Writers, beware! It’s a zen riddle. What is the #1 way a company can be successful with social media marketing? Whoever’s asking that kind of obscure question is probably testing your creative writing skills. Because (a), if you were to answer that question, you would have to interpret each word as you fit. What kind of company would you be thinking of? How would you define the word “successful” in this case? And (b), how would you demonstrate that YOU have actually achieved the #1 way? If you haven’t achieved your ultimate social media marketing success, then what makes you think you can answer that question?
So What Really Is The #1 Way A Company Can Be Successful With Social Media Marketing?
What the hell do I know? I have 50,000 Twitter followers and 49,950 of them are either bots or inactive. I just have to speculate like you guys do, don’t I?
How to reach out to new prospects, how to interact and engage with followers, what kind of content to post, and techniques to use paid ads on social networks… All these should be necessary, but unfortunately, the question requires only one answer.
Then my answer would be; pay a successful social media marketer and learn from them. That marketer can be;
- Your mentor. They can coach you on methods step by step.
- Marketing agent. The fee you pay them should include consultations, and you ought to know exactly what they’re doing with your social accounts on your behalf.
What Could/Couldn’t Have Happened Without Social Media
Without a doubt, the whole global business landscape has been radically transformed by social media over the past decade. The use of social media is so dynamic in people’s daily lives that it’s just cannot be overlooked by any digital marketers.
So how does social media influence businesses? In other words, what are the things we as companies couldn’t have achieved, had there not been for social media? I can think of a few (well, I nicked some ideas from other sites. Obviously.) We can find out the advantages and some challenging aspects, then probably work out what it means to be successful in social media marketing in these various areas. So here we go.
#1 Reaching Out To A Bigger Audience
Without social media, businesses would have found it much harder to reach out to new audiences on the other side of the world. Not just geographically but social media is a platform where companies can connect to new prospects by using keywords and hashtags.
You still have to learn what’s on-trend on the other side of the road. For example, I’m from the UK. It’s fairly easy to find out the trends in a particular niche here, but I have no idea what’s going on in Canada. So some good research would be needed if I was to reach out to the Canadian audience specifically.
Likewise, the right keywords and hashtags need to be used to draw the attention of the new audience.
Find out your competitors' behaviours - how they target their audiences and what keywords they use.
#2 Push Marketing As Well As Pull Marketing
Push marketing is where a business attempts to reach out to prospects, whereas pull marketing is where they draw the attention of prospects.
It’s only social media that allows them to do both on the same platform. Is that right? I think so. You can send DMs to your followers to promote your business, i.e. push marketing. At the same time, your promotional post content can attract prospects. They’ll come to you, i.e. pull marketing.
- To be able to send a direct message, you’ll have to have followers in the first place.
- If you promote your business without asking what they want, you will easily annoy them and lose your prospects.
- Your post content must be entertaining enough to attract new prospects as well as to retain the existing ones.
I can think of two ways to make your social interactions better, which you may have guessed already.
- Stop pushing your business for once and listen to your social followers. Run opinion polls and find out what they want from you.
- The million-dollar question - post better content! Content that offers benefits to users such as discounts and other incentives.
#3 Viral Marketing
Viral marketing is a strategy where a business user posts promotional content but makes it interesting enough for others to share, with the intent for it to go viral. Every social network has a “share” facility, and the power of sharing is enormous. According to Wiki, the idea of viral marketing was born during the 1990s, but today social media seems to be solely responsible for viral marketing.
Social media is viral marketing.
Your posts may not go viral. Possibly because (a) they’re boring, (b) not the right hashtags are used, and/or (c) your social presence is not big enough.
- Same as #2 above - Learn how to create entertaining content to post.
- Use sponsored post facility (i.e. paid advertisements) to make your company known to wider audiences.
#4 Makes Two-Way Communications Easy
Social media is probably the fastest and handiest way to communicate with your audience and guide them through, compared to any other form. Unless perhaps your website has a live chat facility.
Someone from your company has to be on alert at all times to deal with queries and problems as swiftly as they can.
You could get a chatbot to answer the basic questions about your company to reduce the time you spend on FAQs.
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#5 Save Time & Money
Social media marketing is economical. Posting content is free, and paid advertising on social networks is generally a lot cheaper compared to other advertising methods. You’ll be provided with your own “back office”, the control panel where you can edit your ads, set target audiences, monitor budgets, and analyse results. You can do it without relying on a middle person, so it’s time-saving as well.
Every marketing method has pros and cons in terms of driving traffic - the organic method can take months, solo ads can be costly and unreliable at times. So I think it’s fair to say overall, social media marketing can reasonably save your time and money.
Saving your time & money doesn’t necessarily mean it will help increase your revenue efficiently. Because the flip side of it is the fact that social media marketing is extremely competitive. Anyone can try it and the scale of the audience can be too huge to draw.
It’s a paradox. Social media marketing is widely accessible because it saves time and money. However, the wider the accessibility is, the more competitive it will be. So the way to stay ahead of the game is to spend more time and money! More time to try and test, and more money to beat other business users.
#6 Customer Feedback Motivates Businesses
From a user’s/consumer’s point of view, I think one of the greatest things about social media is that we can discuss brands and leave feedback publicly. We no longer have to tolerate arrogant aftercare service. If we’re not happy with the product or service we received, we can go straight to Facebook or Twitter and tell everyone that.
So accordingly, social media pressurise businesses to respond to customer feedback well and fair. Because the communications can be visible to anyone - not just how companies respond but how long it takes them to respond too. This means that social media motivates companies to improve their services.
To keep an eye out for users’ comments and not to neglect them, especially complaints.
- Learn to not just be sincere but appear to be sincere.
- Not just answer to customer complaints but thank them for compliments.
#7 Omnichannel Customer Experience
An omnichannel customer experience refers to where a business advertises, sells, and provides support via multiple channels and the channels are seamlessly connect one another. The channels include live chat via website, telephone, SMS, and social media.
For example, an unhappy customer can report the issue to the business via help desk on Twitter or WhatsApp, and discuss it further on the phone.
I think social media has only come in as one of the integral parts of it all. It’s the handiest, quickest way for customers to get through to a company representative in the first instance. They no longer have to hang on the line for ages or speak to useless chatbots.
The reality is that though, things aren't as seamless as they appear. If you’ve ever tried help accounts for businesses on Twitter, you know not many of them are functioning as part of their omnichannel. They’re often there independently to “apologise for inconveniences”.
Is There Any Conclusion?
How a company can succeed in social media marketing - the topic’s already been discussed by many, such as;
- Establish your brand
- Be unique/authentic, stand out from the crowd
- Know your competitors
- Know your audience
- Evaluate your results, etc.
But aren’t these all essential for any company? Establishing a brand, come on. It should be stated in the mission statement when a company’s formulated, long before they start planning their social marketing strategy.
What do you think is the #1 way you can be successful as a company with social media marketing? Do you think there’s one straightforward answer? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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