What is effective social media marketing? It’s marketing that directly helps to build a business. It’s marketing that helps drive those clicks and conversions you so desperately need to stay afloat.
According to the data, social media is becoming more and more important to businesses. Shareaholic recently released a study in which they found that more than 30 percent of total traffic to business websites came from their social media platforms. As social media becomes the go-to platform to experience the internet, perhaps eclipsing even Google search in the near future, companies that know how to leverage social media for maximum effect will be the most successful.
The question for entrepreneurs, therefore, is how to boost their social media marketing in a way that’ll get customers mashing their left mouse buttons every time they see the company’s posts. Here are some quirky ideas.
Organize A Celebrity Takeover
A lot of your customers are likely obsessed with celebrities. And so getting one to write your tweets and Facebook posts could potentially be a great marketing ploy. If you’ve got the right connections, try to find somebody famous that customers of your business would love to interact with and ask questions for the day. For instance, if you’re a car parts company, you could try to get a famous racing driver to come out of retirement and take questions on your Facebook page. Having a celebrity take over your account can create a lot of buzz for your company, especially if it appears as if they are endorsing what you do. Just make sure that you’re careful about who you approach. You want a celebrity who isn’t totally unhinged and won’t destroy the good reputation you’ve worked so hard for.
Share Your Positivity
Twitter has become a bit of a political nightmare recently, with people getting angry about the current state of the world. In fact, things are so bad that Twitter has starting banning and censoring people whose political opinions they don’t agree with. Companies are advised strongly to stay out of the fray. Companies like Kellogg’s and Starbucks who have made their political ideologies public have been ruthlessly punished by segments of their market and have lost both sales and staff.
Because politics drives so much of what happens on social media, it’s a tempting target for companies to latch onto. After all, cat memes have been replaced over the last 24 months with references to the changing political order. Companies would be silly to miss out on these marketing opportunities, but how do they take advantage of them when the subject matter is so inflammatory?
One idea is to try to put a humorous spin on current events. Instead of offering political opinions (and in the process alienating half your customer base), provide comical commentaries on the current state of affairs that will appeal to people of all political persuasions. Try to make yourself relevant to the political conversation without actually offering any opinions of your own. Research has shown that companies that regularly put a positive spin on things tend to gather the most followers. If you have strong personal views on a particular topic, set up a personal account. Don’t put your brand at risk.
Fire Bad Customers
Social media can be a bit of a minefield. You never know when your company is going to be the target of a sustained assault by a disgruntled customer. The instinct of many entrepreneurs is to be as apologetic as possible and try to defuse the situation. But this tactic doesn’t work and can often signal to other customers that you really have done something wrong and let a customer down.
A better solution was recently demonstrated by Liberty Bottleworks. The company got some bad feedback from a customer who was upset with the service that they had received. The client was looking for the company to capitulate, but instead, the company replied in an honest but firm way. They pointed out that the customer had been unreasonable and that they had taken advantage of the company long enough. The firm response, according to Adweek, won the company lots of respect on social media and increased their following. It showed that paying clients like businesses who are honest and forthright about what they do.
Facilitate Meaningful Connections
Never treat your customers as resources from which you can extract money. This motive will come across unconsciously in all your interactions, potentially putting customers off. Instead, interact with customers in a professional way that shows that you genuinely care for their wellbeing. You’ll be surprised just how many like-minded people you’re able to find on social media and forge relationships with. Find a common interest and keep the conversation open, thereby reinforcing your company brand.
Be A Little Quirky
Sometimes it pays to be a little different in life, especially when you’ve got to differentiate yourself from the competition.
But what’s the best way to be weird? The short answer is to avoid playing it safe. Social media users love it when companies are authentic and have personalities. They don’t like bland companies, desperately treading on eggshells.
Build Facebook Groups
Although Facebook security risks are a reality, the benefits of setting up a Facebook group are immense. The problem with Facebook right now is that it is getting enormously saturated. So many businesses have piled into the platform that it’s hard to get your content in front of your users. Because of this, more and more companies and marketers are setting up their own Facebook groups, allowing their members to receive direct notifications whenever the company does something.
For businesses, the benefits are potentially huge. Facebook advertising isn’t cheap, so getting customers to be part of a Facebook group is a great way to freely disseminate your content.
Market Across Multiple Platforms
Cross-platform marketing is all the rage right now. The reason is that it’s much easier to build your following on any one particular social media site when you’ve got a bigger pool of people from which to draw. You could attract people from your Instagram account, for instance, to start following you on Facebook. You could also tweet on Twitter that you’ve just added a bunch of new photos to Instagram and incentive people to sign up to your Instagram account.
Embed Calls To Action
Ever since social media became a significant business platform, the companies behind the sites have been looking for ways to give budding enterprises more tools. It’s now possible, according to Econsultancy, to embed calls to action directly in your Facebook posts. For instance, if you’ve just launched a new line of smoothies, you can give your customers an option to buy your product, right on the Facebook page itself. This helps to reduce friction and provides customers with what they want faster.
Write Long Posts
Twitter deliberately restricts the number of characters you can use in any particular post. But it turns out that most people want more content than just a couple of lines. Many businesses are now turning to Google Plus to write longer posts. Google Plus is a platform that encourages conversations and allows people to “+1” a post or a comment if they like it.
Use Custom Tweets
After you’ve inserted all your hashtags, tweets can end up looking like a bit of a mess. But they don’t have to be that way. In fact, there’s a lot that companies can do to make them more eye-catching and easier to read. For instance, you can use unique fonts and colors, and line breaks to break up the text.