WGC was featured as the guest corporate blogger this week at Staples Promotional Products. Thanks to Crystal Wiebe, Staples Promotional Products Corporate Blogger & Social Media Strategist, for asking WGC to share insight and expertise with Staples brand business partners on effectively utilizing Social Media Marketing in business! Original Article can be found on Staples Promotional Products Corporate Blog.
Integrating the use of Social Media in your business is the most important piece of an effective, online marketing strategy. If you are not currently using Social Media Marketing to promote your business, engage with your consumer and build a community of loyal followers, well, you are three+ years behind the times. Social Media is not going away, it is not a fad and companies daily discover new ways to leverage this free marketing tool. The use of Social Media Marketing continues to have monetarily impactful, measurable bottom line results for businesses and brands, even in a tough economy. Here are five Social Media Marketing tips you can implement today!
1. Create a Social Media Marketing Plan
Your business did not achieve the success it enjoys today by not developing a well thought out business model, financial plan or communication strategy. Invest an equal amount of time in developing a Social Media Marketing Plan as you would balancing the company books. Choose your message, what you are going to promote, how you would like to be viewed online then create a calendar for the next 3-6 months, calendaring out the day of the week and time you will post…detailing out exactly what you are going to implement. Creating this calendar and action plan keeps your business accountable to regularly making posts online and delivering a consistent message to your community of consumers. Do the work upfront on a calendar plan and you will reap the engagement rewards.
2. Pick a Platform You Can Effectively Manage & Works for Your Business
Do not try to build, engage and manage 7-10 social media site all at one time unless your business is planning to hire a Social Media Director or Consultant to manage the online marketing. Start small, pick 2-3 sites, eg. Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, then test out how those pages are going to work for your brand. Your business must ensure that content is presented in a manner that resonates with consumers and produces optimum results. Be consistent in your message, share engaging content, be authentic and do not try and promote your business to death because it will turn off the consumer.
3. Call to Action
The call to action is often the most overlooked Social Media conversion strategy. Spell out, upfront, what your business wants the consumer to do: “click here, call us, sign up for e-mails or share this.” In conjunction with the call to action statement, offer an incentive to the consumer for taking a specific action on the website, such as: “receive a free download,” “discount at check-out” or “Free Promotional Product.” Do not break your company bank, but offer products or services to consumers that will keep them coming back for more!
4. Understand Your Customer
Eighty-five percent of consumers discover a company’s business website through a product or immediate needs search. Having clean, quality, well designed and engaging website with your Social Media integrated into it is critical. Use Google Analytics or the new Facebook Timeline Insights to help your business understand consumer behavior. Observe what users search for, look at, click on and identify what pages are getting the most traffic and why customers are leaving. Creating targeted promotions or incentives based on consumer preference has been shown to double consumer traffic and online conversion.
If timely possible, follow five blogs or read at least the same number of articles daily related to Social Media. This will keep your business minimally informed of the changes and trends happening in the online marketing world. Social Media Marketing continues to be a very fluid, consistently evolving beast where marketers discover new tips and tricks that work for branding daily. I recommend Mashable, HubSpot, SmartBrief on Social, ProBlogger Tips and TechCrunch to name a few.
Above all, have fun utilizing Social Media and engaging with your consumers. Try out the recommend tips for a several months and evaluate how implementing these strategies can impact your feelings about using Social Media and expand your online presence and communication. Experiment with new ways to change how your business communicates and transform your new “digital handshake” with consumers online!