Why does your business need social media marketing?
Social marketing has become an integral part of our lives and continues to evolve. A few years ago everyone was talking about the importance of companies being active and creating pages on sites such as Facebook and Twitter– now the conversation has shifted and is moving towards the idea that every marketing campaign must be social.
The new theory is that social is more than just a channel or tactic; it is a strategy that should be present in every aspect of your marketing. And now that B2B/B2C finally understands the power of social, how do you harness it? How do you entice and engage your audience to share your message and to be a brand ambassador?
As a marketer, you need to learn to leverage social media – for building relationships, listening to the market, promoting content, and influencing buyers even before they’re identified as potential leads. You have to do more than social media; you have to do social marketing.
The question is no longer should I do social, the real question is how do I do social? Our Social Marketing shows you how to add social to every marketing activity to drive buyer engagement, new business and revenue. Whether you are just starting out or have a well-defined social marketing plan, we will help you define and execute your goals.
Before we delve into how to strategically use social marketing throughout all of your marketing activities, let’s do a quick marketing history lesson. In the past, the primary way a prospect could get information about a company was by engaging directly with a sales person. Marketing focused on brand building and awareness by using mass advertising, tradeshows, PR and print media. Direct mail and cold calling made up the majority of targeted interactions, and marketers passed all new leads – hot or cold – to the sales team for follow-up.
With the arrival of Google in 1998, companies started to focus on search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and email marketing to drive traffic to their website. They also created content such as whitepapers and webinars to convert traffic into leads. The best marketers realized that their leads were often sent too early to sales.
As a result, they invested in lead nurturing and scoring programs to further define hot leads and used additional methods to nurture the rest – to be sent to sales at a later date.
Through the many connections social marketing creates, businesses can begin to move from a company-to-buyer marketing model to a peer-to-peer influence model. Social is the perfect platform for creating those valuable business relationships that promote sharing and engagement. And for this to be effective, as a marketer you have to develop a strategy that weaves in social as part of every marketing campaign that you do.
Let’s take a look at some compelling stats from Social Media Examiner’s “2012 Social marketing Marketing Industry Report”
- 93% of B2B marketers use social marketing to market their business
- 85% of marketers reported that the number one benefit of social marketing is generating more business exposure
- 74% of marketers reported that social marketing has increased their site traffic
- 59% of marketers are using social marketing for 6 hours or more per week
The Golden Rules of Social Media Marketing
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. It should be obvious, but social marketing is about being social, and that means you need a good personality to make your brand likable.
- Inbound is not enough. Each of the tactics described in this guide can work on their own. But, for a business to benefit fully from them, they should be combined with outbound marketing. Never underestimate what a bit of paid promotion can do for your business.
- You must have good content and solid offers. Without well-produced, engaging content, any and all tactics you employ will most likely fail.
- You will need a strong call to action. The tried-and-true, strong call to action is just as important in social media as it is anywhere else. Be clear about what you want your audience to do after consuming your content or engaging with your brand.
- Always add value. At the end of the day, if you are not providing some sort of value to your prospects and customers, you are not doing your job and social media will never work for you.
- Never forget that social is a two-way street. No one likes being talked at. Yes, broadcast your message, but remember to keep the lines of communication open in both directions. When contacted, always respond quickly and sincerely. Be sure to mix up your messaging and use a combination of content and offers.
- Peer-to-peer sharing is the best way to get your message heard.
How it works
Social media helps you find new customers by opening up your existing clients’ network of friends, family, and colleagues to you. If a prospect sees someone they trust and respect interacting with you via Facebook, they’ll automatically head to your page to check you out. Perhaps they’ll like your page and perhaps they won’t. Either way, whenever your client interacts with you on your page, that prospect will see it. You’ll then be on top of their minds and guess whom they’ll think of when a need arises that you can fill? After their experience with you, they’ll “like” your page, exposing your business to their network, and so on, and so on!
Social Media is a newer online frontier, especially for businesses. We are here to guide you through it. Whether you need help with a social media marketing strategy or help with setting up your platforms, we can help you implement Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ to help you better connect your business with your followers.
Need help managing social media? Need social media?
If you are wondering what Social Media platforms might be best for your business and you would like and setting them up contact us today!
The game has changed. Prospects are now relying on social media to research and educate themselves before actually engaging with your company. But it is not enough to merely post on your Facebook and Twitter pages, instead you have to work social into every aspect of your marketing and create more peer-to-
peer sharing opportunities. The more your audience wants to engage with your content, the more likely it is that they will want to share and ultimately convert to customers.