Social media is essential to the success of any business’ digital marketing strategy. Despite this, brands of all kinds and sizes are not using this tool to its full potential. While the number of “follows”, “likes” and “shares” is always important, there is more to a brand’s credibility than that. Today, social media requires a unique set of skills that enable brands to fully understand the needs of their audience.
1. Start using chatbots.
You may have heard it before, but the chatbots are here. This is not surprising as they are the only digital tool that can communicate and solve your customers’ problems without the need for human disruption. In addition to the above, chatbots are integrating with the platforms consumers now feel most comfortable interacting with: social media. These platforms make it easy to integrate an AI-powered chatbot into your social media strategy. These tools allow you to create a chatbot that:
• Does not require any coding knowledge.
• Can answer customer questions.
• Is able to take orders directly from Facebook Messenger and comments.
• Integrates with all major payment systems.
2. Create a personalized experience for your customers.
Chatbots aren’t just a great way to automate certain day-to-day tasks, and if implemented correctly, your chatbot will allow you to create more personalized experiences for your customers. To do this, stop linking your ads only to your landing pages and create ads that redirect your audience to a Messenger window with your chatbot. Link ads to your chatbot:
• Break the traditional views customers have of you by just trying to sell them.
• Make your customers’ experience more personal.
• Boost your sales.
• Build a loyal fan base.
3. Create an effective content marketing strategy.
Quality is key and content is no exception. Content marketing has long been an important form of marketing and that shouldn’t change anytime soon. Many brands don’t tie together great content with the right posting schedule and posting frequency. High quality SEO content coupled with all of the above will help you attract the right customers at the right time. Besides its ability to attract organic audiences, a good content marketing strategy can be implemented for free. Make sure you create a relevant hashtag strategy with your optimized and complete content.
4. Create a community for your audience.
While “followers” and the many other metrics are important, they are not the “all and the end” of social media success. You need to show your audience that you are not just a robot. Incorporate personality through humor and emotions into your posts so that your audience can relate to your brand. Social media is all about being social, and if your customers see the same types of posts over and over again, they’ll lose interest. Make your communications interactive by:
• Ask questions of your audience.
• Obtain their opinions on certain subjects.
• Share newsworthy information rather than just information about your products or services.
• Like and share some of their posts rather than the other way around.
• Ask them to interact directly with your posts via “likes” and “shares”.
5. Liven up your profiles with a diverse content strategy.
People react to good pictures, funny videos, and interesting podcasts every now and then. Spice up your content by regularly using this type of media. Your social media pages will look bland if everything you post and share is text, so be sure to use other types of media to grab your audience’s attention. It’s also a great way to add a level of personality to your brand.
6. Use brand advocates.
Your best promotional tool is the people who love your brand. Instead of focusing all your efforts on finding new customers, why not take advantage of your existing customers? In addition to your current customers, you could use your own employees. To use your employees as brand advocates, you must:
• Create social media guidelines specific to your brand.
• Educate your advocates on social media best practices
- Add a leader to each section of your social media advocacy plan.
• Track the correct data to identify areas for improvement and those that are performing well.
7. Create profiles on relevant channels.
Today, people are creating profiles on all available social media channels with the goal of reaching as many people as possible. Unfortunately, with this mindset, you won’t reach your chosen target audience. Therefore, it is essential that you consider your buyers when choosing your social media channels. For example, you might not necessarily need a LinkedIn profile if you’re starting a gothic clothing brand; nor will you need to be on Pinterest to promote your monitoring services.
8. Set a budget for social media.
Social media platforms are one of the forms of marketing, if not the most important. Allocating the right budget to your social media efforts is critical to your success. Not only that, leveraging that budget with the right strategy will be the most cost effective way for you to reach your chosen target audience. Because social media is used on a much more personal level, you will also find that it is a place where you can make a much deeper connection with your customers.
9. Launch cross-channel campaigns.
To further engage your customers, run cross-channel campaigns across all of your social media channels. Keep in mind that these campaigns are run by pretty much every business today, so you will need to give yourself an edge to help you stand out from the crowd. Add an emotional component to your social media campaigns so that your audience can relate to your cause. An effective cross-channel social media campaign:
• Tell a compelling story.
• Link to a specific landing page that will give your audience more information about your campaign.
• Have a unique and memorable name associated with relevant hashtags.
10. Tell a story by going live.
Yes, your content will tell the story of your brand as a whole, but why not share with your audience what is happening with your business in real time? Facebook and Instagram, among other platforms, have created their own live streaming features, which is yet to be used to its full potential by big brands. To compete with them, start using these live features before they get really popular. Live stories are a great way to:
• Show your audience that you are more than just a money-making machine.
• Engage and inspire your customers.
• Create shareable and memorable content.
Companies around the world are increasingly concerned with collecting customers on their social media platforms rather than their websites. By following the 10 strategies outlined above, you will not only prepare yourself to compete with established brands, but you will also create a social media plan that will stand the test of time.