Need some tips to improve your Social Media marketing strategy?

Following up from my previous post, I wanted to do another article on Social Media Marketing and how you can improve your strategy. So when this blog post landed in my Inbox, it was the perfect opportunity to share it around.

The team at GetAmbassador.com have come up with 10 easy Social Media marketing tips to consider when creating your strategy. Here we go!

1) Have a plan!
This should go without saying, but the first rule of creating a Social Media strategy is to have a plan of attack. The plan should have measurable goals that can be analysed once complete to determine whether the plan was executed successfully. Just because it’s ‘social’ doesn’t mean it’s any different to any other marketing initiative. Set yourself specific objectives that can be tracked.

2) Produce valuable content
The customers who view your Facebook business page have particular needs, so the most effective way to keep them coming back is to provide content that addresses those needs. That’s also the best way to encourage social sharing, which will ultimately increase your following and have a greater impact on your business. The more content your produce, the more your customers will take it in and keep coming back.

3) Keep your brand identity consistent
To ensure your customers come to know and trust your brand, you must provide them with the same experience however they interact with you. Whether it’s through social media, via the contact centre on in-store, your message and tone should be consistent across the board. There is nothing more satisfying that hearing a customer say they know your brand and want to engage with you on a personal level.

4) K.I.S.S. – Keep It Super Simple
Just because your competitors are on every social network available, doesn’t mean you have to be! The key to a successful social media marketing strategy is to determine which channels will provide the best access to your target audience and focusing your efforts there. There is no point in having a blog linked to your Facebook or Twitter pages if you’re not going to consistently populate it with relevant content.

5) Quality over quantity
Every business on social media would love to have millions of fans and followers, but this can’t be all you aim for. Social media marketing is only valuable if it helps grow your business. If you have a huge following but those people haven’t been converted to customers or refer your brand to others, it’s not as good as having a smaller group of highly targeted individuals. Make sure you identify your key target audience and keep them engaged with your content.

6) Produce different types of content
My previous post spoke on this very point, that Facebook posts with images have a much higher rate of engagement than text alone. Plus, if you’re into creating video content on new products, almost 3/4 of customers are more likely to visit your website if they watch it. You can’t simply write blog posts and link them to all your social networks – this won’t get you very far and you could lose a lot of customers.

7) Engage with your followers!
This one might also seem a bit obvious, but you would be surprised how many business make the mistake of neglecting the social aspect of Social Media Marketing. You need to engage with your customers and prospects on a personal level – but not just to market your products. Actively engaging with your fans and followers rather than focusing on marketing to them will help them gain your trust and see you as the go-to brand for their needs. Start a discussion, or put up a tweet with an open-ended question so customers can converse with you. Show customers the personality behind your brand.

8) Make it easy to connect
To be successful, you need fans and followers – that’s a given. But you need to make it easy for them to connect with you. Why not include social buttons to all your networks on every page of your website (usually in the footer), so customers can easily join and follow you. You should also include a sign-up link in your email marketing and blog.

9) Tackle negative comments head-on
It’s becoming more and more common for customers these days to take to social media to voice their opinions and share bad experiences they’ve had with a brand. But you should never ignore or delete these negative comments. Make sure you’re responding to them in a timely and positive manner and more often than not, you will get the customer who posted a negative comment turn about face and say something extremely positive.

From experience, it is absolutely crucial that you respond to every negative comment within at least 24 hours, so the customer knows you’re not just forgetting about them. If you let them know you’re looking into why they had a bad experience, they will be happy someone is taking the time to listen and help them out. Sometimes things can spiral out of control on social media, because it is such a public forum. If you need to, take it offline, but post the positive result at the end so everyone else can see the issue was resolved.

10) Measure your results
You need to check your social media marketing results from time to time to identify what’s working and what isn’t. Unfortunately this is not a simple ‘set and forget’ type business – you could end up wasting money and not reaching as many customers as you should. Work out a list of objectives to achieve and a schedule of content – if you stick to your schedule and review your performance against your objectives, you will ensure that your networks will continue to grow.

Social Media can be the main source for learning about new brands, products and services and is undoubtedly one of the most powerful marketing tools for businesses today. These 10 tips are just a snapshot of things you could do to help you reach a higher rate of success and growing your business through social media marketing.

7 ways to drive engagement with Facebook image posts

I have done a lot of Social Media Marketing in my career, so when I stumbled across this post from ClickZ.com, I just had to share it!

It’s widely known that images can increase engagement on social platforms, but have you thought about how you can connect even more with your customers? You know the feeling, you post up a great photo on your Facebook business page and watch intently as the likes start climbing.

Images on Facebook receive over 50% more likes than the average post and a whopping 84% more clicks! The reason behind this? Visual content is transmitted to the brain some 60,000 times fast than text, but there are so many reports and stats showing the value of visual content. But not all images are created equal, and not all images perform equally well, either. The team at ClickZ.com have pulled together some tips to help drive engagement with Facebook image posts.

Share real people
Facebook is the ultimate photo album – a fantastic to instantly share with your friends, family and customers. So then it would make sense that images of real people in real situations perform better than stock photos and staged models.As a brand, who are these real people that you should include in your images? It could be staff members, depending on the situation (at a staff function or trying out a brand new product) but more often it should be your customers and influencers, the true voice of your brand.

Example: Chinese Laundry, sharing images of their fans w wearing their shoes, and recently captured shots of people sporting Chinese Laundry at Coachella.

Chinese Laundry

Focus on faces – but it doesn’t necessarily have to be people’s faces!
We’re hardwired to recognize faces – it’s the ability for us to recognise people from a distance to determine if we know them. This ability is so ingrained that it causes us to see faces in places that they do not really exist, such as fruit, vegetables, rock formations, architecture and other places, a psychological phenomenon is known as “pareidolia.”

Take the example below – can you see the smiling face in the end of the handbag?

Can you see the smiling face?

This is huge for use on social media, as it proves just how powerful the human face is – it’s instantly recognisable are inherently drawn to it. Rather than posting large group shots where you can barely make out each person’s facial features, use close-ups instead.

Use lifestyle imagery
This works really well for the same reasons using real people does – it’s more genuine and, quite frankly, it can be more interesting! But remember, it needs to stand out. Using a close-up of a product on a plain white background is quite dull. Think of Facebook as a lookbook or lifestyle catalog, and use it tell your brand story and share ideas of how to use your products through compelling photos.

Take Ikea as a classic example:

Use lifestyle imagery

Be brief
Short and sweet posts are often the best:

Short and sweet

Encourage short responses
When posting a photo or album up on Facebook, remember that most of your customers probably don’t have much time to provide length responses to questions (unless they are posting about a negative experience…) If they can comment in just a few short seconds, there’s a higher likelihood that they will. By asking questions that require a simple one or two-word answer, you are sure to increase engagement.

Take 1-800-Flowers as an example – what do you think of the arrangement below?

Be brief

Create image galleries
Creating an album in one Facebook post pulls through smaller thumbnails that are just begging for your customers to click through to enlarge the image, thus increasing your engagement from a single post. See if you can be a bit creative as well, like by framing out a key piece of the image, users have to click to see what has been cropped out. This can make the photos even more fascinating – ModCloth is a great example.

Create image galleries

Why not try some of the tips above and see if your engagement levels on Facebook increase? I would love to hear how things go!