Social Media Marketing is Not All About Conversions
Throughout my career as an online marketer I have come across many business owners and marketing team leaders who have the belief that the only reason to use social media is as a marketing platform to create sales leads; however, this is a SMM strategy that I deeply disagree with. It is my personal belief that social media is not simply an advertising platform, but instead a single location to increase brand awareness, brand influence and offer the highest quality customer service within your specific industry.
For example; the worlds biggest socially driven brand Coca-Cola rarely uses social media as a direct selling tool but instead a platform to increase both brand awareness and engagement and they do this fabulously. Let’s face it; its hard to browse through Twitter without seeing a tweet from Coca-Cola. On the other hand, O2 uses social media as both a sales tool and a customer service tool which improves its brands overall consumer engagement. However, they also use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to engage consumers with well planned marketing campaigns such as contest or even encourage their community to engage with a recent marketing campaign such as #BeMoreDog.
Although, in my experience, as a 16 year old marketing executive, I have found that many SME’s are using social media in one way; as a broadcasting and sales tool. Any business found to be using social media simply to broadcast and sell is certain to see little return on investment, however, if a business focuses highly on listening over social media they will likely see a positive return.
But, I understand that the act of “listening” takes both time and patience (much like in real life). However, it often pays off in one of two ways: you will either grow a relationship with a consumer (planting the seed) or sell straight away!
However, for the majority of SME’s social media is extremely daunting; social media didn’t even exist when many SME’s first launched. It’s for this reason that I have laid out 5 pro tips for listening over social media; all of which are cost effective and time efficient.
- Use tools such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite: These allow you to see a dashboard full of relevant social updates, which can include keywords or phrases a potential consumer may use on social media. They also allow you to combine multiple social networks into one, easy to navigate dashboard.
- Use Buffer to schedule your “broadcasting” tweets: This will allow you to focus the majority of your time “listening” while leaving Buffer to publish “broadcasting” updates.
- Be specific when listening: When using social media as a listening platform use more specific searches. This will allow you to target potential consumers of your product or service accurately and allow you to focus time on potential consumers more efficiently.
- Engage with competitors’ unhappy clients: Many believe that by engaging with competitors’ clients you will begin a “social war”. However, throughout my career as a marketing executive I have consistently engaged with unhappy customers within the same industry. For example; if your an accounting firm and find somebody who tweets, “@Competitor is rubbish; slow and annoying”. Then I would send a tweet back saying, “Sorry to hear you have had a bad experience within our industry @UnhappyClient, we wish you well with your accounting issues”. This will impress consumers and potentially win you a new client while losing a competitor a current client!
- Use “social listening” to manage your brand’s reputation: The reputation of your business is everything, and on social media one bad review can reach thousands! Search for your brand’s name on Facebook and Twitter and find any positive or negative opinions of your business and be responsive.
These tips along with a little willpower will increase your businesses social media influence and online presence. However, if you are struggling with your social media marketing then why not contact the BeSeen Marketing team for further assistance with your social listening!
Ashton Hudson first entered his marketing career in his mid-teens after years of publishing unique content online enjoyed by thousands. With a deep fascination with consumer attitude Ashton loves to use digital marketing channels including social media, content and organic SEO to bring consumers to the brands. Ashton considers marketing to be the chocolate chips to a brands cookie dough; without the chocolate chips a brand is simply a distasteful lump of dough, and he believes its the role of marketers to add a little “zing” to a brands identity.