A smart social media strategy incorporates the economic use of time, selective use of resources, awareness of the industry, and, of course, a lot of tact. Apply the following tips regularly to your own campaign to ensure things go as smoothly as possible in the fast-paced world of social media.
Before anything else, respond to messages.
Responding to direct messages should always be your first priority, even before generating interesting content of your own. The popularity of social media sites is due to the fact that they offer something to customers that other forms of marketing don’t – the opportunity to have their voice heard. Don’t neglect to honor this need. Listen to what your followers are saying, particularly the dissatisfied ones. The sooner you can adapt their suggestions into your overall strategy, the better off your entire brand will be. Above all, always treat your customers with respect, especially the abusive ones – your other followers will notice.
Don’t be tempted to post irrelevant material. What makes the most appropriate content? Think mini press release – product releases and upcoming events are things you should always post about, but if you happen to be going through a dry season, don’t be tempted to fill the air with careless posts which are of little use to your followers, or they will stop listening altogether.
Link to industry news and invite discussion.
If you haven’t had a product release in some time, don’t get uptight. You can always borrow others’ success by linking to their content. Besides the obvious benefit of saving time spent creating new content, sharing the latest articles of interest within your industry will brand you as an expert and encourage links to your profile. Linked articles should be intended to engage followers, so don’t be lazy and share content without having a say. Posting your thoughts and questions about an interesting article or image and then inviting a response is a good way to generate lively discussion on your profile.
Cut out sites that aren’t relevant to your business.
Online marketing is not a one-size-fits-all, and there is a downside to being too thorough – this is especially true of social media, where each site owes its success to its distinct personality and social vibe. While a much-hyped venue like Twitter may be generating thousands of leads for another industry, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will profit yours. Regular metrics are important in this regard. If a site isn’t working for you, don’t hesitate to drop it and focus on the venues which have proven the most profitable.
Make new friends and followers.
Of course, no social media campaign would be complete without a strategy for generating new followers. The best way to target a relevant following is to keep an eye on the competition. Identify key players in your niche, the social media sites they are using, and how they are using them to engage followers and drive campaigns. What works for your closest competitors will probably work for you too. At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to contact their followers directly with a friendly message or an offer for contact.
Don’t forget to have fun.
Social media can be the most exciting part of your overall marketing plan – it all comes down to achieving a balanced strategy.