Guest post by Greg Rokisky
As someone who’s been watching social media closely over the past few years it prides me to see a turning of the tide. Where before it was pulling teeth to get anyone to understand why their brand should have, at least, a Facebook page, today you won’t run into many people who don’t understand the importance of social media as it relates to reaching a large number of people.
That being said, we do have a long way to go as I’m finding there’s a new hurdle for us digital communicators to jump. While many understand they need to be using social media, I’m seeing a lot of people don’t understand the WHY outside of “all the cool kids are doing it.”
And yes, I have the numbers to back me up.
Here are some numbers from Social Media Examiners’ 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report:
- 90% of marketers said social media is important to their business, however
- 37% of marketers were uncertain whether they were able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for their social media activities,
- 40% of marketers don’t know if their Facebook traffic has declined over the past 12 months, and
- 35% of marketers aren’t sure if their marketing on Facebook is effective
See the problem?
If you’re spending time (and money) on your social media marketing efforts, you probably should understand why you’re in the social space in the first place.
Bottom line: Your social media efforts can’t be off floating on its own private island, and need to be fully integrated with the rest of your business strategies and tactics.
Need some tips to jumpstart integration of your digital media efforts? Try these five on for size:
We’ll start simple.
If you don’t have social sharing buttons on your homepage, and all of your blog posts, then get them up stat. And while we’re at it, make sure that clicking on them opens up a separate tab rather navigating away from your website.
Apply your business goals to social media goals
One thing I see often is the following social media goal: “I want my content to go viral and to obtain hundreds of thousands of followers.”
Sure, that sounds like a dream but what’s the point of collecting all of those fans if you don’t know what to do with them or have this robust audience that is completely unrelated to what you’re marketing?
Instead of gunning for likes/follows that don’t relate to your business strategy, aim for a large percentage of your new audience to include the various demographics that are most likely to convert (buy your product, sign-up for your course, etc.).
Integrate email and social
Think of it this way: social media followers are rented. If anything happened and you were locked out of your accounts, you would lose access to your audience.
On the other hand, we have email. You own your email list subscribers. Spend efforts growing that list.
A simple way to smartly integrate your email and social media efforts is to ask your social media audiences to sign up for your email list. Just make sure that what you’re sending email content that is valuable and worth their time.
Remarket on social media using your email lists
Did you know that you can upload your email subscriber list(s) and then target specific Facebook ads to those same people?
This is just another touch point to ensure your audiences are seeing all the great services you have to offer.
Events + Social Media = A Great Idea
Do you host a regular event, or are you planning a product release?
What better way to utilize social media than asking your fans to curate content?
During your event, have the official hashtag plastered everywhere and encourage attendees to tweet and post using that tag. Let them know their content could possibly be shared on your company’s social media as an added incentive.
After your product is released, ask your customers to share on social media how they’re using your product. Again, the possibility that their posts will be shared by your brand will be a great incentive.
Saying how great of a product you have is one thing.
Having social proof of your customers validating that product? Priceless.
So when you’re in your next goal-setting meeting, make sure that your social media manager (or team) is there with you. Don’t leave them alone on castaway island.
Your atypical Type A creative, Greg currently serves as social media and community manager for Streamline Publishing, Inc., a national corporation. Prior to Streamline, Greg spent three years at a full-service public relations firm based in Lansing, MI. With extensive experience in graphic design, public relations and digital media he also recently launched a creative services consulting business. Outside of work, he enjoys burying his nose in as many books and watching as many indie films as possible. You can connect with Greg via Twitter, Instagram, or Linkedin.