10 Social Media Business Tips for 2015

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Yes, the New Year is here with another chance to try new and exciting ideas. As a business owner or executive you may be looking at the upcoming 12 months as an opportunity to grow your business. Now that the year has begun, you are considering social media to add to your traditional marketing mix. According to a 2011 survey by Merchant Circle, U.S. local SMBs (small-medium sized business) actively use social media marketing to promote their businesses. Additionally, Mc Kinsey Global Institute reported that “63% of companies using social media say it has increased marketing effectiveness—among other benefits.” So you are sold and decided that starting a social media program for your company is “the way to go” for 2013. With so little time to read the latest case studies, reports, and statistics here are 10 social media marketing tips to get you thinking strategically.

1. Understand the Social Language – Bringing social media into your company is more than outsourcing the function or designating a community manager to monitor online traffic. Understanding terms beyond hashtags, profiles, and tweets is the first step. Social media jargon is about “social networks, social strategy, social publishing, social bookmarking, social streaming, social search, social knowledge, social blogging, and social customer service.” Before designating an employee or social media management agency to manage a program be clear about all the “moving parts.” Source: Smart Insights

2. Find your audience – Finding your audience is key to a social media program. Each social channel has different types of audiences, and each one is used in different ways for different purposes. For example, if you’re looking to build a group of brand supporters, Facebook could be the best choice. If you’re looking to reach potential customers who have never heard of you, or to become a thought leader in a particular industry, Twitter might be the better option. If you’re hoping to use social media for something like recruiting, a combination of Twitter and LinkedIn could be your best bet. You’ll have to do some research upfront. There are some great ways to begin looking into where your key audiences are interacting and how. Source: Awareness Networks

3. Listen to Your Customers – To listen to potential customers speak about what they are looking for, you will know where and how to budget your resources to land the best results. For example, you may conduct a search with the phrase need to hire a web developer on any of the following; Google Alerts, Technorati blog search, Twitter search, Facebook search, and YouTube search. The results will give you an idea of your potential customers concerns, questions, and problems so that you may tailor your advertising messaging with the right keywords. Source: Likeable Media

4. Use Share Buttons – Social Media is about sharing, that is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and the list goes on. In today’s social world, everyone is used to sharing articles that promote good products, services, or useful information with their network. The average user has approximately 120 contacts, wouldn’t it be nice if your promotions, campaigns, and important messages reached an expanded audience without the additional costs. Use share buttons to point to your newsletters on your social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. This will give you another opportunity to increase traffic to your website. Source: Constant Contact

5. Use Smart Facebook Targeting – Page Post Targeting (PPT) is a new service from Facebook that allows you to handpick your audience, allowing you to deliver a clear message to a smaller group. For instance, you can direct your message to reach women between the ages of 25-35 who have “liked” your page. Source: Content Marketing Institute

6. Pass Up Flash and Animation – Flash animation can grab someone’s attention, yes, but it can also distract people from staying on your site. Not only are mobile applications lacking the capability to view flash animation but many people simply don’t want to be bothered with unexpected noises and animations. Keep the animation to a minimum and only use when necessary. If you’re in love with Flash or require animations, consider moving to HTML5 instead, if applicable. It’s a great browser-compliant alternative to Flash. Source: HubSpot

7. Post Twitter Comments – Cover industry events. To offer insights in real time, live tweet coverage of events that are significant for your audience. That way, your brand can act as the eyes and ears for individuals who can’t make it to the event. Source: Content Marketing Institute

8. Share Business Knowledge on LinkedIn – Participate in groups. Participating in LinkedIn group discussions is a great way to demonstrate thought leadership and strike up conversations that could lead to new business. Share your content and interact with other group members to establish a strong rapport. Source: Content Marketing Institute

9. Blog, Blog, Blog – Did you know that there are 152 million blogs on the internet? According to Emarketer, nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes. B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those who do not. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not. Source: HubSpot

10. Be Strategic about Pinterest – Decide if the platform fits your audience before jumping in. As an interest-driven community, Pinterest is geared towards 18-34 year old women. If a good portion of your audience lands in this category, it’s a good fit. Source: Content Marketing Institute

By Cathy C. Smith
Chameleon Consulting, LLC
E-mail: cc@chameleonconsultingllc.com
Website: www.chameleonconsultingllc.com

About the Author
Cathy C. Smith, Founder & CEO of Chameleon Consulting specializes in managing risk to improve profits by developing regulatory compliant policies and procedures, upgrading systems, automating processes, and training employees. Clients include banks, insurance companies, small businesses, and professional service firms.

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