Ask for their feedback on a blog topic or what they would like to see happen that would drastically improve the experiences they have with your brand.
Question 2: How Can You Stay Authentic While Selling Your Brand?
The only way to stay authentic while also “selling” your brand is through storytelling. Every brand has a story to tell. Brands like Apple and Coca Cola are perfect examples of how brands can apply storytelling to their marketing. Tell a story that sells the experiences people have with your products or services. Do not focus your story on price or features and benefits that distinguish you from a competitor. At the end of the day, you and a competitor are really just one in the same. An iPhone and Samsung Galaxy are both phones and used for the same purposes, but why does Apple have a cult-like following? They’ve mastered the art of storytelling.
Question 3: How Can You Ensure Your Reviews And Online Reputation Have A Positive Influence On The Consumer Purchase Decision?
The best way to ensure your online reviews and what people say about you is positive is to manage them. People turn to reviews and social media to consult with friends long before they decide whether or not your business is worthy.
Asking for reviews from those who actively use your products or services, helps to ensure that those who have positive things to say, share them online for everyone to see. The more Google Local Guides that review your business the better!
It’s inevitable that you’ll get a less than positive review. But even a negative review can still be a huge positive for your business. It provides you a podium to show the world, even when things go wrong, you still have the customer’s best interest in mind.
A study by Get App showed that purchases were most influenced by reviews with an average star rating between 4.2 and 4.2, and that five-star ratings are often seen as “too good to be true”. Customers tend to weigh two- to four-star reviews more than one- or five- star reviews.
Question 4: How Do You Deal With A Continually Declining Organic Reach?
With organic reach long gone on Facebook, paying to promote your content has become a foregone conclusion if you want people to actually view your content. Social media allows you to target a specific audience that’ll place your content in front of the right people. Testing and zeroing in on who your ideal customer is will provide you the best targeting.
Question 5: What Can You Do To Avoid Getting Lost In The Overcrowded Social Media Landscape?
Create a video to capture people’s attention and maximize engagement. Videos keep people engaged far more than text. Make sure your video has the same effect when viewed with sound as without sound. Far too many people view videos on their smartphones without any sound.
Technology has made it incredibly easy to create engaging video content, without having to pay for professional help. You can now create videos and instantly share them with your community from anywhere. Just open the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter app, what have you, and start live broadcasting. The YouTube Director for Business App also makes it easy for you to create polished videos from your phone and share them on YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine.
There’s a lot more to social media marketing than frequently sharing content and using smart hashtags. It’s about building and growing communities through storytelling. To make social media work for your business, you should engage with people in personable, honest, and creative ways.
* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com