10 Truths to help you understand Social Media +
Content Marketing, and get started!
It’s time to stop being anti-social. Time to stop sitting in the corner watching everyone else have a good time. Time to stop being confused about where to start, and to just get into it. Here’s how.
Social media is simply the collective term for websites or apps where people can share content. It seems like more than that, doesn’t it. It’s not. It’s a tool – to be used.
Content marketing, another buzz term that conjures up some sort of magical image, but actually it is just using these platforms to talk directly to people, customers, prospects etc. It’s a form of marketing which is incredibly powerful if implemented the right way, and that way is with a strategy.
Here’s the official definition:
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” From The Content Marketing Institute
The two key words here are ‘valuable’ and ‘relevant’.
Take those out, and all you are doing is presenting noise to people who probably don’t want to see it.
So, in order for you to get your head around how your social media marketing can successfully incorporate content marketing, here are some ‘truths’ for you…
Truth Number 1
Social Media and Content Marketing WILL benefit your business.
It’s not all about selling – it’s about letting people know you are there, you exist, what sort of operation you run – educating them. It’s about creating new connections and leads, and ultimately increasing your ROI. To do that, you need a content marketing plan – pure and simple.
In 2015 (over 12 months ago) Facebook influenced
52% of online AND offline purchase.
What people see in their social feeds impacts their purchasing behaviour.
Truth Number 2
You don’t need to use EVERY SINGLE social media platform.
Just the ones where your people play. Facebook tends to cross all areas (and if we hear another person say that their customers aren’t on Facebook, we will probably cry. This time last year, there were over 15,000,000 monthly active users – and while they it isn’t a work-based scene, they still see things and engage with posts that they can then apply to the work life, so don’t diss it…), whereas LinkedIn is more specifically about business (more big numbers with an audience of nearly 7,000,000 in Australia alone).
Instagram, while being a visual medium, is perfect for retail, and pulls in over 35% of all internet users in our country.
Twitter and Pinterest come in after that, with approx 5,000,000 each.
So choose the one that suits your business best, and get started there.
Truth Number 3
People TALK to each other via their social accounts.
So get them talking about your business.
Here is a great definition of marketing -v- branding which says that marketing (traditional) is all about you telling people how great your business and product is, whereas branding is when your customers and clients do it for you.
They recommend and refer you, either directly or through tools like Google Reviews. These are super powerful in terms of influencing purchasing decisions – don’t ignore them, because your customers won’t!
71% of people who have had a good experience with a brand’s social media presence
are likely to recommend it to their friends.
That’s a sales force to be reckoned with – harness it!
Truth Number 4
Images and infographics WILL get more attention.
Show them what you do – we are an impatient lot, and we want all the info now, toot suite.
So give it to us in visual format, but do remember to have your business name on the image somewhere so that you brand gets attention too.
Be creative with your imaging – a picture of your flibbertygibbert might just disappear in the noise, but having a person using it, someone who looks like your perfect customer might just get their attention.
Truth Number 5
Getting attention with the use of video has NEVER been more important.
In February last year, over 4.4 million videos were posted to Facebook.
Do you know how many times those videos were viewed? Over 199 BILLION. Billion.
Now, there is no doubt that some videos scored better than others – but what a great headstart that is over your competition! Advertisers are globally now starting to refer to social media platforms as a new form of TV – with snippets of ads running and getting engagement directly with the customer.
Video content is more that 40 times more likely to be shared and commented on than regular content. And it doesn’t need to be expensive – equipment prices are falling, and the quality you can achieve on hand held devices is incredible. It’s just a matter of starting.
Truth Number 6
The more you USE social media, the more you KNOW about your customers.
Information is power, right?
Well, how powerful is being able to see exactly who is liking and sharing, who is commenting, who is really engaging with your posts?
This is gold, people, giving you customer insights direct to your screen, in real time. By monitoring your activity, and listening to your people, you can access information about your customers that will absolutely influence your business and marketing decisions. Then you start testing, tweaking, and learning more.
Here is how much happens in 1 day on the major platforms:
Over 500 MILLION tweets.
4.5 BILLION likes on Facebook.
95 MILLION photos and videos Instagram.
That’s real life people. Not robots, statistics, or devices.
Truth Number 7
Social Media is NOT a can of worms.
So often, we speak with businesses who are just really reluctant to start down the path. They just aren’t sure how they are going to manage it. Well, to be honest, that is where people like us come in, social media marketing agency types who know exactly how to manage it, and it is completely affordable.
We actually think that you can’t afford NOT to harness social media – but that is the topic for another blog post.
A recent client, in modular housing, saw traffic to their website
from their social media pages increase from 2% to 20%.
Once a business starts on the social media content marketing path, we find that they see engagement and activity with excitement rather than dread. It’s fantastic to see conversations start, and get interest in a brand which previously had none.
Truth Number 8
Negative comments can happen – so DEAL with them.
Because at least you know how a person is feeling about your brand, and you have the OPPORTUNITY to do something about it.
It’s like having dinner at a nice restaurant, you have been looking forward to it all day, then the meal arrives, and it’s disappointing to say the least. But you don’t say anything, you politely thank the waitstaff, and leave. But you are never going back are you, and you potentially tell ALL your friends that the restaurant is no good.
Wouldn’t the restaurant owner prefer to know about the feedback and have the opportunity to do something about it? Even a swift apology, a dessert on the house, some sort of gesture to make the diner feel valued and appreciated so that they come back again? Yes they would. Well, we hope that they would.
So be prepared to take negative comments and turn them around.
A client of ours from time to time receives low star ratings, for one reason or another. By showing them the weakness in their business, they are able to focus on improvement that area, and by contacting the customer directly to deal with their issue, they are able to create a loyalty you can’t buy. The customers 99% of the time, will return to the star rating, and increase it to 5 out of 5.
Truth Number 9
Organic activity ALONE won’t cut it, you have to advertise as well.
Firstly, let’s define ‘organic’. That’s what you post directly to your page, be it photos, video, comments, whatever. It should be shown to the people who like your page, but in reality, not all those people are going to see it.
Advertising is when you actually create an ad, with an image, and a message, targeted specifically to people you want to talk to.
So the theory is that you advertise, people respond to your ad, go to your page, and like it, and start to be aware of your brand. Paying for ads, which can be very inexpensive, is a great way to gain greater visibility than your competitors.
Out of the 40 Million active small business pages, only 4 Million pay for advertising.
Great opportunity right there!
Truth Number 10
Creating a strategy ISN’T hard.
But it MUST be done. There’s simply too many customers in social media land that you can start conversations with, have dialogue with, and who most likely, have never heard of your business. So start telling them. Just start.
So if you are looking for content marketing advise, marketing content creation, help with your social media marketing, or wanting to outsource your content marketing, just get in touch.