Social media marketing is a form of marketing that is used to promote products and services on social media or social networking sites for all types of businesses.
Posts are commonly either text or images or a combination of text and images as well as videos and GIFs that are designed to capture prospects or customers attention.
For most business owners posts and more posts appear to be the most common definition and action taken as part of their social media marketing strategy.
And for the majority of businesses those posts are placed on Facebook ,Twitter and often Instagram but can include a range of other social media/social networking sites as well.
However with Facebook being one of the predominant social media platforms it gets the bulk of the attention followed by Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Many business owners see the success of social media marketing in the form of likes or shares or comments made on their posts. There is often very little return on investment (ROI) for the time and effort put into the posts in order to sell products or services.
It is also difficult to get those people interested in your posts to provide the name and details or to purchase from the business.
Marketing on social media can be a fairly time-consuming effort to produce fresh and new content that is of interest to your prospects or customers online. The strategy most business owners use is very limited and myopic in that it rarely addresses what’s important to the prospects, to their customers or to the people that may have even a passing interest in what you have to say.
Social media marketing is often mistakenly referred to in the same context as advertising on social media but Social media marketing essentially does not involve cost per click or similar advertising costs. It is really all about trying to garner likes, shares and comments on posts.
The ability to like and share and comment is available across all social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and a range of other social networking sites that are available.
What many businesses don’t equate with social media marketing is that social media websites are essentially sites for social interaction, communications and other interpersonal discussions. For the vast majority of people who visit a social media website on a regular basis whether that is daily, weekly or monthly the fact of the matter is they are very rarely searching for businesses. Even so, they might still be captured by a post or an advertisement or recommendation.
But even so there is a lot of distraction and clutter on social media sites with other people and businesses trying to capture people’s attention. In actual fact it is very easy to end up down a rabbit hole from a click bait type promotional attempt.
And that is one of the major consequences that businesses face. Cutting through all that clutter. Cutting through all that information that distracts and lures the attention away from what your post is trying to talk about.
Businesses also struggle to write fresh new content on a regular basis because clearly it does not take long before you run out of new facts and you information on your products or services that you think could inspire a prospect of a customer to want to click on your link to take action, to talk to you or to buy from you.
There are a number of social networking/media platforms which provide automated communications giving people 24 hour access to submit questions or ask for support or any other range of services that you as a business can provide.
In addition there are a number of strategies that can be utilised in a way to make the most of every interaction.
However for the vast majority of businesses they don’t use the social media websites to really interact with their customers in a deep and meaningful way that develops the relationship further.
There is also very little ways in measuring ROI because very few of the processes can be accurately measured in a way that compares those comments those shares or likes with actual sales and profits.
And that is one of the key things that people in businesses have not been able to work out how to achieve. One of the reasons for that is that primarily people are happy to keep the prospect on the social media site. They rarely take them to their own website or a website where they have full control over the the next steps of the interaction.
And that is one of the things that makes marketing and social media such a difficult area to justify the cost because posting does not provide guaranteed ways on its own to generate sales and profits.
Developing a plan or strategy to take a more active approach to engaging with people by talking about things that make them laugh, educate them or make them think and gets them to respond in a way that shows your business actually has care and interest in their thoughts and their ideas and where they are going with their life.
The concept of What’s In It For Me still applies in social media marketing as much as any marketing. Whilst you can constantly talk about your business and what new or great products you can provide to your prospects and customers they will still expect and want you to talk about the important things and solutions to their problems in their life.
They will eagerly wait for you to show them how they can see results, how they will see changes in their life for the better or even to stop pain or problem from occurring. Its your job to demonstrate that in a range of different methods and strategies.
It’s not enough to just do a basic campaign and hope for the sake of it that it will work because the reality is that after a few weeks you will start to run out of interest, you start to run out of ideas and the whole social media posting process will come to a grinding halt because you will not have seen any comments, any likes or any shares and certainly no interest in buying your products or services.
Our unique RECIPE takes a lot of that strategy and puts it into a practical format to engage with your prospects and customers, to really demonstrate that you understand who they are and what they need to improve their life, to solve a problem or remove an obstacle.
So it’s no secret that true engagement is not only about talking about you and your business it’s about posting about what’s important to your prospects and customers. When you write about a specific topic which then captures prospects and customers attention and engages with them, you will get more shares, likes and comments than you ever thought possible.
It is important before you actually start a social media marketing plan that you understand the strategy that you are trying to achieve. In other words what are your goals and which social media sites or platforms are you prospects visiting regularly.
Those sites are the ones you need to focus on as not all social media platforms will talk to your prospects or your customers.
What type of content are you planning on writing because there is no limit to what you can write about but you need to be aware of exactly what is going to appeal and engage with your prospects and your customers.
Our unique RECIPE takes six areas of posting strategy and combines them in an effective and powerful manner that can drive responses and engagement in ways that most businesses do not get and will never achieve.
So when you get to the next stage of planning your content and then posting it, you have to look at these:
- How often are you going to post online?
- Are you going to post only for events?
- Will you post a basic blog update on your business?
- Are you going to include images with each post or a video?
- What have your customers told you is important them them?
- What problems do your products/services solve?
- Do you want to make people laugh?
Videos can be exceptionally powerful because it can put a face to your business and personalisation in a way that many businesses prefer to stay away from even in the small to medium size range.
Once you’ve worked out what you’re going to post and how often and how are you going to post.
Are you going to post to each individual platform that you’ve chosen or are you going to post to a range of sites by just uploading the post to a separate piece of software that will post to 2 or 3 or more social network sites?
And then what happens with the responses and the engagement with your prospects and customers? How are you going to manage that interaction? How are you going to respond to them? Will you monitor their responses daily, weekly or whenever you have time? How will keep the interaction going to demonstrate your care and how important is the relationship.
Some posts will need to be actively monitored. Can you automate that process or do you want to have somebody who monitors and responds during business hours and if that’s the case what happens after business hours?
And when you’ve got your strategy, monitoring and your engagement and response processes worked out how do you monitor the impact of those posts on your new conversions to new customers, your repeat customers and even the reviews you get?
Monitoring the analytics of your social media sites can be done through each individual site And if you are only utilising one or two you can probably manage to do that easily on a weekly basis. If you are using more than two or three websites you were going to need some form of automated analytics reporting that you don’t have to constantly be checking that it can just provide that information for you from one platform or one piece of software.
Analytics are critical to the success of your social media marketing plans and strategies and without monitoring the responses and the results and where people are going when they have responded to a post can give you a massive amount of information about not only the impact on the return on investment for your business but also whether you found discussions or information or posts that really cut through all the distractions that people face online everyday.
Within analytics you will not know the true success you have had and although your analytics from your social media websites can be important there is another step that also needs to be built into every post that you do online.
And this is something that many social media agencies won’t really want to talk about and they don’t really discuss it in great detail in relation to the social media information websites.
And that is, to build true engagement and to help people solve their problems, find a solution, or remove an obstacle cannot be done only from your social media business/company page or your personal profile page.
Social media websites don’t give you the ability to present a number of options to your prospects or customers in order to for you to gauge accurately what they are really responding to and the reasons they are responding or sharing or liking or commenting.
In actual fact social media website posts should always be viewed as the first step in building the relationship. The second step is where you take them to your own website that you have 100% control over. A website where you can ask questions to get more information in order to work out their problem that needs solving in order to sell your services as that solution.
Social media websites will not allow you to ask questions on posts in order really delve into the problem. Sure you can do polls and other basic questions.
But any deeper and social media sites often treat such interaction as a threat to their business and believe if you are using “clickbait” to ask more questions in order to help solve the problem they will stop you dead in your tracks.
They don’t want you leaving their social media platform. They want you on that social media platform for as long as possible so that they can get an understanding of who you are, what you look for, what you talk about and what you click on so that they can drive their own agenda for advertising to you. And that in turn drives their sales and gives them control over the interaction with you.
Because of that, any attempt to take you from these social media platform to your 100% controlled website is viewed as detrimental to their business and their terms and conditions will often stop you from being able to achieve some or all of those steps.
While that sounds highly advantageous for the social media site, you can still use it to your advantage. Used wisely, you it can still be a great strategy to get new customers and to get more sales.
One of the other strategies for using social media marketing is to build your business brand and create a brand identity and associate your brand with your local area if that’s relevant, with your services with your products in a way that many businesses would have no idea of how to achieve that in any other marketing context.
The interesting thing is that the brand development of your business is exactly what the search engines such as Google and Bing are focusing on more and more I want to associate your brand with your products your local area and those keywords that people are searching for every single day.
What are the other powerful and truly under utilised aspects is building good communication and relationships with your existing customers. For many businesses their customer list is almost only their social media followers.
Even if it is small, there are ways you can take that existing list and build it up using social media posts, as well as, messages, SMS or email marketing to get repeat sales, increase the average value of sales and just promote special packages or new releases.
This is the type of marketing you can use every day on social media sites. Marketing that is directed at your existing customers and not just to new customers that you’re hoping to entice to buy from you.
From here the choice is yours as to which direction you go, the strategy that you build, the content that you create and whether they are focused on your prospects or your customers or both.
If you’d like to learn how to use our RECIPE to build your strategy for the next 12 months click on the link below and we’ll give you 30 days of posts at no cost all of which use the RECIPE to drive engagement with your prospects and customers.
Click the button today.