Do you know that 75% of Singaporeans are on social media each day? Or that we spend almost 7 hours a day online?
Social media isn’t new by any stretch of the imagination. Almost everybody is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus, or Snapchat these days. Unfortunately, not many companies are doing social media marketing right. Treating social media just like traditional channels, they pour their old wine into new social media wineskins.
Common mistakes in social media marketing
What are some of the common mistakes in social media marketing committed by companies?
Well, let me count the ways:
- They focus on selling and promoting rather than helping others.
- They treat social media as an advertising rather than a conversational platform.
- They spam their channels with continually with ads disguised as content.
- They use social media to continually boast about the superiority of their products.
- They neglect cultivating relationships with their communities.
- They ignore the feedback of their customers on social media channels.
- They want quick, immediate and highly tangible results from their efforts.
How then should companies avoid these slip-ups and harness the true power of social media?
Begin with a social media marketing strategy
The first thing you need to do is to plan and strategise.
Contrary to popular belief, social media marketing isn’t merely launching a Facebook page or LinkedIn account, sharing every damn thing about what your company does.
Like any strategic business function, social media marketing involves a series of systematic steps, namely:
- Identify marketing problem
- Establish social media marketing objective
- Analyse and target customers
- Roll out social media marketing channels
- Hire social media marketing team
- Create and curate social media friendly content
- Develop a social media content calendar
- Manage, engage and grow online community
- Use analytics and metrics to determine success
Let us look more closely at five of the key areas above.
Identify social media marketing objectives
The first and most important thing you need to do is to know why you are going into social media marketing in the first place.
What marketing problem are you trying to solve? Are you keen to grow your brand awareness through social PR? Do you need to drive customer traffic to your sites? Would you need social media to improve how you serve your customers? Or maybe you wish to convert your online visitors to become paid customers?
Knowing your objectives is important as it helps you to be razor sharp in your focus.
Know your customer on social media
A vital part of social media marketing lies in identifying who your customer is and profiling him or her.
Customer segmentation includes analysing the demographic and psychographic attributes of your target audiences. This covers anything from their age, education, housing type, and income levels to their behaviours, interests and aspirations.
Perhaps the most important aspect of customer analysis lies in understanding how they behave on social media, which channels they love to frequent, and why they choose to do so.
Choose right social media channels
Now that you know where your customers hangout, you need to select the right social media channels.
While it is nice to have a company presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Instagram, Snap Chat, Periscope, Meerkat, and every other channel out there, doing so is highly unproductive. It would also run you ragged in next to no time.
Instead of being everywhere, focus your energies on the 2 or 3 channels which you can master. Be sure that these are the same ones where your customer communities hang out at.
Create and curate social media content
This brings us to content – the life blood of social media and digital marketing. Content is a humungous topic in itself.
Develop content which can meet the convergence between the 4 Cs, namely:
- Customers: Which topics and formats (text, photos, videos, games) would best suit their interests and needs?
- Company: What kinds of content would best fit your company’s business?
- Channels: How should the content be produced to meet the characteristics of the social channel?
- Competitors: What are the types of content rolled out by other brands or experts? How attractive are these content types?
For the last point, short text posts may work better than longer text updates on Facebook. However, long articles on websites and blogs are great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes, especially if they contain the right combination of keywords and useful content.
You need to also read the blog posts of other experts in your circle. Curate and share them with your own social networks. Doing so helps to sows the seed for friendships and strengthens reciprocity.
Grow your social media community
To grow your influence and impact as a social media marketer, you need to have a community. Growing a community takes considerable time and effort.
In starting a community (be it a Facebook page or LinkedIn group), consider the following:
- Focus on topics of interest and relevance, rather than brand names.
- Encourage members to post and interact with each other.
- Regularly share educational, engaging and entertaining content, either from your own presses or others.
- Organise online and offline events to activate the community.
- Ensure that customer service issues are taken care of. This is very important and can make or break you!
Beyond interacting with the members of your communities, you should also participate in other social media communities specific to your trade. Use those platforms to learn what’s new and novel in the business and to form friendships with like-minded others.
More in my social media marketing course!
What I’ve covered above is just the tip of the iceberg. Social media marketing covers many other areas – from understanding how each social channel works, knowing which content format to use, to measuring and managing success.
After almost 10 years in social media marketing, I will share what I know in a comprehensive two day social media marketing training course beginning in end March 2016.
Done in partnership with Equinet Academy, this rigorous two-day training course will equip you with practical hands-on experience in social media marketing.
At the workshop, I will also share interesting case studies of brands which have successfully used social media marketing. I will also reveal everything I know about this business – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Go ahead and sign up for my social media training course today! At only $750, it is quite an amazing bargain considering the amount of value which you will get.
Click on the link here to sign up today.
Oh and let me know too if you’ve got any thoughts on what you can do to begin your social media marketing journey. I’d love to hear your ideas!