In an earlier post, we discussed how to grow your business by cultivating an ability to "sell anything to anyone."
This article explores how to use one of the most effective channels for that selling — social media.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of modern social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Using these tools is no longer a competitive advantage — it has become an absolute business necessity. This is especially true when dealing with savvy customers who don't enjoy being "sold to" by clever marketers. Used properly, social media allows you to let others do all the heavy lifting and “market” on your behalf.
In effect, you’re able to leverage "social" proof, but how do you use social media properly? Many businesses simply create profiles, add a few sharing icons on their websites, and stop there. Don't make this same mistake.
Below are six steps to help you get the most out of your social media marketing campaign.
1. Choose Your Platform(s)
Your message should reach your audience — no matter where those customers are. Facebook and Twitter are essential. Though depending on your industry, you may want to consider other platforms like Linkedin, Google Plus, or Pinterest.
2. Select the Right Tone
Your social media profiles are extensions of your brand identity, but whenever possible, you should strike a friendlier and more personal tone. Your website might be extremely technical, but your Facebook page is a chance to "connect" with your audience on a more personal level.
3. Add Viral Potential
Go easy on the text and strive for visual and creative messages, instead. For example, posts with photos and videos receive up to 35 percent more retweets, . Infographics are another way to condense information into attractive and shareable content.
4. A/B Test Everything
Social media makes it easy to segment users and test different messages. Perhaps a certain combination of colors, words or price points resonates more strongly with Test Audience A than with Test Audience B.
Analyze the results and revise your marketing message accordingly.
5. Make Social Sharing Easy
Make it as easy as possible for users to share your content with others. You can accomplish this by scattering social media icons throughout your site and marketing materials. When users click an icon, it also helps to autopopulate messages instead of presenting blank text boxes. This saves users from having to come up with something clever to add. It also allows you to control the message that recipients ultimately receive.
6. Automate Your Social Media
Depending on your content management system (CMS), you may be able to automate all social media updates in the future. Whenever you publish a new article to your blog, for example, that post instantly goes on your company’s Facebook or Twitter feeds.
Just Scratching the Surface of Social Media's Potential
The social media landscape continues to evolve at such a fantastic rate — it's easy to feel overwhelmed. However, if you adopt the six strategies above, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.
Once you get a handle on the basics, you can delve deeper into more arcane best practices like optimal sending times, copyrighting hacks and high-conversion color palettes.
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