Although the term “social media” has really only become part of our popular lexicon in the past 10 years or so, there is no doubt that this type of online service is now a major part of our society. From the days of Friendster and Myspace to more recent sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, social media has created an entirely new way for the modern internet user to form relationships and interact with both acquaintances and strangers. But these websites aren’t only for tracking down your old friends from high school or keeping in touch with distant family members: social media also offers numerous opportunities for businesses to connect with users and convert them into loyal customers,many of which have been found to be extremely effective. After all, now that consumers are educating themselves on their own by researching companies and products or services online, companies must target them on the web through the delivery of useful, rich content. Follow the tips below to integrate social media into your overall marketing efforts and make a difference in how your company advertises online.
Have a Strategy
While there are a variety of websites, tools, services and tips available to help you market your company through social media, they are no help unless you have a plan in place. Before you create accounts on every website or try to implement every social media tool you can find, determine what you want to accomplish and think about how social media marketing can help you succeed.
Look To the Future
Social media is always evolving due to trends, user behavior and society at large. Because of this, it is important to have both short and long term goals, which you should adjust and improve as the industry changes. You should also consider your options and try to stay current: while sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are popular choices for businesses at the moment, competitors like Pinterest, Tumblr, and others could soon give them a run for their money. Be prepared to change tactics as your customer base — and the social media landscape — shifts.
Say No If Necessary
While you should be prepared to evolve your social media strategy to best meet the habits of your customers, some trends may not fit your goals or even your business as a whole. Determining which sites and decisions are right for your company will not only save you time, but will also help you build a more consistent brand identity.
Social media shouldn’t comprise your entire marketing strategy, and some parts of your business may not make very good content. But while you should invest in other online marketing strategies and be selective about what you share with your followers, integrating your other advertising campaigns and different parts of your business with your social media marketing can create more consistent, effective and informative results. Has your founder written an article for a popular industry website, or been quoted in a news story? Don’t forget to share it online. Is your company celebrating an anniversary, hiring a new employee, or experiencing another milestone? Post a message about it.
Learn From Your Failures
While we live in a media-conscious world that depends on our ability to adapt to new innovations, it is natural to make a mistake on social media. Fortunately, it has been shown that it is easier to recover from online faux pas than other advertising errors. However, you should still try to avoid making them. To do this, take any mistakes you have made in the past, combined with bad choices you see other companies making, and try to learn from these past problems. This will help you determine which posts and campaigns are most successful.
Social media is an interesting, confusing, and ultimately important advertising method for companies trying to market themselves in the modern world. To successfully mesh this type of digital marketing with your company and your other advertising efforts, you can work on learning the ropes yourself, hire media-savvy employees, or even contract an online advertising agency to do the work for you. Whatever options you choose, you can be sure that an effective social media strategy will help you meet your goals.