In 2010, 250 million new users registered on Facebook – it now has 600 million users worldwide, 70% of whom live outside of the USA. In the same year, Facebook users shared 30 billion pieces of content each month, uploaded 20 million videos each month and installed 20 million apps each day.
All of which supports the fact that it’s not enough to have a presence on social media sites. With the growth of social media as a method of communication and interaction, businesses need to smarten up their act and realise that it’s not enough to play with social media on an ad hoc basis.
To be successful, businesses need a strategic plan of attack that focuses on engaging with the right people, on the right platforms, using content that is well phrased and adds value to your audience. Social media platforms should be used to target specific market customers, engage with them, and generate in-bound links to your site increasing your online visibility.
If it sounds like we’re banging on about ‘specific markets’ and ‘the right people’, it’s because we are! Daily activity on social media sites is huge and with sites like Facebook allowing companies to advertise on every page of your profile, it’s hard for people to focus on just one thing. By focusing on your target market – the people who need or already engage in your services – you’ll be better positioned to be heard above the din and grow a specific, relevant following.
To do this successfully, social media platforms need to be integrated with offsite search engine marketing, with email marketing campaigns, and with old media forms such as print advertising, TV advertising direct mail and telesales.
Offline marketing campaigns are co-ordinated carefully – down to smallest detail – to scrupulously hit their desired target market. Every word of a print advertisement is phrased and designed to appeal to the person reading it. The same should be true of your social media strategy. Putting up a page with no links to your website, no obvious branding, and no social media strategy won’t help – if anything it will hinder and confuse.
You need to create a sense of consistency around your online presence and one of the easiest ways to do this is by branding your social media profiles. Using company logos, using a company image as your Twitter or YouTube background can all help achieve this. You can encourage your website users to like your Facebook Page and follow you on Twitter by positioning social media icons prominently on your site. ‘Bookmark’ or ‘Share’ icons are a great way to start for businesses that can’t afford to spend an hour or two every day interacting via their social media profiles.
If you’re new to social media and could use a little strategic advice, why not give us a call to arrange a free strategy meeting with our marketing experts?