By Jerry Low on April 27, 2016
While telemarketing, print advertising, and direct mail still have their place, social media marketing can help launch your brand and customer base in a powerful way.
Getting started with social media platforms can be a challenge if you don't have any previous experience or insight.
Here are the fundamentals of finding your business' social audience through various popular online platforms.
Understand Your Target Audience
Regardless of who your customers are, you can rightly assume that a majority of them are online and on social media.
According to the latest statistics, in a world of 7.3 billion people, 31percent are active social media users and 65 percent of American adults are active on social media. Before you jump online and start posting videos and status updates, however, it's important that you take some time to thoroughly define your target audience.
Do you currently have a profile of your target market? Many businesses don't. Developing a clear and concise understanding of your target audience is the first step in successful social media marketing.
Make a list of six to eight identifiers of your typical customers (male/female, age, geographic location, education, occupation, hobbies, economic status). Beyond this, list potential motivators that customers may have for purchasing your products or services.
Are they bargain shoppers or people searching for a specialty item? Do your clients typically buy online or do they come into a physical location? If you aren't sure about the answers to some of these questions, study a competitor's data for some insights.
Perform Keyword Research
If you have a website or a blog, you've probably (hopefully) done some keyword research for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes.
Targeting certain keyword phrases ideally puts your website in front of the people who are looking for your particular products and services. Those same keyword phrases, along with that buyer persona that you've put together, can also help you maximize your social media impact in several ways. Having a list of relevant keywords can both help you find your audience on social media sites and give you ideas for interesting content.
For example, if you've determined that your customers are interested in budget travel opportunities, and you own a lodge in Vermont, you may want to add such phrases as "cheap rooms Vermont" and "hotel discounts Vermont" to your list.
There are several ways to do keyword research for social media marketing. Facebook is continuing to upgrade their search engine and now has a more powerful search tool for users. You can search public posts for up to the minute information on any search phrase, which can help you determine popular topics as well as who is interested in them.
Choose and Establish Social Media Profiles
Obviously, not all social media platforms are created equal, and many companies mistakenly believe that they should simply start with Facebook because it is the largest. This isn't always the case as B2B businesses have found that Facebook targeting doesn't provide as healthy returns as some other social media sites. However, if you're marketing directly to consumers (B2C), Facebook could be an excellent choice.
Here are some useful stats on some of the top social networks.
What these numbers mean to your business?
Based on your target market and these social media profiles, you should be able to determine what the best online platforms would be to begin your efforts.
For example, if you are marketing to a younger audience, you'll want to concentrate your efforts on such sites as Instagram, Facebook, and possibly Twitter (check out Snapchat marketing as well). If your target audience is primarily women, Pinterest and Facebook might be better choices.
Finally, if doing B2B marketing, LinkedIn and Twitter usually provide the best returns. It's important to remember that every audience is different and what works for one company may not work for another. Also, it's never a good idea to put all of your social media marketing eggs in one basket. Be sure to spread the love amongst several networks.
Engage Your New Audience on Social Media
Most companies fail to understand that successful social media marketing is built on relationships, which takes a degree of patience as well as time to nurture.
Here are three simply strategies for building and engaging with your new social audience.
When you follow these steps, you'll be sure to find success in locating and engaging your target audience on social media.
In today's connected world, a business without a social media marketing strategy is foregoing profits and leaving customer choice up to chance. Leveraging social media is one of the best ways to reach and engage both existing and potential clients, allowing for a business' continued growth.
By Keith A. Quesenberry On APR 19, 2016
When customers need help, they expect companies to offer it quickly and through multiple social media channels — but most companies aren’t set up to do that. Some companies increase their social media staff to offer live responses during big events like the Super Bowl or the Grammys, but then they return to predominately one-way social media or content marketing. Since 2013 the number of customers who expect a response through social media has doubled, according to research from Sprout Social, yet seven out of eight messages to companies go unanswered for 72 hours.
Complicating matters further, consumers expect one brand account to contain responses to all kinds of needs, including marketing information and customer service. But marketing managers simply are not trained to deal with questions or complaints about service, product performance, or other nonmarketing requests.
To be more effective at building relationships with consumers online, companies need a cross-functional social media team, one where marketing works together with other departments. Distributing social responsibilities to relevant people across the organization can be efficient, be effective, and help make one-on-one customer engagement scalable.
Cross-functional social media teams can leverage the stages of the buying cycle, connecting the right employees with the right customers at the right time. Consumers’ needs change when they are in the prepurchase, purchase, and postpurchase steps of buying, so different employees are more useful to customers at different stages.
How can an organization create a cross-functional social media team? First, research and analyze existing social media. Who controls the official brand channels? What systems, policies, and employees are responsible for monitoring social media? From this research, organize a new system. Here is a simple process from my book Social Media Strategy, Marketing, and Advertising in the Consumer Revolution.
When companies implement a cross-functional team well, the results are powerful.
In 2014 Hertz shifted from a marketing-centered social media strategy to a cross-functional system built around customers’ needs and expectations. Previously, the marketing department had controlled social media accounts. Marketing staff would publish brand content, but they also received customer complaints. They forwarded the complaints by email to customer service agents, who would then process the requests and email them back to marketing to post on social media. Social media response was limited to Monday through Friday.
For the new 24/7 cross-functional team, Hertz partnered with software company Conversocial to easily connect customer service agents to the software that marketing staff uses to monitor social media conversations. The multidepartment system has enabled Hertz to respond within 75 minutes to more than 1,000 individual customers per week. The company that responding to customers in real time through social media has increased customer loyalty, contributing to customer lifetime value.
The gourmet burger chain Five Guys, too, utilizes a cross-functional social team through social media monitoring software Hootsuite and a process that empowers local franchises and frontline employees. Each of the over 1,200 Five Guys locations has its own social media accounts to market local promotions, new products, and events to its community. Individual locations also provide customer service, responding directly to customer feedback. For them, monitoring on the local level is more efficient, making one-on-one consumer social media engagement scalable, personal, and sincere.
Today’s consumers expect more from companies. They increasingly look for brands that engage with them online and organizations that do reap real benefits. David Packard, of Hewlett-Packard fame, once said that marketing is too important to be left to the marketing people. For social media, that statement is as true as ever.
By Emelina Spinelli April 16, 2016
This has been out in the open air for discussion over the last few months. Everyone knows that Snapchat is the “thing” to be on and that there’s attention there for those who can earn it (and find ways to entertain and consequently keep it).
Now, the only dilemma to figure out is… how the heck do you use it for business!?
Well, maybe it’s not the ONLY dilemma, but you can learn the interface and all the Snapchat secrets and tips in our Snapchat Mastery ecourse. Easy Peasy.
You see the thing is, that you can’t just broadcast your posts or products in Snapchat and expect to gain any sort of traction. It’s just not the culture.
In fact, most social medias don’t do well with businesses just “pushing” their content to their followers.
There’s a native culture and content specific to each social media platform.
Think of it like visiting a foreign country.
To get the most benefit ideally you’d want to know the language (natively) to understand all the cultural implications. This would give you an edge in understanding the culture and providing and gaining value—over non-natives.
Snapchat is a language and has its own culture.
Now, it’s probably not nearly as challenging as learning something like Japanese, but with a great attitude and desire for understanding the platform, you can totally do it, without hassle.
I hear you… “okay, Emelina we get it, but seriously how do we use this ghost thing in business!?”
Gotcha, let me fill ya in on the low down, pronto.
What using Snapchat in business comes down to, is how business is conducted with any platform
Whether you’re frequenting chamber mixers or doing all your marketing through Facebook groups--success is found in relationships.
Use Snapchat as a mechanism to scale building deep relationships with as many individuals as you can manage.
And yes, it’s all about DEEP relationships over many shallow ones.
Allow me to give you some context. I’ll compare Snapchat to a traditional business scenario to which you’ll probably relate.
In traditional business, the system is this…
This scenario is definitely effective. But… what if you could scale it?
Instead of investing a few hours every month into ONE person… what if you could scale it to handle TEN people at once?
That’s the beauty of Snapchat. It’s incredibly scalable.
Rather than networking SO MUCH one-on-one (meaning a 3-hour mixer here, a 1-hour coffee meeting there, another 1-hour coffee, a 1-hour consultation, etc) you can carry on short, sweet conversations with multiple people at one time.
It’s kind of like networking on steroids.
Allow me to give you some context. This is what the business or networking system looks like in Snapchat.
In Snapchat, the marketing system looks like this…
Snapchat is a dynamic and creative messaging platform. This makes it a natural marketing platform too!
Marketing is a combination of being visible, knowing your message, and building deep relationships that matter.
Snapchat’s native messaging platform then, is natural for marketing yourself!
Snapchat is an EASY platform to market on—if you know your messaging (what you’re here to share and say), you’re willing to put yourself out there AUTHENTICALLY 150%, and you’re open to making friends and building relationships.
Snapchat is just like any other business platform in that way.
I hope I’ve at least tickled your senses.
Ultimately, Snapchat is an incredibly scalable networking and storytelling platform.
Personally, from my experience, I believe that building relationships and telling authentic stories are the most powerful (and SUSTAINABLE) methods to market yourself or your business.
Now, all you have to do is figure out how the heck to use that crazy interface!
Snapchat isn’t THAT hard, but it’s unlike anything else. If you need help learning the platform and would love step-by-step tutorials, enroll yourself in our new ecourse, Snapchat Mastery.
There’s over 3.5 hours of video tutorials, workbooks and over 4 hours of interviews with Snapchat influencers. You’ll learn all the interface tips, tricks, and secrets to improve your storytelling ability. There are hours of videos on how to maximize your time in Snapchat, how to build a crazy-engaged community, and tell stories that engage and make marketing yourself a breeze.
You can find all the epic details, and grab a copy of the course for yourself, here. It’s just about time to Master Snapchat. Stop guessing, start getting real results, and supercharge your following.
Want a 30-day Snapchat checklist to start growing your account? Download a free worksheet checklist, here.
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