Social Media: Leading the Charge

Become a “thought leader” by “thinking” first

In our last entry we asked you whether your business really needs a social media marketing strategy while introducing you to the 7 Golden Rules which you need to consider before embarking on your quest for effective, results driven social engagement.

Social Media platforms differ in the sense that you may not be able to reach your desired audience through platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, but you might enjoy greater success through channels such as Google+, LinkedIn and a host of other platforms. This all depends on what works for your industry or product.  

Recently in the Social Media Examiner, Michael A. Stelzner published the comprehensive 2014 Social Media Marketing Report. This report highlights some important points regarding which platforms are currently producing higher results and which problems markets are currently experiencing.

South Africa is typically behind other mature markets when it comes to incorporating new marketing technologies and tactics. What does this mean? It means that if you change the way you use social to reach you audience you could obtain that competitive edge which you have desperately been searching for.

Social Isn’t Going Anywhere (It’s time to make friends)

All you need to do is take a quick look at the Industry Report Statistics and you’ll see that Social Media Marketing is not only sustainable, but it is growing at a rapid rate.

The study analysed results from over 2,800 Marketing Professionals. Here are some of the key outcomes of the report:

  • This whole idea that social media is a passing fad which will inevitably fade is a notion which we need to forget. Out of all the industry professionals who were interviewed 92% of Marketers said social media is important to their business. Both B2B and B2C markets agreed on this, despite them showing this enthusiasm on different platforms.

 

  • Blogging is essential. In the coming year, it seems that 68% of marketers agreed on this. Blogging is not a platform which you can use to put your business up in lights and make noise.It is, however, an effective channel to share informative and meaningful content with individuals who want to learn more about your business.

 

A blog can contain various types of content, providing that it is relevant to your business. Relevant content can include videos, articles, podcasts – anything! If you have taken your user journey into consideration and are aware of the path which a prospective customer will follow, then your content should be successful. 

  • Not all platforms are created equal. For example, Facebook is the best bet for B2C Marketers. LinkedIn is top of the pile in B2B and everyone wants to take a peek beyond the mysterious social veil which is Google+.

 

When it comes to Google+ it appears that there are those who know and those who don’t. However, the platform does have a number of unique features which can be used by savvy marketers. One of these features includes creating circles which allows you to tailor marketing and messaging strategies to suit the specific target criteria.

“Hangouts” are another interesting feature which can be used to your advantage. This is basically Google’s version of WebEx or Skype. Using “hangouts” you can meet, chat and create live Q&A sessions with both current and prospective clients.

But probably, most importantly, Google is slightly nepotistic when it comes to its own products, so you get extra SEO credit thanks to “Google Authorship”. This is good news for your ranking on the Google results page.

  • Podcasts are tripling up! When it comes to growth it seems that podcast popularity is booming three-fold. The report stated that currently only 6% of marketers use Podcasting in their marketing strategies, however 21% of marketers are looking to incorporate Podcasting into their activity over the next year. Both Podcasting and “Vodcasting” (the video enabled cousin) provide companies with a simple way to convey messages in a concise manner.

 

Sometime people are too busy, or too lazy, to read written content. This is where a series of 30 second videos or sound bites can come in handy. It allows you to convey what you want to say quickly and effectively, which is idea for an audience with a limited amount of time.

REMEMBER this mantra:

If you want to become a “thought leader” on a specific topic, first you need to think about your audience and determine what they would like to hear.

If you want to grow your audience with engaging individuals then quality communication is a must!

Making noise for the sake of making noise will only chase people away.

Look who’s talking…

An Integrated Digital Strategy needs Social Media Marketing.

Times have changed. Nowadays the modern customer has moved on from the “hard sale” tactics of the past, requiring more meaningful interactions and relevant information before making a purchase.

What you need to remember is that these potential customers are not only interacting with you but they are also drawing information from a number of other online sources such as reviews and ratings from other customers.

You need to ensure that you are part of that conversation. It is good for you, your business and your customers.

In my next entry I’ll be dealing with the “Benefits of Executing a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy”.

Until then stick to quality communication with your customers on social platforms and you’ll notice a significant difference.

Have fun!