Just What is Social Media Good For?

Mar 10, 2016 | 3 Minute Read

Everyone knows it by now; you need to be on social media else your competitors will beat you to it! And so begins the tiresome efforts of every company big and small to adopt the latest wondrous addition to the World Wide Web. But do the multitudes of companies which are setting up Facebook fanpages, LinkedIn pages and Twitter profiles really have a strategy in place? After all, your marketing budget is far too important to be thrown around on blind swings in the dark.

Unfortunately when you are setting up a business account, it is rather easy to think of social media as yet another sales channel. This can be a big mistake. Think about it, when was the last time you logged into your Facebook account to find a cool new product?

People go over to social media sites to check up on what's going on in their peer's lives, and share interesting things with them, not to find a product or service. Trying to sell to such an audience is not only pointless, it can also backfire (think MLM guy at a party).

No, this does not mean that social media is a waste of your time and resources though. It is simply higher up in the sales funnel and with the right strategies it can help you drive oodles of traffic to your website! Here are three marketing activities that work great on social media...

Brand awareness: So you may not be able to promote yourself directly (all the time), but you can still familiarize prospects with your brand. The best way to go about achieving awesome brand advocacy is to share relevant, informative and engaging content with an audience. Your content should follow the 70/20/10 rule i.e. 70% of the content should be entertaining and engaging, 20% should be educational while 10% promotional.

For instance, if you run a tours and travel company, you can share pictures, and interesting trivia about the places where you conduct tours to (engaging - 70%), destination guides (educational - 20%), and information on your newest gastronomic tour (promotional - 10%). Keep the postings well spread throughout the week to ensure you reach as many people as possible.

Lead Generation: Can be a lot of fun and effective when paired with social media! One of the most effective strategies for driving highly engaged traffic to your landing page is to offer something which your users find interesting.

Following the tours and travel example, let's say you come up with an ebook titled - The Essential Holiday Checklist - What Not to Forget When Going on a Vacation. You can give the ebook away in exchange for a person's email address on a landing page. As a user is not being sold anything, and he or she has already expressed interest in your services by subscribing to your updates, they probably won't mind enrolling in to your email list as well.

Personalized emails are a lot more powerful than social media posts as a prospect will give your mail their undivided attention when they open it. Not to mention you now have one additional channel to reach them on. Finally, people do expect to find promotions in their inboxes, so you can approach them with more direct marketing material as well.

Customer Feedback: No one likes to wade through 10 options on an annoying IVR system just to get their questions answered or for addressing an issue. People are already very familiar with Facebook so they will find it much easier to start a chat or leave you a message there. Social media is also invaluable for gaining first hand information on what your clients are really asking for. Be sure to subscribe to groups on topics relevant to your industry to keep yourself up to date with what your audience is following.

These are three of the most widely used marketing strategies, and when done right can help you become a social media rockstar in no time! It's crucial though that you come up with a plan and stick with it. Remember, the most effective marketing strategy is the one you will most consistently practice!