As I was thinking about writing this post I decided that there are plenty of articles about why to use social media in business marketing. Instead of regurgitating what you already know, here are some suggestions on how to use social media for business marketing. Social media marketing should be baked into your overall digital marketing strategy. There is much debate among marketers as to whether or not social signals are a ranking factor in search.
What is not debatable is the value of targeting, engaging and nurturing your audience in ways that earn brand loyalty and shares of content that lead to increase of followers. In addition, FaceBook pages and Google + profiles tend to rank well in branded and long tail search. That isn’t to claim a correlation between social signals and your domain ranking, only to point out the tremendous value of optimized social channels.
So what is a local business or digital marketer to do when it comes to social media marketing?
Stand Out In The Crowd
Our feeds have become increasingly cluttered with distractions. Partly because we have allowed it to happen by not managing our profiles and partly by design as algorithms evolve attempting to influence what makes it through the noise and what is deemed less important.
Not surprisingly many social media networks have developed their own ad platform. For FaceBook, Instagram (owned by FaceBook) and Pinterest this is more than promoted posts and updates. Robust advertising tools that provide highly targeted audience and interest categories, are very shareable, and provide measurable return on investment. Bite the bullet and make a modest investment to test your market.
Employees As Your Marketing Army
Employees are already talking about your brand on social media. According to a study by Weber Shandwick 50% of your employees are on social media conversing about your business. Unfortunately most of this is happening without your guidance and leadership. Employee advocacy is at it’s best when not required, but rather rewarded when encouraging and incentivizing team members to share brand messages on their own social media accounts. The key to successful employee advocacy is simplicity of execution and genuine advocacy.
Fix The Gap In Social Media Skills
More and more companies are using social media for business marketing, however 9 out of 10 companies report that their employees don’t have the requisite skills to plan, execute and manage digital marketing campaigns. There is scant opportunity at major US colleges that offer social media or digital marketing course work. What is more troubling the classes that are available don’t relate to real world experiences or focus on what students will face once in the work force. Small business owners will need to ask more of employees in the future. It isn’t enough to simply have retail experience or customer skills. Employees working for small business will need to be more than just technically savvy, they will need to have strategic business sense when it comes to digital marketing.
Leverage Conversational Commerce
Mobile users spend more than 90% their time on messenger apps, like text, email and FaceBook messenger. In fact over 1 billion people use FaceBook messenger every month. Imagine a platform your business could use to have conversational sales and product conversations with on a messenger app or chatbot. If you have never heard the term chatbot before, you aren’t alone. But I am willing to bet some of you have used one without realizing that is what you were doing. If you have ever been to a site before where they had a pop up messenger or “chat” box that is a chatbot. Some are very sophisticated experiences engineered by programming, others rely on AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning.
The point to this is that you can and should be leveraging FaceBook’s messenger app to begin growing your audience and communicating your brand and product message. This method is under used and ripe for visionary small businesses.
So there you have it. I hope you can find a nugget of useful information for using social media for business marketing in your internet marketing plan. Please let me know if I can assist or answer questions for you.