In the near future, Basal Smart Solutions will be launching our One For All Social online tool that aids in dealing with the complicated world of Social Media. But, like any tool, to get the most out of it one must fully understand how to use it. We are going to teach everyone how to do that, and while the tool we have built we believe is fairly intuitive, the world of social media is not. This is the first of many posts on our website and different accounts that will demystify that social media landscape.
There are many things to consider when developing a marketing effort. Social Media has become an important part of marketing and sales in the past ten years. However, even though these platforms are free to use, and yes, do support paid advertisements, they require a reasonable time investment to initiate and maintain a social media marketing campaign. Many limit the number of unpaid posts (however, we can help increase visibility with some guidance and tools), and paid ads can increase visibility and ability to precisely target content to specific users.
With the correct tools and information about how to gain visibility with the target audience (the demographic desired), marketing on social media can be successful. We have a series of tools and are building a knowledge base to make that job easier for any sized social media user seeking to market a company, product, or service, or build a brand.
Social Media is important and can be very useful for branding. You can be successful with the right plan, and this requires the skills and information needed to get your name, your company name, or your products and services in front of the right people.
One of the keys to this process is not only getting the largest number of eyes on the post, but also reaching the correct targeted group. It may result in fewer eyeballs seeing that message, but with the right tools and information, you can reach the right eyeballs. This allows only the intended audience to receive a message, that will increase the effectiveness of the time spent building that platform and marketing effort.
Part of Branding is Building a Relationship
The most successful companies on the planet have the best relationships with their customers. They aren’t just there for a single transaction – they build a longer-term situation that results in repeat customers.
This is perfect for social media, as it is not a short-term solution, and social media thrives in the realm of longer-term efforts.
To be successful you must:
- Establish your expertise.
- Participate regularly on whatever social media platform(s) you choose to build an audience.
- Avoid constant over self-promotion – it will cause you to lose your audience.
- Resist the urge to engage in hard-sell techniques (unless those are in paid promotions).
- Provide value in your posts with links, resources, and unbiased information.
There is no point in starting a social media commitment if you do not plan to keep it going. Any short-term benefits will be lost and are not worth the effort expended.
Social Media Can be Used to Improve Business Practices
- By using social media, it is possible to quickly detect and address customer challenges, problems, or negative sentiment.
- It is easy to rapidly obtain customer feedback – people on social media are happy to comment, and comment frequently. This allows feedback to be quickly obtained on a new product or an update to an old product.
- These platforms allow customer support to be provided to a large audience all at once, rather than on an individual basis. Because if one user/customer is having a challenge, odds are many others are as well.
- Using the geo-location capabilities some platforms include in their metadata, it is possible to drive foot traffic into specific businesses (although without effort this is challenging).
- Depending on the platform, it is easy to find new vendors or service providers. For instance, LinkedIn connects professionals, and Instagram and Twitter are highly effective at connecting content creators.
- Social media allows the collection of business-critical marketing intelligence on a specific business or interest area, including details about the competition.
- It is possible to find trends in the discussion of the day that companies or individuals can use to get their company seen or known by commenting on or showing how their products can aid in a given situation.
Remember that marketing is only one part of an organization or effort. However, all parts of that organization can be used for marketing – especially on social media. Stories about specific employees or creators can be used to help the potential audience, or clients/customers relate to the organization and see it as more than just a nameless and faceless organization trying to sell something.
Selling on Social Media
Social Media certainly requires design and planning, and those behind the accounts that thrive understand that long-term engagement is what really matters. Therefore, your social media accounts can be used to market and sell specific products. However, you should work to develop an audience interested in a portfolio of offerings, and some of the most effective ways to do that are below:
- Not every post can be a link to something to purchase.
- At most this should be 1/5 posts.
- In order to sell, it is highly effective to offer discount codes or deals on a website that is outside the platform.
- It is possible to put links to third party sites like Amazon or another website with an online store.
- It is easy on social media to build in a sign-up option for an email newsletter that can be used for targeted sales.
The Social Media Advertising Landscape
As a part of marketing, to advertise on social media, one must have a plan. To build that plan and remain successful, here are a few recommended steps:
- Have a plan. That plan should include target markets, ad offers (discounts, etc.), publishing venues (which platforms as they all have different demographics), and schedules of release for those ads (the time of day and day of the week matter).
- Use a small run of an upcoming ad to do testing of the messaging, including the graphics. Graphics are more important on social media than ever before.
- Given that each individual platform has a unique demographic of users, it may take some time, but with some focus the best platforms on which to focus will become clear. However, that does not mean net benefits can’t be gained on all platforms, and using the tools in One For All Social it makes it easier to engage with more platforms in less time.
In future posts we will focus on each of these topics more in depth and focus on each individual platform so that the demographics and best practices of each can be your ally, and this includes the A.I. on each that decides your post position in a given user’s timeline.