Let us start with key stats. 81% of the United States’ population are on social media platforms every single day.
On top of that, there are more than two billion monthly active users on Facebook.
Meaning there’s huge potential to tap into social media to grow your business.
There are tons of different strategies, tactics, and methods to use for building and leveraging a social following.
But how do you know what’s good? What works? What social media marketing tactics are actually worth the time?
It can be hard to sift through all the info and tricks out there to know what’s best for you.
You need social media to build a brand following.
Thankfully, even with the influx of how-tos and social media guides out there, there are just three basic forms that social media marketing is made up of:
Community management, content creation, and growth.
So instead of worrying about the latest innovations, in terms of social media tactics, you can narrow your focus and really excel with social media marketing first.
Here are the three different forms of social media marketing and how you can use them to grow your business ASAP.
The first form of social media marketing falls under community management.
This is where you focus on driving engagement, interacting with fans and followers, and helping current fans solve problems.
Community engagement can take shape in a variety of ways.
For example, you can use social media to help solve user problems. Or you can simply use it to thank users for their existing purchases and loyalty:
Social media is an incredibly diverse marketing tactic that allows you to engage in ways we’ve never seen before.
It’s personalized (just look at how McDonald’s called out John by name and referred to their “date”), and people love interacting with brands.
71% of people who interact with a brand on social media and have a good experience are likely to recommend that company to a friend.
On top of that, platforms like Facebook influence 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchase decisions.
That’s a 36% increase from just three years ago.
Social media is one of the best ways to create a loyal following and deliver a perfect customer experience.
70% of people who get help from a brand on social media will return as a customer:
So how do you provide the best community engagement and management to deliver the results you need?
Here are a few of my favorite ways to build a better community around your following and drive more engagement:
Respond faster. Response time is critical in giving the user a good customer experience.
In fact, that’s one of the main reasons why most companies use social media in the first place.
73% of the top-performing companies cite customer service as their main priority in social media marketing:
But in reality, only 36% of customers who ask for assistance via social media have reported having good experiences.
And that’s not good if your goal is to build a community that engages with your brand.
In fact, that’s a death wish for any company on social media.
So what do you do? You respond faster.
Responding faster is critical if you want to improve contact rates and lead conversions.
In fact, every five minutes you wait to respond can have catastrophic results for your business:
But the truth is, most firms are slow to respond to new leads or messages from users:
Meaning that you are likely at risk of losing out on potential customers and simultaneously giving a poor user experience.
Be genuine. I can’t stress this point enough when talking about community management and engagement:
Interact with users like a genuine, real human being would.
When not done right, marketing can be seen as cold, boring, automated, and robotic.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, and it shouldn’t be that way on social media.
It’s important on social media to interact with your followers like they are your friends, not just your customer.
Just look at how big brands pull this off, like Southwest:
And that’s not something that only big brands can do. It costs zero extra dollars from your marketing budget to take five seconds to personalize a response.
Notice how they include the user’s name in conjunction with personalized language like “you” and signing off with the support staffs initials?
That’s great personalization at work. And look how SaaS company HelpScout does it.
The goal here is to have genuine responses and real communication.
Don’t automate your responses.
The second form of social media marketing is content creation.
Content creation is the name of the game when it comes to providing value and driving traffic to your site.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to drive cheap leads and see explosive growth.
According to Oracle, in the first five months of implementing content marketing, you can expect a cost per lead drop of 80%.
And social media is the preferred platform for content marketers to share their pieces.
In fact, 87% of content marketers share their content on social media platforms after publishing it.
And 81% of content marketers found an increase in traffic after spending just a few hours a week promoting content on social media.
So, how do you implement better content creation for your social media marketing strategy?
Here are two things to focus on.
People love visually appealing content.
And they love to share it: visual content will get shared 40x more than content without visuals.
Visual content will almost always outperform plain text.
Why? Most people aren’t scrolling through their social timelines to read a huge block of text.
In fact, if the pictures in the content are relevant, they will get more attention than the associated text.
Why do you think Twitter limits posts to 140 characters? Nobody wants to read your 500-word post.
Social media is fast-paced, and visual content is perfect for grabbing someone’s attention when they’re scrolling at 100mph.
And video is one of my favorite ways to do that. In fact, the majority of marketing professionals say video produces the best ROI:
The third form of social media marketing revolves around growth.
This sector is focused on increasing your following, driving traffic, and expanding your social footprint.
This can be achieved with tons of different marketing methods:
Promotions, contests, cross promotions, giveaways, and more.
But how do you do it? How do you run a successful content that generates a provable ROI?
Well, that’s what I am here to show you!
First, let’s jump into some basics that you need to nail down before you dive into growing your presence on social media.
Just like any type of social media engagement, timing plays a critical role in contests and giveaways:
Be sure to run your contests during the most active months of the year to take full advantage of their ability to drive traffic.
Also be on the lookout for effective contest duration– not too long, and not too short.
And these types of growth style promotions work
On average, Facebook Pages can expect a 34% increase in new fans through a contest.
That’s huge. Growing your social following through contests and giveaways should be a big part of your social strategy.
Some of my favorite tools to use for giveaways and contests are Gleam and Kontest.
When you hear the term “social media marketing,” what comes to mind?
Possibly a jumbled mix of tactics, buzzwords, and lots of jargon, right?
A quick “social media marketing” search on Google brings back more than 40 million results.
That would be a lot to take in if you truly needed to know it all.
Luckily, you don’t. Because, thankfully, we can break down social media marketing into three forms to continue to build social proof and drive leads to our content and brand.
Start by managing your community. Focus on engaging with fans and driving buzz around your company.
Then, make sure to deliver great content that fits your target audience.
Finish it off by running contests and promotions to build more buzz and drive growth through the roof.
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