Social media now accounts for almost a quarter of the time Americans spend online, and nearly three quarters of users say they are more likely to purchase from a company that they follow on a social networking site. Consequently, social media has become an essential ingredient of an effective modern marketing strategy. A diverse social media campaign enhances brand awareness and fosters good relationships with customers across a range of demographics. With over a billion users worldwide, Facebook is by far the largest social media platform available today. It is important, however, to integrate other major platforms that serve different purposes, reach different audiences, and encourage different types of interaction, in order to get the most out of your social media marketing strategy. In fact, Forbes predicted that an increasingly diverse approach to social media will be one of the biggest online marketing trends of 2014.
The shape of your social media campaign will depend on the particular needs of your business. Are you selling to consumers or to other businesses? What type of business is it? Who are your potential customers? The answers to these questions will help you think about what the various social media platforms available can do for you.
A Facebook presence is essential for any type of business. Whether or not you have created a profile for your company, people may already know something about it via Facebook. Because the average Facebook user has around 130 friends, any mention of your business that anyone has made via Facebook (whether positive or negative) may have already gained significant exposure. By having an active profile for your business, you can get in on these conversations. You can promote positive comments and respond to and learn from criticism. You can also build rapport and trust with users by engaging them in conversations. Most importantly, Facebook offers an extraordinary top-of-mind marketing opportunity. Statistics show that the average smartphone user checks Facebook 14 times per day. By posting regularly, you can place your business firmly in the consciousness of your audience. This is particularly beneficial for local businesses, since 91% of users report that they use Facebook to find local businesses online.
Twitter is also an important force in the social media world, claiming 232 million active monthly users. Twitter is especially useful to communicate within an industry due to the ubiquitous use of hashtags on this platform. Hashtags organize your posts so that users with particular interest in the topics of your content can access them easily. By using hashtags, your posts can be seen by more people who are likely to be interested in them, helping you to both target and grow your audience at the same time. 49% of monthly Twitter users follow at least one company, and 37% will make a purchase from a brand that they follow. The key is to Tweet well and often. There is a direct correlation between the frequency of a business’s Tweets and its number of followers.
Google+ is also an essential element to any company’s social media campaign because it directly affects SEO rank. A +1 for Google content works much the same way as a Facebook “like,” but because Facebook restricts access to its data, the SEO impact of the Google +1 is much greater.
Yelp holds special benefit for B2C businesses catering to local customers. Its capacity for user reviews and its frequent use for finding local businesses makes it a great way to establish brand awareness and build relationships with customers. While good reviews are wonderful and can be reposted to promote your business, even critical reviews can be helpful. You can respond to concerns and make improvements in how you do business based on the valuable feedback your customers provide.
Finally, LinkedIn is great for making connections within the business world. Users of this platform tend to be more educated, more affluent, and to be professionals focused on advancing their careers. You can use LinkedIn to promote your company’s blog and boost your credibility by receiving recommendations from customers. Participation in groups on LinkedIn can boost your company’s visibility, grow your network, and foster credibility within a targeted audience.
Blue Frog Marketing offers a full spectrum of marketing service with a focus on inbound techniques. We can help your company develop a well-rounded social media strategy that is specifically tailored to the needs of your business.