Social media is an essential component in a modern marketer's toolbox, so it's important to have a clear understanding of the fundamentals. Business in general is becoming increasingly social, making social media marketing more important for the selling process.
You can think of social media marketing as consisting of a few key factors, which work for every social network - complete integration of social media, audience engagement/lead generation, and generating successful conversions.
There are a lot of ways to work on each of these factors, so let's take a look at some of them.
1. Integrate Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is most effective when it's fully incorporated into the overall marketing strategy and considered when making decisions. You can engage with several different social networks at once to maximize your impact.
2. Look the Part: You want visitors to know exactly who you are and what you do, so optimize your social media profile so it shows what you have to offer - basically, why you are there and why they should pay attention. It should also be professional, and nice to look at.
3. Use a Prominent Call to Action: Sometimes it's fine to simply inform your audience, but usually they want to interact and get something valuable out of your relationship. Using a highly visible call to action will give people something to do and encourage them to eventually convert, such as clicking through for more in-depth information, registering for some gated content, or accessing some deals or coupons.
4. Offer Social-Only Deals and Prices: Keeping the last item in mind, provide your audiences on social networks with exclusive deals and offers that they can't get by any other means. Make sure to include a note about it being a social-only deal, and you'll grow your customer loyalty in that network.
5. Listen to Your Audience: They may be your audience, but you should listen to them more than they listen to you. Social media gives you a unique and valuable perspective on the daily lives of your target demographics, and lets you react in real-time to their concerns. You can also quickly adjust your social media campaigns to reflect the changes in your audience.
6. Respond to Criticism: The most important people to respond to on social networks are your unhappy, complaining customers. Not only does this show an ability to interact with your audience on a personal level, but a public conversation about a customer's issue can facilitate the resolution of that problem. It also shows other people who are looking in that you care about your customers and are willing to work with them to solve problems.
7. Be In a Hurry: Social networks flow rapidly, so you need to include a sense of urgency in your posts if you want to attract the most attention. Including phrases like "this week only" and "ending in 12 hours" will entice people to take advantage of a deal that will be ending soon, when they might normally just skim over an offer.
In the end, remember that social media should not be an after-thought; it should be an integral part of your marketing spend if it's going to succeed in the selling process.