May 30, 2018
Posting a quick update on Twitter or your Facebook page a couple of times a week is not a strategy. Your digital marketing strategy should encompass social media marketing, but not depend entirely upon them. Obviously social media needs to be an important part of your marketing strategy because 69% of the general public uses it on a daily basis, but it cannot be the sole component. What is important to remember when considering social media is that it has to be more than just mundane posts and updates. To use it to its full potential means to understand the target audience and to engage with them accordingly. The target audience you reach on social media might be different that the audience you reach through other forms of inbound marketing. In this way, if used properly, you might be able to reach a bigger demographic but it requires and understanding of the audience and how they respond. Therefore it is important to make sure your marketing team caters the content accordingly.
If your customers are primarily venting their discontent with your company, something has to be fixed and it might be your top management, customer service policies, or even a thorough culture change that empowers employees. If you cannot show that the business is willing to adapt to the needs and expectations of its customers, all the happy announcements on Facebook won’t matter. The majority of social media users respond well to online engagement and want to see that their needs are being met, quickly. Do you have a dedicated team that can manage the expectations of an active social media following?
Social media marketing is about building a relationship with your customers. Relationships take time. Customer loyalty demands that your business build trust. You’ll have to tweak your social media strategy to figure out the best marketing tools that will resonate with your clientele and be willing to adjust your strategy and experiment in order to see results. Social media won’t deliver quick results or provide a quick fix to a tarnished reputation. Building a loyal following can take time but will respond well to an active and engaging brand.
If you’re going to outsource your digital marketing, then choose a consultant with experience, enthusiasm, and reliability. They must also have an in-depth understanding of the culture and brand that you want your business to emanate and remain consistent with it. As with many services, the cheapest one won’t necessarily be the best option. If you decide to keep social media marketing in-house, that may require hiring at least one person or training an existing employee who is media savvy and enthusiastic about the opportunity and the work involved. Establishing an active persona online can be a full time job! Another option is utilizing a scheduler to automatically post for you such as Buffer or Hootsuite. Software like this can definitely cut down on time spent for daily posting but make sure that the content is curated to match your brand. You will still need to go in and engage with your followers by answering questions, responding to comments and so on. Be sure to understand your analytic reporting on social media so that you can properly adjust to what the clientele responds well to.
Especially if your company will be using in-house personnel to perform social media marketing, you must budget appropriately for the costs incurred. That may require a boost in employee salary, upgrading internet access, investing in new computer equipment and software, and paying for employee training. The absolute wrong way to go about it is to expect your employee to take on the responsibility of corporate promotion without considering the additional hours your employee will work and the open access she or he will need to internet-based resources. The moral of the employee could affect the brand that you are representing online.
If you focus social media marketing efforts on selling, your audience will quickly fade. Inundated with advertisements, consumers won’t long endure yet another site trying to sell them something. Offer them something of value--good content--and they’ll keep checking back in to see what’s next and won’t become unduly annoyed when that advertisement pops up. Curate your content to be lively, engaging, and entertaining to keep loyal followers as well as attracting more.
Press releases, trade shows, and other ways of building awareness and public good remain vitally important to the entire marketing strategy. Don’t abandon them for an exclusive focus on social media. These efforts will also help to validate your business as a leader and expert in your field.
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