The 10 best Social Media Marketing Tips all marketers should use

A recent study of 200 small to medium sized businesses located right across the United States showed that 90% are actively involved in marketing through social media. With this knowledge, we can safely suggest that social media can no longer be thought of as a fad, rather it is a highly effective platform for an online marketing strategy. Not only that, with the adoption of social media marketing as high as 90%, that also shows how important it is that you also make full use of the opportunity that social media presents. You do not want to be in the 10%, ignoring the changing world around them, as that way lies disaster.

However, knowing that social media marketing works, and that it really is becoming essential in our connected world, and using social media marketing effectively are two different things. If you are just starting out on your journey with social media marketing, we have 10 tips that will guide you in the right direction, and stop you making potentially damaging mistakes along the way.

Quantity can be nice, Quality is everything

 

While it is true that you need regular posts to make an impression, the actual number of posts is not the most important thing. The quality of the posts is, by far.

Some people start off by just posting the first thing they see that may appeal to their audience, but this is not the best approach. Starting out with a focus on having high quality content will serve you much better in the long run, it will be more appealing to the audience and help you stand out from everyone else who is still just posting anything they find. That differentiation can help you to be seen as an authority in market you operate in, which is incredibly valuable.

Quality content can mean many things, however to keep a high standard you can collect anything you see as a potential post, and then filter the collection until you have only the highest quality content left. It does mean you have to dedicate more time, but if the result is a much more effective marketing strategy, it is surely time well spent.

A picture paints a thousand words

 

The online world is a visual medium, and we as human beings respond more to images than we do words (Facebook says that images receive 53% more likes than text based posts), so with that in mind, it is no wonder that a great tip for social media marketing is to use plenty of images in your content.

Try and avoid the habit of using an image in every post because you think it must have one, sometimes an image just distracts from the content if it's just thrown in there, but where there is an appropriate image to enhance the content, always use one.

The POST framework is your friend

 

If you are just starting out with social media, it can be very hard to know where to begin. With such a large scope and ever changing and growing communities, we saw the need for a framework specifically designed for Limousine Company owners that will help them maximize their social media efforts and follow a structured path. The 4 elements are:

  1. Pillars of Content — The 3 to 5 categories that your content falls into.
  2. Outreach — Giving value to your audience by actively reaching out to them as individuals, which helps build context for your brand and grows your audience.
  3. Scheduling — Regular posting scheduled through DriveProfit or using the available tools such as Buffer or Sprout Social.
  4. Timing — By analyzing your audience engagement with posts, you can schedule future posts at the optimum times.

User Generated Content

 

Your best friend on social media is user generated content, for several reasons. The obvious time saving that comes from other supplying your content is just one, but it is the connection and social benefits that really matter. User generated content engages your audience more than almost any other method, and builds a sense of community amongst your audience that becomes extremely powerful for your brand long term.

Now, the question is, how do you acquire user generated content? The good news is that Yotpo, a fantastic service, that can help you. It helps online merchants generate a lot of online reviews (great user generated content) and simplifies the process of using those reviews to increase traffic and sales. Yotpo is available on 18 different ecommerce platforms, so should be useable by most, and is also the best price possible, free!

 

Help your customers tell the world

 

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools available, and what makes social media so incredibly effective as a marketing platform is the ability for a single voice to reach thousands of pairs of ears. It is this ability that you need to leverage online for maximum benefit, to allow your audience to spread the word about your brand far and wide.

With the help of various 3rd party services, you can add share buttons, social coupons, reviews and several other social integrations to your website that will give you free, viral traffic straight to your site.

Analytics help

 

Whether it is social media tools or social media platforms, the majority include a suite of analytics on all aspects of your marketing strategy, from demographics and engagement levels to the timing of clicks and audience locations.

In the digital marketing age, information is power, and these tools can really help you refine your marketing strategy to fit your audience and improve response as you go. It can be confusing in the early stages though, so here are the most important stats that you should be looking at.

  1. Engagement levels per post with a breakdown by post type
  2. Number of clicks per post
  3. Total visitors by social (compared to other traffic channels)
  4. Performance of social traffic (time on site, pages per view)
  5. New vs returning viewer for social traffic

 

Earn the right to advertise

 

Social media is a different proposition to normal advertising when you examine the business to consumer marketing model. Instead of being solely about pushing a marketing message, social media engagement is centered around adding value to the audience, and thus engaging them with the brand as a result. The engaged audience will then support your brand, either by directly using your service, or promoting your service to others.

What this means in practice is that simply turning up on social media and pushing out your promotional messages simply does not work. You have to learn to think of this new environment rather than traditional media, and a good way is to see yourself earning the right to advertise to your audience by providing value and interest to them first.

By constantly providing good content that gives value to the audience, you will earn the right for a few promotional messages along the way, and this change of approach is the key to success in social media.

 

Think out of the box

 

One of the more famous books written about online marketing is Purple Cow, by Seth Godin. The central theme of this excellent book is that there are only two kinds of business online, remarkable ones and invisible ones, they are all one or the other. Of course, you want your business to be remarkable, and your marketing is the vehicle to create that, although for many this may seem like an impossible task, it really can be done. Remarkable businesses stand out, and you can achieve that yourself, examine how others are marketing competing businesses, and do something different, do not follow the crowd, innovate and stand out. That is a remarkable business.

It is not as difficult as it sounds, take a little time each week to brainstorm some unique, out of the box ideas that you can easily put into practice. Run at least one campaign a month using one of those out of the box ideas, pick those that bring the largest return on investment so you do not overstretch your resources.

To give you some inspiration, here are some out of the box ideas for any Limousine Company to implement today. Put your own twist on these for some unique marketing!

  1. Pick a date in the year and name it after which ever niche you are in, so for example if you sell surfing equipment, March 5th is now considered Surfers day. On March 5th each year you run massive discounts and other special competitions. Team up with other similar businesses and run one massive campaign on the specific date.
  2. Create an online treasure hunt for all your customers.
  3. Interview top experts in your niche over skype and publish a serious of interviews on your website/blog.
  4. Host meetups where customers can come and meet the people behind your business.

 

Be Social

 

Simply being on social media is not the solution to your marketing, you have to embrace the idea of the social group and sharing community that goes with it. We, as a species, are social by nature, and social media has very quickly become integral to our lives, with social media signals all over the web and even offline marketing. The more you embrace the social media part of your business on your website and other marketing, the quicker your audience grows and the more you benefit from your social media marketing strategy itself. With a larger and more engaged audience, your brand will easily gain traction across the internet.

There are many ways to embrace social media through your website, here are some of the most common:

  1. Place social buttons on all your pages and in your email signature, and share buttons on your service pages.
  2. Encourage visitors to check you out on social for discounts, promotions and other information
  3. Leave no engagement behind (AKA respond to every tweet, comment, post and mention).
  4. Run special promotions for your social communities.
  5. Embed widgets on your site that show your most recent activity on your social profiles.

 

Run Social Campaigns

 

A social marketing campaign can be many things, for instance thinking out of the box as discussed above, but a campaign is such an important aspect of your overall strategy that it deserves a mention of its own.

While there are several online resources that can help you run a campaign, there are 3 core aspects of any campaign that you need to get right every time.

  1. Speak the language of your target audience — If you aren't using basic, everyday language in your marketing campaigns your audience won't connect with your messaging and you will lose them. Talk to them as they do to you.
    2. It needs to be special — Most online brands today are trying to run campaigns through social media and this means endless online competitions and promotions which usually don't excite. If you are going to run special social campaigns, then it really needs to be special. The good news is that if it is remarkable, the viral element of social media will make it spread like wildfire.
    3. Money is not effective — This may sound strange to most but when it comes to online competitions, having a prize which is simply financial is seen as a bit boring. Put yourself in your community's shoes and think of something that they would die for and use that as your prize. Sometimes simply being recognized and put as the center of attention is enough to make the campaign interesting.

Conclusion

 

There are several constant themes running through all of these tips, you need to stand out from the crowd (be remarkable), think like your audience and provide what they want, not what you want to give them, and be flexible, as social media moves fast and you need to move with it. If you let these three themes guide your social media activities, your strategy will see good results.

I hope you found this post both interesting and useful and I would love to hear your feedback so please share your thoughts with me in the comments section below.

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Posted on Jan 10 2017

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The 10 best Social Media Marketing Tips all marketers should use

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