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Understanding the Business of Social Media

by Jeff Roberts

In a recent survey of 1,200 companies by the Harvard Business Review, only 12 percent of businesses felt they were using social media effectively. Research also shows that the majority of organizations want a social presence but don’t understand how to effectively make it happen.

While almost everyone is familiar with social media, few understand its true value. When applied to business applications, it is an ongoing connection with your audience. This allows you to build brand awareness and meet them at whatever stage they are in during their buyer journey.

When implemented as part of a marketing and content campaign, a consistent social posting strategy can build brand awareness, start a conversation with your customers and prospects, and attract inbound traffic (interested brand followers) to your website. Ultimately it can also empower your company to tell (and own) your brand story, promote your products and services, and serve as a lead generation resource.

Finding the right mix of social channels will vary depending on your audience, your type of business, and your objectives. First, study the demographics for each social platform to see which ones best match your intended audience. You may also want to run a series of test posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and/or Instagram to see which combination performs best for your needs.

Once you find your social channel mix sweet spot, you’re ready to develop a social content calendar that matches and complements your marketing objectives. This allows you to plan all your posts in advance with approved text, visuals, post dates, and with links to blogs, landing pages, promotions, and other enticing information.

To maximize opportunities for success, you’ll need a sound social strategy. At Spoke, we think in terms of campaigns which may include blog posts, email blasts and social media posts to drive readers to your website. When using social, you should also: establish a brand personality and stay consistent; be sure your social content is measurable and can be adjusted accordingly based on metrics; have a conversation with your audience and give them a reason to react; post with a purpose and make every message meaningful and unique to your brand.

Be sure to follow up quickly with any question customers may have in the form of a reply to a social media post and look for opportunities to promote conversations. Encourage your own team to like, comment, and share posts to help to broaden the exposure beyond just your company social channels. Finally, remember that while likes are great, leads are what it is all about.

Viewing social media as another valuable element of your marketing mix can help you create posts that are in sync with your brand marketing goals and can play an important role in helping you achieve your organization’s overall sales objectives.

Jeff Robert is Director of Content, Social Media Manager at Spoke Marketing. Spoke Marketing (www.spokemarketing.com) provides fully-integrated marketing and sales programs that define and activate the customer buyer journey.
 

Submitted 218 days ago
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