“Forget about ‘Going Viral’ and ‘Go Give Value’.” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive
More than 66% of marketers agree that spending as little as six hours per week on social activities can drive an increase in leads. If your social media marketing campaign isn’t as successful as you’d like to it be then it’s time to re-visit your strategy and make sure you have all the essential components in place. For many business owners who have just jumped onto the social media marketing bandwagon, this merely means setting up Facebook and Twitter profiles, connecting your blog to profiles, posting photos and video, and sending out tweets.
Those are all great tools and tactics, but you need to develop a strategy focused on defining your audience, creating the right content, sending the right message, and then creating loyal customers. You can post multiple times daily and never convert customers. You can also have great content and awesome videos that no one sees or responds to. But, one of the more common problem we find is, folks don’t know or understand who their audience is.
Use Communities to Build Audiences
Each social media site is a unique community and you’ll find audiences in several communities. Communities work because they are built on relationships. Relationships breed trust. Each medium is different so you need to find out about the audience you attract in each one.
Get to Know Your Followers
Who are they? Read some of your follower’s social media profiles. This tells you what’s important to them, their goals, and their values. You can also find demographic information like age, occupation, if they have children, and where they live. If your followers own businesses, pop on over to their websites and see if they have an active blog. Leave a meaningful comment. Whatever you do, don’t leave comments like “Nice post.” Let your response demonstrate that you’ve actually read and took in what they had to say. Provide a link to something related to their post that might be of value to their other readers. But, more importantly – NO Selling. You are there to develop a rapport not to plug your products and services.
Learn Your Followers’ Timing
When are your followers most active on social media? Use a good analytics tools to see if you can track numbers and post times. If you don’t have the internal resources for this, hire a marketing company like Marketing Samurai, LLC who can help you refine your strategy and get better results.
Identify Social Media Influencers
Who is your target audience following? Get your message out to these influencers. If you quote an influencer in a blog post, email that person and let them know. Tweet a link to your blog content, for example and include the Twitter handle of that influencer so that they are notified the minute you @ them. When you align with influencers, they come with their own audience and their audience’s network. This can help you build a niche and give you the endorsement of someone your audience respects and trusts. If you can’t do that, just use what you know about these influencers to refine how you reach out and engage with customers, clients, and followers.
Find Ways to Engage Your Audience
What type of content are they most responsive to? Is your audience more likely to click a video or article link? Conduct polls about your company’s services. Survey existing customers and ask what type of content they prefer. Join the online conversation with your audience and follow hashtags and respond to their posts and comments. You can also offer incentives for “shares,” when fans share your content. Providing answers on Q&A forms is another way to connect with your target audience. This helps to build your company’s reputation and can generate leads.
When developing, implementing, and evaluating your social media campaign, always think about your audience first. Let them tell you who they are and what is important to them. Once you nurture the right audience, you’ll see more social media success.