Businesses worldwide have shifted focus to gathering customers on their social media platforms rather than their websites.
Social media is crucial to the success of any company’s digital marketing strategy. Despite this, brands of all kinds and sizes are not using this tool to its full potential. Although the number of “follows”, “likes” and “shares” is still important, the credibility of a brand is distinguished by far more than just this. Today, social media requires a unique set of skills whereby brands need to fully understand the needs of their audience. To help you out, I’ve put together 10 social media strategies you need to implement this year, whether you are a young entrepreneur or a well-established brand.
1. Start using chatbots.
You may have already heard, but chatbots are in. This comes as no surprise as they are the one digital tool that can communicate and resolve problems for your customers without the potential need for any human interruption. In addition to the above, chatbots integrate with the platforms that consumers now feel most comfortable interacting through social media. Platforms such as Chattypeoplemake integrating an AI-powered chatbot into your social media strategy easy. These tools allow you to create a chatbot that:
- Doesn’t require any coding knowledge.
- Can answer customer questions.
- Is able to take orders directly from Facebook Messenger and comments.
- Integrates with all the major payment systems.
2. Create a personalised experience for your customers.
Chatbots are not only a great way to automate certain everyday tasks, and if implemented properly, your chatbot will allow you to create more personalised experiences for your customers. To do this, stop linking your advertisements solely to your landing pages, and create ads that redirect your audience to a Messenger window with your chatbot. Linking ads to your chatbot will:
- Break the traditional views customers have of you only trying to sell to them.
- Make your customer’s experience more personal.
- Boost your sales.
- Create a loyal fan base.
3. Create an efficient content marketing strategy.
Quality is key and content is no exception. Content marketing has been a prominent form of marketing for a long time and this is not set to change anytime soon. Many brands are not linking quality content with the right posting schedule and the correct frequency of posts. High-quality SEO content coupled with all the above will help you bring in the right customers at the right time. Aside from its ability to attract an organic audience, a good content marketing strategy can be implemented for free. Be sure to create a relevant hashtag strategy along with your optimised and thorough content.
4. Create a community for your audience.
Although “followers” and the many other metrics are important, they are not the “be all and end all” to social media success. You need to show your audience that you are not just a robot. Integrate personality through humour 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 time and time again, they will lose interest. Make your communications interactive by:
- Asking your audience questions.
- Gathering their opinions on certain matters.
- Sharing newsworthy information rather than just information about your products or services.
- Liking and sharing some of their posts rather than just the other way around.
- Asking them to interact directly with your posts through “likes” and “shares”.
5. Jazz up your profiles with a diverse content strategy.
People respond to good imagery, fun videos, and some interesting podcasts once and awhile. Jazz up your content by using this type of media regularly. Your social media pages will look bland if all you post and share is text, so be sure to use other types of media to catch your audience’s eye. This is 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 leverage your current ones? In addition to your current customers, you could use your own employees. To use your employees as brand advocates, you should:
- Create social media guidelines specific to your brand.
- Tell your advocates about social media best practices.
- Add a leader to each section of your social media advocacy plan.
- Track the correct data to pinpoint areas for improvement and those that are doing well.
7. Create profiles on the relevant channels.
Today, people create profiles on every social media channel available with the aim of reaching as many people as possible. Unfortunately, with that mindset, you will not reach your chosen target audience. As a result, it is key you look at your buyer personas when choosing your social media channels. For example, you won’t necessarily need a LinkedIn profile if you are launching a gothic clothing brand; the same as you won’t need to be on Pinterest to promote your surveillance services.
8. Establish a social media budget.
Social media platforms are one of, if not the most important, forms of marketing. Allocating the right budget to your social media endeavours is crucial to your success. Not only this, 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. Run cross-channel campaigns.
To further engage your customers, run cross-channel campaigns across all your social media channels. Keep in mind that these campaigns are run by virtually every company 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 efficient cross-channel social media campaign will:
- Tell an engaging story.
- Link back to a specific landing page that will give your audience more information about your campaign.
- Have a unique and memorable name coupled 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’s happening with your company in real time? Facebook and Instagram, among other platforms, have created their own live streaming features, something that is not yet being used to its full potential by big brands. To compete with them, start using these live features before they really catch on. Live stories are a great way to:
- Show your audience you are more than just a money-making machine.
- Engage and inspire your customers.
- Create shareable and memorable content.
Businesses worldwide are slowly becoming more preoccupied with gathering customers on their social media platforms rather than their websites. By following the 10 strategies outlined above, you’ll not only set yourself up to compete with well-established brands but also create a social media plan that will withstand the test of time.
Written by: MURRAY NEWLANDS
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