== Have a Plot ==
There’s a certain skill and knowledge to effective social media marketing. It involves consistency, quality and timing. Most importantly, it involves establishing a plan with computable goals. Just because it’s “social” doesn’t mean it’s that different than any other marketing edge. To be successful, you need a strategy that sets detailed goals that can be tracked and measured.
What network is the best to connect with my customer?
What content do I have to help them engage in my brand?
How do I keep them connected to us and sharing our value?
== Create Content of Value ==
Your customers and prospects have undeniable wants and needs. The most effective way to attract them and keep them coming back for more is to provide content that speak to those wants and needs. That’s also the best way to encourage social sharing, which will ultimately get you more brand exposure and spread your following.
Produce content of value, and people will consume as much as you can produce and share it.
== Have a Stable Brand Identity ==
If you want people to come to know and trust your brand, you have to provide them with the same experience regardless of where and how they interact with you. Whether it’s your Facebook page, your blog posts, your plus’s on Google+ or your videos on YouTube, your message and tone should be consistent across the board.
There’s nothing more sustaining than hearing a user say that they instantly recognize your brand, and are excited to consume more or interact with it. Make your brand part of your customer.
== Keep it Simple ==
There seems to be a new social platform popping up almost daily in our new connected world. That doesn’t necessarily mean your business should be involved in all of them. The key to successful social media marketing is determining which networks will provide the best access to your target audience and concentrating your efforts in that direction.
== Focus On Value Over Size ==
Sure, every company would love to have millions of fans, followers and buyers, but if that’s all you’re aiming for you’re probably misplacing the mark. Social media marketing is only valuable if it aids in your business growth. Having a huge following of people that aren’t likely to transform into customers or refer your brand to others won’t do you any good, having a smaller group of highly targeted individuals and networks is the best way to share your self, time and advertising dollar.
Identify your major customer’s need, and produce content that keeps them engaged. Don’t spend much time worrying about customers that are not a good fit for your business. Market your self to the customers that would need you every day.
== Produce Many Types of Content ==
The term content doesn’t (and shouldn’t) refer only to the written word. Statistics shows that Facebook and Twitter posts with images have a 36% higher rate of engagement than text alone. Beyond that, 75% of consumers are more likely to visit a company’s website after viewing a video. So if all you’re doing is writing posts & blogs, you’re completely missing the mark and consequently losing prospective customers as a result.
== Engage With Your Fans, Followers & Customers ==
Many businesses make the mistake of disregarding the “social” aspect of social media marketing. These platforms are where brands can connect with customers on a personal level – not just a way to market your products or services. To capitalize on this, you should be actively engaging with your fans, followers and customers rather than aiming on marketing to them solely. Answer questions, participate in discussions and show people that there is depth, expertise and personality behind your brand.
== Make It Easy to Connect ==
To be successful on social networks, you need fans, followers and customers to connect and find you. You won’t get them if you’re making it difficult or complicated for them to connect with you. Include social share buttons in all of your content and on your website. Encourage people to join you wherever you’re most active by mentioning it everywhere. Facebook mentions your Twitter, Twitter mentions your Instagram, Instagram mentions your Website and the list goes on.
== Tackle Negative Comments and Reviews Head-On ==
These days, more and more people are taking to social media platforms to voice their opinions and share experiences they’ve had with a particular brand. In all this freedom of information, many businesses make the mistake of ignoring negative comments and reviews. By responding in a timely and positive manner and offering to correct the problem, not only will you improve the chances of retaining that one customer, but also you’ll demonstrate to countless others that you’re listening and you care. Even if a customer posts a completely false statement about you business, most networks give you the chance to reply or remove the comment. Still it is better to reply even to false negative comments with positive knowledge.
Example: A customer wrote a negative review about an Electronic Repair Shop that preformed water damage repair on a device, the customer fully understood that the procedure was not guaranteed to work and told the shop to continue anyway. Long store short the repair didn’t work out and the customer was upset. When the customer got home she wrote reviews about how the shop didn’t know what they were doing. Instead of defending their position on why they were right and she was wrong, the Electronic Repair shop explain how water damage treatment works, the time it take and the procedures they used, and explain how there is always that small chance that it doesn’t work out.
By doing this they showed their professionalism, expertise, and that they cared about their work and how people felt about it.
== Measure Your Results ==
Like any marketing advantage, you have to check your social media marketing results from time to time to identify what’s working and what isn’t working. Create a set of goals to achieve and a schedule. Stick to your schedule and review your performance against your goals and adjust as needed.
34% of consumers cite social media platforms as their main source for learning about new brands, products and services (a number that’s likely to grow sizably in the upcoming years). Social media is unquestionably one of the most powerful marketing tools for businesses today. If you follow these strategies, you’ll have a much higher rate of success in attracting and retaining new fans, followers and customers, I would start today if you haven’t already and start growing your business through social media marketing.