Social media and customer engagement is a hot topic for 2013. But, we've found that many businesses do not understand the positive impact that social media engagement can make to their bottom-line or the value of using them to expand into new online audiences.
This article will give you some concrete tactics you can take to put social media to work for your business today.
President, Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics
Four Great Tactics to Make Social Media Work for You
Social media pages form one of the foundations of inbound marketing -- they're where you can post your valuable content, using a call-to-action to drive visitors to your landing page, where they may become qualified leads.
The challenge, of course, is making your social media pages stand out in the crowd.
You can find plenty of social media tips to boost your visibility on the web, but these four give you a range of options that suit your goals and resources.
Make it easy -- then, fun. No visitor should have to search around to find your social media pages. Use naming standards for your home pages that make it immediately clear who you are.
Then, have some fun. Categorize your Twitter content -- blogs, tweets and videos -- with hashtags that engage, inform and contain relevant keywords like these examples, which actually won "best hashtag" awards! (Note: hashtags are for Twitter or any other platform that allows for "click through." They do not work on Facebook.)
Look beyond Facebook. While there's no denying its paradigm-shifting impact on social media and personal relationships, Facebook is highly saturated -- to the point where some analysts reported decreases in overall usage and app downloads in 2012.
That doesn't mean you should shun Facebook, of course -- it's often the first choice for social searches. But you can also consider outlets that may provide a better fit for your services via a smaller, but more influential, audience.
- For example, LinkedIn is the world's largest business network for a reason -- it's highly credible, deep platform for making connections. If you are targeting B2B (business to business), some relevant connections from LinkedIn could put you in touch with influential people who may not otherwise pay attention to Facebook pages.
- If you have B2C (business to consumer) goals and a product or service that is highly image-driven, Pinterest (which recently transitioned from invitation-only to all-access) draws millions of hits daily -- particularly from women, who make up nearly 60 percent of its audience.
Find advocates. Most advocates of social media tips would agree: few marketing tactics enhance credibility like kudos from impartial third-party source. Satisfied customers, industry awards and good reviews boost your profile and are easy to link from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social sites.
You can go the extra mile by finding brand advocate -- people who promote your products or services, but who are not on your payroll. Your best customer, for example, can star in a blog interview or host a how-to on YouTube. Such tactics would not only boost your credibility, they practically guarantee that the customer will be sharing the content on his networks.
Be a mensch. Not every message on your social site needs to be tied to sales. A company that reaches out to its community or the world at large is often seen as credible and trustworthy. Use your media to publicize worthy causes; then put your money where your tweets are by donating products, services or money and encouraging others to do the same.
Want to get more personal? "Like" and share great posts from your customers' pages, or those from your community.
Social Media Tips Can Work for You To Drive Links and Traffic
Yesterday's marketing tactics have been largely eclipsed by inbound marketing, which reflects the way consumers behave today. Getting the most from social media will help you make your mark in this wide-open environment.
About the Writer Jan Stewart
Jan Stewart is a professional writer for Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics, a family owned Los Angeles based fulfillment firm. She writes exclusively for Strategies for Success on topics of business tips, how to promote your business online, and establishing your brand in the marketplace.
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