Social media has grown exponentially over the past few years as one of the top digital marketing tools available. The versatility of this tool allows both business-to-business and business-to-consumer brands to benefit from reaching out to current and potential customers on the platform. Like most great forms of communication, there are many different tactics used by marketing professionals to boost recognition for a brand, product or service.
Here are five key social media marketing tips from the pros:
1) Host social media events. A loyal community is built with the help of interactive communication and events. Help boost the popularity of a brand with promotional giveaways held on social media channels. According to social media expert Mari Smith, an event can be as long as 24 hours or more and is a great way to explore more business opportunities, get more fans and create buzz for a brand. Social Media Today reported that professionals should keep in mind that an applicable and easily followed hashtag should be created and marketed during the event. Prizes should help communicate a company's message and act as a reminder to customers about its quality services or products.
2) Keep messages timely. Social media allows marketing professionals to immediately capitalize on a situation to promote an event. The ability to be connected to customers at any time or place is a heady one. Keep in mind that this power also comes with responsibility. Too many brands or individuals have felt the sting of backlash against an inappropriate Facebook or Twitter message. Make sure everything that is being sent out has been thought over in terms of appropriateness, grammar and on-brand tone.
3) Use images. As the old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words," so don't box the campaign in with 140 characters. Instead, consider using images on both Facebook and Twitter to provide content diversity and fun pictures for customers or potential customers to share online. Social media expert Amy Porterfield told the news source that using and modifying images is a great way to grab the attention of brand followers and make them more likely to participate in group discussions or answer a poll question.
4) Consider the 10-4-1 Rule. Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey Cohen, authors of the B2B Social Media Book, have developed a simple formula for posting balanced types of content. According to Social Media Today the authors state that for every 15 social media posts, 1 should link to one landing page, 4 should be linked to blog posts and 10 should be content from other sources. This diversity in content distribution will better endear a brand to its potential customers and demonstrate how it is a worthwhile organization to follow online.
5) Use platforms populated with target demographics. A brand's target demographic is expected to act differently on social media platforms than other key groups. For example, an organization looking to connect with men should not invest a lot of time and resources in Pinterest because this social media network is dominated by women. In contrast, an organization or marketing professional may find that Twitter is a much more fitting platform to engage with this target audience. A marketing professional looking to bring recognition to a brand and boost a following should use the platforms that the target audience is spending a great deal of time on for an increased return on investment. Consult with those analyzing key population and sample statistics to learn who is the main audience for a brand and research to understand what media outlets this group is using the most.