Social Media Marketing (SMM) is about sustaining lasting relationships and by creating new ones. It really takes time and effort. SMM is not the instant solution to get your company to the top. Always be prepared for a very long commitment or don’t even start at all. I came across this article below on blog.icontact.com with 10 social media marketing tips.
1. Give Your Audience a Reason to Like You
This is where it all starts. If your potential customers (or existing ones) don’t have a reason to like you in the real world, they’re not going to like you on Facebook. Make sure any promotion or key product is placed front and center on your Fan Page—preferably in a dedicated landing tab that you can fully customize. Facebook also lets you add tabs called ‘Reveal Tabs,’ which hide content from visitors until they click ‘Like.’ There are tons of marketing possibilities here, with special content, deals, sweepstakes, etc.
2. Stay Focused on Your Brand and Products
This may sound counter-intuitive and boring, but your fans on Facebook are going to expect your content to be related to your brand or at least your industry. If you diverge from this too much you are distributing content that goes against what your fans want to see. The reason they liked you in the first place was to see updates about you, your business, special offers, etc.—not random comments, photos, etc. Now, there’s still a lot of creativity to be had here. Events, comments, quotes, or videos are totally fair game as long as you can tie them back to your brand.
3. Engage Wisely
Asking your fans questions is great, but be sure to ask ones that are easy to answer. Any questions that deal directly with your fans and will prompt one-word responses are great. As long as your fans can relate and make their responses about themselves, they’ll be happy and very likely to engage. Lastly, it’s never a bad idea to ask your fans what they would like to see on your page, so ask them. You may be surprised.
4. Don’t Spam
Nobody likes email spam. Given the fact Facebook users’ news feeds are already overloaded with content that’s easy to overlook, you shouldn’t contribute to the noise with social spam either. Publish content that matters to your brand—company milestones, news, special deals, related questions, events, etc. that can lead to engagement or generate excitement. Random fluff isn’t going to fly. If you overdo it (posting new content 5 or more times per day) most fans will be less likely to engage. They’ll be so consumed reading your content they won’t know where to continue the conversation.
5. Use Trends to Your Advantage
Trends on the internet have become very transparent, and the ability to see what’s trending (see Google Trends) is pretty simple these days. You can even see emotional trends, such as happiness, among all of Facebook’s users. Check out the Gross National Happiness app to see a graphical representation of positivity and negativity across countries throughout the world and plan your social media marketing around the expected peaks and valleys. If happiness tends to trend up on Fridays, for instance, use that day for asking favors or participation from your fan base related to your marketing activities. If things are trending negatively, try posting something that will cheer your fans up!
6. Utilize Contests
Everyone loves to win free stuff. Contests can be utilized on Facebook to achieve a number of great things for your brand. Photo contests and video contests are great for building up a library of customer-generated content and giving your existing fans more things to engage with on your page. Since users must like your page to contribute content, this is also a great way to increase the size of your fan base. Even basic prize drawings work. The prize itself doesn’t even need to be expensive as long as it’s something your fans like and find valuable.
7. Encourage Check-Ins
You may not know it, but your business is a place that anyone can check into at any time on Facebook using a mobile device. Once checked in, all of a user’s friends and subscribers are notified in their news feeds and are provided with a link to your business’ Facebook page. This not only increases exposure to your brand but gives potentially thousands of people an instant doorway to your page. If nothing else, just check in yourself when you show up for work!
8. Schedule Your Facebook Posts in Advance
Wouldn’t it be great if you could schedule your Facebook posts days or even months in advance to coincide with your other marketing activities? Just because Facebook doesn’t let you do this doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Check out iContact’s new social media marketing tools for the ability to schedule your Facebook messages to be posted whenever you like. You can also schedule Twitter content if you have a profile over there. For more details on iContact Social Media Marketing, click here.
9. Publish Your Photos and Videos
The more photos and videos you post on your page, the better. Fans are likely to engage with you longer if they have videos to watch or photo albums to click through. They can also get a firsthand glimpse into your company’s culture, special events, and products without having to visit your website or click over to YouTube. Just be sure to remember tip #2 above and keep your photos and videos relevant to your brand.
10. Be Responsive
Two-way communication between you and your fans is critical in order to be successful on any social media platform. Be aware of new activity on your page and respond accordingly. For instance, send a “thank you” message after someone likes your page, make a point of responding to messages and wall posts within 24 hours, or if someone posts a positive or funny comment, go ahead and like it (this literally takes a second of your time). Pay careful attention to the things your fans tell you on your page and respond to their needs the best you can. You should check things out multiple times per day in order to stay on top of the conversation. A one-hour review and update session every morning isn’t going to cut it.
Those are just some quick tips to get started! Just be sure to stick with them and remember that marketing on Facebook is an ongoing conversation with the network of customers and fans that make up your brand. I hope these 10 tips have been helpful. Please leave any comments or questions below and I’ll be happy to respond.
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