Millions of people visit social media sites every day. We tell our friends where we are, who we are with and what we’re doing – it’s almost second nature for some. That’s why businesses often think that management of their own social media channels is fairly trivial, some might even call it easy. But businesses that adopt a naïve approach to social media could be missing out on a valuable resource for lead generation.
At least 58% of marketers who have been using social media for three years or longer state that it has helped them boost sales - Marketo
Social media marketing should be treated the same as any other marketing activity. The problem most marketing managers have, is they don’t realise just how time-consuming successful B2B social media strategies are – according to Forbes, the average midsized company needs 32 hours a month to capably handle a single social media platform such as LinkedIn.
By not assigning the necessary time, appropriate skills and processes are often overlooked.
Social media updates
Posting updates on social networks is the bread and butter of the trade. The difficult part is engaging prospects with interesting content. Self-promotional material that is used to simply ‘big up’ your company is boring. Instead, speak to your audience like you would your friends. Engage with them by asking for opinions on industry topics, encouraging debate, or conducting short surveys. Not only is this content generally more interesting, but it can help to feed new content.
There are a number of automation tools you can use to make posting easier. You can set these up to post updates when your team is out of the office or if you’re worried you might forget.
There are plenty of marketers who are confident when using social media automation tools and posting updates. What these tools don’t do (and neither do quite a few marketers), is react to people who interact with the company via social media. Replying to comments is important because otherwise you risk losing engagement from that user; and they could be a potential customer.
If you receive criticism on social media it’s imperative that you address it as quickly, and as appropriately, as possible. Ignoring complaints or bad reviews will only make things worse and will give people the impression that your company doesn’t care about its customers.
Social media isn’t all about chatting to people online and thinking up witty posts. There is a serious reason behind the decision by so many companies to use social networks – they want to increase sales. To do this efficiently, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. This requires careful measurement of distributed content, and analysis into how well it was received. After a while, you will get a feel for what engages your audience, but don’t stop measuring – social media trends are even more volatile than fashion.
Although the majority of social media content seems light hearted and a bit of fun, for companies, social media networks are battle grounds. If you don’t want your competition to get ahead, your team needs to keep an eye on what they’re up to on social media. Just looking at how many times a piece of content has been shared will give you a basic idea of how well their strategy is working.
A successful social media strategy requires you to be interactive. It isn’t all about posting content and seeing what happens. You need to monitor, measure and manage too. The best part about a really good and engaging social media strategy is the end result – you have earned media, not paid for media.
For more information about how you can use social media to increase revenue…