Build and Brand Your Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an incredibly powerful tool and these days it is one of the single biggest factors that a marketer can use to build their digital empire. In fact, social media is often what really makes the difference between having a website and having such an ‘empire’.
A website on its own can make you money and it can promote your business – but it takes more than that to build a brand and to have that ubiquitous presence that can help you to drive the maximum amount of traffic to your monetization systems.
Social media allows you to interact with your audience, to get feedback, to hear suggestions and to communicate in a variety of different ways. It lets you build brand visibility and it lets you drive visitors directly to your site.
This is why social media is so important and it’s why so many people and businesses are hopping on board. In fact, 66% of marketers believe that social media is a core part of their business (Salesforce).
With 92% of respondents describing it as ‘important’ (Social Media Examiner). 38% of companies are looking to increase their spend in this area. 66% of businesses have a dedicated social media team according to Salesforce.
But unfortunately, despite this ubiquity of social media marketing, many of these companies are not actually getting the very most out of their marketing efforts.
Many social media marketers simply don’t know how to allocate their resources with regards to social media and the result is that they often aren’t getting anywhere near the increase in profits and brand awareness that they could be from it.
How Social Media Goes Wrong
A lot of businesses and even dedicated social media marketers are under the impression that they can just set up an account and post regularly with the hopes that they will start generating lots of followers and ‘likes’.
There is no planning and no foresight and there is no attempt to take full advantage of the more advanced features and uses. What’s worse, is that many of these companies use social media sites simply as a place to advertise.
All they’re doing is posting and all they’re posting are things like ‘Our web design service is the best in the business!’. Think honestly, is this an account you would follow yourself? Are any of these posts things you would potentially share with other users?
If not, then you can’t really expect your channel to grow. The result is something pitiful – a completely empty social media channel with you mentioning the merits of your business to an empty room and pretending someone is listening.
This can actually be more damaging to your brand than not having a social media account at all! And this is hardly what you would call ‘building a digital empire’.
So with that in mind, let’s look at how you should be approaching your social media efforts and at how you can make it really work for you.
Social Media Does More Than Build Brand Awareness
The first thing to recognize about your social media efforts is that your objectives should go beyond simply getting more people to follow you and to see your brand.
Social media is ideal for strengthening brand awareness but it’s also a tool that can be used in many other ways. Here are just some of the things you can do once you’ve learned to master your social media presence…
Get Feedback and Survey Your Audience
Companies will often pay a lot of money to conduct surveys and to interview their audience. Using social media though, you can do exactly that and can thereby hone your products and services to get the best possible feedback.
You can also get a lot of rich data by looking at how your social media is performing. For instance, which titles are getting clicked on the most often? What type of images illicit sharing?
Networking and Influencer Marketing
Originally, most social networks were not designed to be platforms for marketing. Rather, they were intended to facilitate networking so that people could find like-minded individuals and potentially business contacts in the case of sites like LinkedIn.
This is something you can use social media for in a very effective manner and potentially it can be highly powerful once you do. They say that success is about who you know and with social media you have means of reaching people you otherwise would struggle to.
Particularly with LinkedIn, you can this way get in touch with ‘influencers’, who are individuals in your niche or industry that hold great sway and who can act as a bridge to help you reach a huge audience.
Using influencer marketing, it’s often possible to go from just a couple of followers to thousands overnight. Likewise, social media can be used to find clients, business contacts and more.
In some ways, you can consider social media to be a contact management tool. You can easily use sites like Google+ and LinkedIn to categorize and organize your contacts and then to easily get in touch with them when you need to discuss something.
Using the same tool to find your contacts as you do to organize and contact them has a large number of advantages.
You can also use social media marketing for direct communication within your team. Creating groups, pages and events lets you discuss things with your team and work on collaborative projects while keeping everything in the same place.
Leads and Direct Sales
You can of course use social media to generate leads and to build a mailing list but you can also use it to directly generate sales. Through
advertising or well-constructed posts with an embedded link, you can send followers straight to a checkout and in some cases even have them buy directly through the social network.
For affiliate marketers, it’s incredibly easy to start making money from Facebook. All they need to do is to create a landing page to sell an affiliate product (meaning they make commission), then set up a ‘PPC’ (pay per click) advertising campaign on Facebook.
Now the campaign will generate visitors who will instantly convert into customers and if this has been set up well, then it will create more profit than it costs.
Enhancing Your Service
Social media also has benefits for your customers and can be used to improve the experience of using your business. Whether you use follow up questions, or just provide your users with a way to get in touch, this can add an extra dimension to their experience and help to improve their experience.
These are some examples of how social networks can be used as more than just a means to improve brand visibility. There are many more uses for social media beyond this though, so ensure that you take the time to explore your options and to find unique ways to use social media in your own business.