It’s no debate that the social media has become an efficient promotional channel for modern day businesses. The social media has evidently become one of the best ways to get your company out there to the public space and create the much needed hype required to promote your brand. The reason for this surge in the use of this promotional channel could easily be traced to the ease with which it can be employed and most importantly, its ability to reach a wide range of audience with little or no effort and cost implication.
The above therefore suggests why the act of social marketing must be carried out deliberately and conscientiously for any business to derive the best from this viable tool in its marketing mix. It therefore means you cannot afford to pay lip service to social media if you intend employing it as a promotional channel for your business. Once you are in, you must be fully immersed and committed in seeing that you become an active player in the digital community you intend building through your social media channels. Hence, it follows that if your intent is to prosecute the act of marketing through social media, the right engagement principles must be employed to be able to derive optimum utility from its use.
So, here are some basic and requisite rules we’ve put together for effective social marketing engagement;
- KNOW YOUR NICHE
One of the first and important question that must be asked by one who intends promoting a brand on social media is, “How well do I know my niche?” The right answer to this goes beyond knowing about the particular product or service that you are offering. It encompasses having good knowledge of your target audience, the right contents that best suits them, and the right modalities to be employed in reaching out to them.
It is through the right knowledge of your business environment that you can effectively employ social media in your marketing mix. The concept of social marketing has also gone beyond the conventional self-marketing and has now grown to cover other areas which include customer support, customer relation, sales and promotions. Requisite knowledge in these areas is very much necessary to effectively carry our social marketing.
- CAPTIVATING CONTENT
Unarguably, content lies at the core of every social marketing endeavor. It is what you put out to your audience that they will relate with, and the level of participation you will get is largely dependent on how alluring your contents are.
Content delivery goes beyond just self-promotion as this is what most businesses employ their social media handles for. For genuine relationship to be developed with your online community, you need to not just sell yourself at all times but also seek to educate, entertain and give back to them in any way possible.
- BE CONSISTENT
Consistency is a key virtue that must be imbibed to carry out the act of social marketing. To be consistent simply implies that you should be known for something specific. Your content must be tailored towards a given area, not you coming with random thoughts that are not coherent.
Consistency does not only apply to content delivery but also areas such as post schedule (number of posts and time of post within a given period), design pattern and quality of delivery. Always be conscious of the fact that your brand has a voice that you’re shaping every time you create a new piece of content or publish a new post. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the voice remains consistent at all times and in every way possible.
Social marketing is a two-way dialogue because your audience have the opportunity to air their opinion through the various social platforms. It is therefore very necessary to pay close attention to their comments, questions and recommendations if you intend to establish a working relationship with them. Listening to your audience is very necessary for the growth of your business because it is by so doing that you can know what they think about the business, and also what they expect of the business. There is no way effective service delivery can be achieved without meeting the needs of the customers and it is only by listening to them that you can know those needs and put in efforts to meeting them.
- DEFUSE ANTAGONIZING COMMENTS
Not everyone will speak your good, therefore it is necessary to get yourself prepared for any form of opposition, be it trolls or genuine gripes. Having an online presence automatically exposes you to all of these, but the good thing is you have control over them because you have the ability to make them affect you either positively or negatively. If a negative or opposing comment is thrown at you, there are several options you may consider. One way to go about this is to acknowledge some disagreement and objectively state your side, but in so doing you must avoid any impression of trying to escalate the exchange into a more bitter argument. You can also ask that the interaction be taken offline, or directly message the party yourself to take the disagreement away from the public view. You might also just ignore the negative content which is another viable option to go by.
One key thing to note is that your tone and language of communication with people online goes a long way in telling about your character and person in general. So then, there is no point destroying a good reputation long built because of someone’s nasty comment.
- OFFER FREEMIUMS
Although it is widely believed that there is no free lunch, everybody seem to desire one nonetheless. The human nature is conditioned to demand something in exchange for a favor shown and this very much applies even in the social marketing space. Your customers or leads require something in exchange for their followership that is why brands that have come to terms with this fact offer giveaways or initiate charitable activities in exchange for social media followership, likes, shares and comments which brings about limitless exposure to leads. Most businesses, especially start-ups might want to consider the cost of offering such freemiums, but the end result far outweighs whatever resource that could be expended in putting it up.
- BE DISTINCT
There is so much out there on the online social space, everyone is saying something and everyone also wants to be heard. What distinguishes you from others and makes you a voice worthy to be listened to is your uniqueness. People have so much information being thrown at them on a daily basis that they can’t afford to waste time on stale or irrelevant contents.
Strive to stand out from the crowd, this you could achieve either by presenting new ideas or by simply proffering a different spin to an existing idea. The price for standing out might be high but the end result is quite gratifying. Being distinct will keep you on your toes and you must always be a step ahead of your competitors. It might also require you putting up extra resources than would have if you were to maintain the status quo.
It has become evidently clear that the social media has become an incredibly powerful tool for modern day marketing, but also worthy of note is the fact that social media all by itself will not bring you success overnight. Even after carefully following all these rules and guiding principles x-rayed, it requires time to see commensurate result and also yield the ripple effect that you would desire in your business. Therefore, it is very necessary to also imbibe patience as a virtue required in bringing the much needed change you desire in your business through social marketing. To get the best out of your social marketing adventure, learn more on how social media works.