Social Media Marketing (SMO/SEM)
Social Media Marketing, Social Media Optimization (SMO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
Social media marketing centers around efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it across their social networks; resulting in earned media promotions rather than paid.
Social media has also become a leading medium for consumers to voice opinions about their every interaction they have with a company and its products or services; as such it has also become a very powerful Customer Service tool.
Social media enables both consumers and brands to have a shared voice and interact on a public stage, creating a balance that addresses the wants and needs of both. Expectations of speedy replies and immediate attention have certainly raised the bar.
Example of Social Customer-Service
It’s in the best interest of your company to have a social-media expert handle customer-service protocol and complaint resolution. Consistency and follow-through is key here. Arguing a complaint or posting defensive responses and threats (legal or otherwise) can all backfire. These types of replies can even make headline news (in a very bad way)!
The Importance of Unique Branded ContentMembers of your target market are on the lookout for brands that actively engage their customers and potential customers. This means that relevant content can not only get you in front of those individuals most likely to do business with you, it can serve a purpose that’s deeper than a sales call. It can provide education while allowing customers to learn more about what your brand is all about.
Below are a few statistics to back up the importance of content, and why you should be focusing on how that content looks.
- 61% of consumers have more confidence in brands that produce regular content. (Making customers much more likely to do business with these brands)
- Interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons people cite for following specific brands over others.
- Companies with blogs generate 67% more inbound leads than those without.
Tips for Social-Media Success (A Reality Check)
- 1st and foremost. Much of your Social Media Marketing efforts
and expenses may be getting you nowhere. Really!
Do you really need to spend time and money on all of the social networks? —No! Stop wasting time on what isn't working; instead, increase your investment into what is producing (aka, converting). However, a social channel that drives a small but highly converting audience is worth noticing; these lessons should be blatantly apparent. But when in doubt audit.
A social media audit (trend analysis) will help you take stock of your efforts and understand channel effectiveness (or lack thereof). You’ll need to dig into your site analytics and look at more than just referring traffic. This being said...
- Be crystal clear on who your target audience is. Determining your
target demographic is imperative for success (without customers there are no sales).
- Which social-media sites are they on? Determine where these people
like to socialize (gold is where you find it). If you’re tightly staffed and have
limited funds to contract help, it can be difficult to actively engage in a variety
of sites. In that case, pick two or three sites -- preferably the ones that are
used most often with your audience -- to do well. You can always add more sites
- Plan your messaging strategy. Connect your customer's interests
and challenges to your brand, your content and how your products or services can
- Mix it up. Feature a mixture of different kinds of content --
from news to practical tips and humorous stories. Emphasize by using visuals such
as images, photos, videos, infographics and slide decks.
- Listen first. Before engaging, make sure you understand the feel
and tone of the social media platforms you’re interested in using. Think about
the kinds of customer-service issues or pitfalls that might arise. Remember, think before you post,
even if you delete a post, once it’s public, it’s hard to take it back and messages
can go viral quickly.
- Engage and interact. Social media isn’t a megaphone, it’s a conversation.
It’s a great opportunity to connect with customers and influencers from bloggers
to media people. Pose thoughtful questions and respond to people’s queries with
helpful information that isn't just pitching your business.
- Prioritize. Focus on what is most important and test what works
best for your specific audience and message. Monitor website traffic to see which
social media sites are driving traffic. What patterns drive website activity (stats),
e-commerce and actual ($) sales?
- Keep your eye on the big picture. Don’t get too caught up in any one social-media site or tactic unless it’s giving you fantastic results. Keep an eye on changing trends and how you might take advantage of it, such as if a new social-media site is growing in popularity with your customer segment. And lastly, tie in your social media strategy with your other marketing efforts, "Integrated Marketing."
"Because so much of the customer experience now lives on the web, social media enables brands to take part in a customer's online experience outside of the typical channels."Are you ready to grow your Social Network?