Beyond the (Facebook) Wall: Utilizing Social Media Sites to Boost Your Campaign
In an age where face-to-face communication has been surpassed by a screen we tweet, post, check-in, “like”, update and subscribe on a daily basis to stay connected. Social media handles such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn serve as a way for us to keep in touch with our dearest friends or our most distant acquaintance from the comfort of our mobile devices. Keeping tabs on one’s online activity can also help businesses tap into the needs, wants or freely given opinions of those willing to share on a social networking site.
Staying relevant in an online community means frequently updating our posts and photos to show our “friends” what’s new with us. The same applies in a social media marketing campaign. Delivering content that engages our viewers is key.
After all, when you reference the sites bookmarked in your web browser you may notice a common theme: they all have a certain something that compels you to return to them. They are funny, informative, perhaps both but above all they are updated with a certain amount of frequency. A Facebook status update with a punchy delivery or a new photo album of your too-cute-to-be-true kitten is sure to garner ample “likes”, so why shouldn’t the same apply to your fine-tuned marketing campaign?
Defining Yourself in the Social Sphere
If your brand is worthy of its own online group of “friends” then it should be well defined within the social media parameters. Who is your company? What can you offer? These are declarations that should scream loud and clear to those who stumble upon your profile or site what makes you…well, you. This can be as easy as establishing your business’s name so that you are easy to search for.
For those who are unaware of your business’s presence, Facebook Advertising allows business pages to target customers or “fans” based on a specific location of your choosing. Like Google AdWords, multiple campaigns can be executed at once targeting different geographical regions. Unlike Google AdWords, Facebook Advertising allows you further define your campaign’s core audience by isolating variants such as your customer’s established Facebook interests, gender and age.
Establishing Lasting Relationships
Once you have achieved a legion (or even a handful, for that matter) of dedicated fans or friends, don’t think that your job is done. Online friends are not simply trophies to be collected; they are relationships to be nurtured. After all, their news feed or thread is a runway for your message to land upon.
As a business you have more to offer your clients than a snazzy cover photo or humorous hashtag. Promoting freebies or giveaways are a fantastic way to not only engage with your friends or fans, but to potentially turn them into customers through contests, access to online Webinars and other calls-to-action that entice your viewers into opting into what you’re promoting.
Social media sites give business owners the unique opportunity to engage with clients in a way that may be difficult via a website alone. You are given the chance to pose questions to an audience and receive feedback that at times may be brutally honest, because let’s face it–we are all a little more brazen in an online interface, but useful insight into the mindset of your customers.
Interaction on a site such as Facebook can be a great way to broadcast your company’s flair for customer service as well. As I mentioned previously, nurturing the relationships with an online audience is the next step after acquiring one; adding a personal touch such as “liking” a friend’s comment on your Timeline or re-tweeting a favorable customer review is a great way to do just that.
Sizing Up the Competition
If you’re looking to see some of these tips in practice, sometimes the best help can be finding your competitor’s online social media handles and investing time in researching them. How many friends do they have? What are they posting and what is the response to their posts? What are they missing that you could offer to their customers? What companies do they associate themselves with, be it via “likes” or as friends?
Analyze these components and perhaps think about how these strategies may ramp up your own social marketing endeavors. Surely if an established competitor is having success they are doing something right with a targeted audience you are hoping to capture. Each business brings their own qualities to the table and so can each marketing campaign. After all, with over 800 million active users on Facebook alone, there is plenty of love (or “like”) to go around.