3 Key Principles to Impactful Social Media

Social network concept with smiling young people holding smart phones in front of big white wall.

Like any marketing campaign, businesses should be strategic with their social media channels. Social media is easily the most talked about method of growing your customer network, but probably also the most misunderstood. Whether your company is in its social media presence infancy or quite mature, ensure you apply the three core principles of making social work for your business:

 1. Write a Mission Statement for Your Social Media

Having a mission statement allows your social media team to set clear goals and rules to live by. While technically it’s “free” to post on social media, the time and energy it takes certainly is not, so you want your invested time and effort going toward a definitive outcome that will impact your business.

Are you striving for any or all of the following?

  • Brand recognition in the marketplace?
  • New customers?
  • Sales?
  • Driving traffic to main company website?

 Important Questions to Ask Yourself:

How often will you post?
Which social media platforms should content be posted on?
How will content align with the rest of your business?
How will you promote content?
How will you collect and utilize data from social media posts?
What is the budget for social media retargeting ads?
Who are your competitors and how are they using their social media accounts?
The answers to these questions will become the roadmap of content to achieving your end goal.

2. Collaborate with Influencers

social_media_donut-590x590 Team up with local social media all-stars, or industry thought-leaders that have worked hard to gain authority and obtain a following. They successfully created their own audience and you want to tap into it to broaden your reach.

How you do this depends upon which social media outlet is most relevant to your target audience.

One popular way of achieving this is to have a respected leader in your industry “takeover” your Instagram posts for the day. Think of this as like having a “guest host” that fills in for the day creating posts on your account. This usually starts off with a morning introductory post announcing they are “taking over” and most likely sharing images from their day that would be of interest to your audience. This is a win-win for both parties as it allows them to cross over their audience or followers. Another example of influencer collaboration is having an established social media influencer promote your product or service, and how they like to use it, on their own social media page.

 Trust their judgment. They did not become social media mavens without learning what works for them and their followers. Find out what products or aspects of your service get them excited and motivated to share with their fans. They know what resonates well with their followers, and will not share something they are not fully behind, risking their credibility.

3. Converse With Your Target on Their Terms

Build your brand with exclusive material. Interact with your audience by doing more than just pushing sales and asking them to buy your product or service. This is a two-way conversation, so you must pick up on your target’s social cues of what they want to talk about as it relates to your product or service’s business category. Otherwise, you’re just another ad, talking “at” them and will be ignored.

Best Practices:

-Show them how the product works and the different ways it can be used. Let’s say your product is a makeup line, then you could post video tutorials of makeup application tips. This is not just limited to using video. Eye catching infographics or imagery works too!

-Take them behind the scenes, showing them how the product is made, meeting the people that make it, and anything else that would be of interest and on-brand. Many companies are also doing this by sharing happenings around the workplace and featuring their own employees. Anything from bring your dog to work day to chic outfits worn to work is fair game. The Instagram account for Town and Country magazine often shares scenic images that editors take on their weekend travels.

-Acknowledge the customer’s voice and keep them engaged. Provide followers and consumers with a unique hashtag to use and ask them to tag you in pictures of them using your product. Include the hashtag on product packaging materials, store signage and any other relevant marketing materials. Repost customers sharing images of the product with the hashtag. This shows the customer you care about maintaining a relationship with them past the transaction point, fostering brand loyalty. Brand loyalty translates into referrals!

Lookalike Targeting Trend

Today’s trend is using Twitter’s Tailored Audiences tool and Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences feature that retargets to users similar in demographics or behavior to your existing consumers. This form of retargeting enables you to reach the most potentially captivated audience of potential consumers on social media.

How this works:

Marketers upload their “seed list,” which is basically their currently targeted email distribution list. The social media site matches these emails to any of their users. They then run an algorithm to decipher who of their members is a look-alike for the seed group. You are not given specific data about the individuals on the look-alike list, but you will be able to market to this new group, and segment it further.

Once you have mastered the three core principles of social media, you can test the latest and greatest trends for monetizing your online relationships. Remember you are building relationships, which take time and attention, but can be very impactful long-term.

Gerard Marketing Group recently expanded their capabilities to include social media planning and implementation. Contact us to guide you through your social media challenges.