Building a social media capability is no different to any other marketing discipline: you need to have a clear strategy in place, which includes: why you’re doing it; which clients you’re targeting; and what you expect the outcome to be.
Winning with social media
1. Start by building a business presence on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
As a rule, it’s best to keep this presence separate from your personal social media accounts. Once you’ve created a social media account, link it to your website.
Google and other search engines will automatically raise your ranking if you connect your website with your other digital assets.
2. Invest in content marketing
Marketing today is at fever pitch: there are literally thousands of companies vying for a client’s dollar. Also known in the marketing trade as “thought leadership”, content marketing is a great way to influence potential clients by engaging them through compelling online content that is delivered through a social media platform. Whether it’s a blog, infographic or another interactive channel, expressing your views online can be a valuable way to capture some attention.
The trick is to find topics that are relevant. In this instance, initial meetings with potential clients could provide a treasure trove of topics for your content marketing. Done well, content marketing can start conversations with your clients where you’re educating and engaging them – it is a great way to build relationships. If you don’t know where to start, consider engaging a content marketing professional.
3. Build your audience
Social media gives you a great platform for reaching potential customers and collecting valuable data about them. For example, giving a client the opportunity to download a whitepaper or a market report free-of-charge, in exchange for their name and email address, helps you build your client database. You can then direct further campaigns towards these contacts.
Traps to avoid
1. Don’t rely solely on social
Don’t utilise social media alone. Depending on your audience, it will probably work best in conjunction with other more traditional marketing channels such as email marketing, advertising, public relations or sponsorships. Many studies show that email marketing still provides a greater ROI than social media activities. Therefore, if you rely on social media alone, you’re most likely missing out on some sales opportunities.
2. Don’t start and then stop
Social media relies on timely and consistent data and you need to be regularly positioning information across your platforms to stay relevant. If you do not invest time into keeping active on social media it can often fail to deliver any results at all. The more frequently you update content the better you’ll rank in online searches. If you post a blog once a week, for example, then maintain this frequency, and the results will start to follow.