Content is King
It’s cliche but true. The key messages you are communicating to your target audience through social media marketing can be crafted to match the rest of your marketing activities. Written content published by the business itself tends to be the most rich and helpful to the users because it is written in collaboration with the business. This sort of self published business content is very helpful in building traffic with increases in new and repeat website visitors.
To generate even more website traffic, the content getting published need not be limited to what your business alone can create. User generated content (UGC) can contribute heavily to a website’s ranking, and businesses should leverage the power of crowd-sourced content to increase their total ranking.
What is User Generated Content?
User generated content is any content that is created by the user. Social media websites like Facebook and Ello are some examples. Ratings and reviews websites like Yelp or Trip Advisor are also a form of UGC, as well as on-site ratings and reviews in which some e-commerce sites have invested heavily.
We are learning more every day about the impact social media has on customers’ buying behaviors and decision making processes. Here is an interesting Frontline documentary called “Generation ‘Like'”, about today’s Facebook and social media culture.
Social Media Marketing and SEO
Social media interaction is the number one ranking factor among the top SERP’s. Social media is one of the best ways to test and learn about your target audience without incurring too much cost. What do your customers like? What interests do they share, and what topics of conversation might drive their purchasing decisions? These, and many more questions can be answered by including social media into your marketing mix.
How to Get the Most Out of a Social Media Marketing Campaign
Writing new content, editing and proofing, scheduling posts and administering social media accounts can be time consuming, so it’s easy for social media to fall by the wayside. It is unfortunate when this happens because social media offers low hanging fruit for many businesses interested in expanding their online presence.
For this reason, many companies rely on outsourced services for their social media marketing production and management.
There are a few steps you can take to ensure the quality of your social media marketing programs:
- Start small, keep it simple
- Post often about things you know
- Engage with friends and followers
- Consider outsourcing social media content production
- Create a holistic Marketing Strategy
Start Small, Keep it Simple
Maybe you can only devote a few minutes each week to social media marketing. Maybe you have a marketing budget that allows for several hours each week. Whatever your abilities may be, simply starting to build something is a good first step.
Post Often About Things You Know
Post as often as possible by setting a realistic goal and working to maintain a steady posting cadence. Adjust as needed.
Post about things you know. If you operate a chain of vintage lighting stores, then make a post about the amazing 19th century carriage house lights that just arrived. Share videos about how to identify antique light fixtures and home decor ideas, tips and lighting tricks. Avoid posting or sharing controversial topics and stick with content that is highly relevant to your business.
Engage With Friends and Followers
To gain the most new likes and shares, engage with others, reach out and support networks that can in turn support your business. Think of your social media presence like being part of an ecosystem. The more your business participates and contributes positively to sharing content of value, the more followers you will get.
Another way to imagine it is to think of a social media profile as a news feed. Instead of having to maintain a company website’s “News” section, some companies may find it easier to post all news and events on its social media profile instead.
Consider outsourcing social media content writing and production. Many freelancers and agencies not only provide these services, they will also help you to develop a social media calendar that can be used to plan and schedule posts to coincide with or support other marketing activities.
Create a Holistic Marketing Strategy
To ensure your social media posts are both consistent with your brand identity and relevant to your customers’ interests, consider creating a holistic content strategy that considers social media in all campaigns.
Overcoming Intra-Organizational Challenges Around Social Media Marketing Participation
Within many organizations, there may be upstream implications of a social media marketing program. Internal stakeholders are presented with new barriers to overcome and perhaps new programs to learn, and it is not uncommon for digital marketing efforts to meet resistance from other departments. The best results one can hope for when implementing new social media marketing programs within a company would be great success. With the full participation in and embracing of the new programs, more people within the company’s network will participate, and the company will have hundreds or thousands of followers within a relatively short amount of time.
Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing Integration
Social media is now integrated into most email marketing campaigns. Although these are seen as two separate marketing channels, email marketing can be a good supplement to social media marketing because it ensures that your most valuable customers or donors are also a part of your social marketing base. And underlying both email and social should be a cohesive content marketing strategy.
How Email Marketing Segments Helps Social Media Marketing
If a customer feels strongly enough about your business or organization to sign up to your mailing list, chances are they will be your primary cheerleaders in the world of social media. Make sure you have reached out to your best customers by asking them to “like” you on Facebook, “follow” you on Twitter and interact with you on whatever other social media channel you own.
Don’t let these customers slip through the cracks of social media just because you haven’t invited them to be a part of your social network!