In today's marketplace, social media has become a basic building block of your Inbound Marketing strategy. Without a modern web presence and up-to-date social media, your business might get lost in the shuffle as consumers search for the solution to their needs and wants online.
While it seems like every company knows they need social media, not everyone is well versed in just how to use it. We've heard some truly terrible advice on social media marketing here at Waypost, and we're here to help you avoid going the wrong way when it comes to how you're using your social media.
If You Aren't Everywhere, You Might As Well Be Nowhere
Many companies and business owners are advised to make sure they're on every social media platform there is — Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Periscope, Snapchat, Facebook, Plaxo, Meerkat — eventually, even the most seasoned marketer's eyes will begin to glaze over. The truth is, trying to make sure you not only have accounts everywhere but are also active on them would be utterly exhausting, and it won't net you the kind of results you deserve.
How to avoid getting mired in social media muck? Pick just a few platforms that are right for your industry, platforms that will truly help you to meet your goals and stick with them. For someone operating in the tech industry, LinkedIn — a site that seeks to develop professional contacts — may be the best platform in which to focus their efforts. A mom-and-pop small business in a close-knit community may find its most loyal customers by sharing photos of the company's day-to-day on Instagram. Facebook and Google+ are great places to start, as they work well for businesses in just about any industry and allow you to connect with your customers in several different ways.
In short — don't stress yourself out by signing up (and trying to keep up) with every social media platform you can find. Focus only on those that really help you connect within your industry and with your clients.
You'll Never Know If It Helps Or Not
Probably due to the fact that social media is generally free and very much equal-opportunity for companies large and small, there's always been this idea that marketing results from social media can't be measured. Not true!
Here at Waypost, we use a couple of great tools to collect our marketing resources and check out what kind of results we're seeing from social media. First off, for many of our clients we utilize Hubspot, a great blogging and marketing platform that allows us to not reach customers through blogging, but also to collect our various social media platforms together. This allows us to send out Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ posts all at once or schedule them ahead of time, and we are able to pull reports at any time where we can see how each social media platform is performing — who's clicked on blog posts, filled out forms, or downloaded our free premium content offers (like our 25 website must-haves).
We also keep track of our clients on Google Analytics, which gives more in-depth and detailed look at overall site performance, but does help us see how and where our clients' customers are able to find them.
In short — despite it often being assumed that SM marketing can't be measured, it absolutely can. Standout tools like Hubspot can allow you to collect these results together and really see what platforms are allowing you to truly shine.
Email Marketing is Dead!
This piece of advice is one of our biggest pet peeves. We hear it all the time — why bother with emails? Nobody even opens those things! Nothing could be further from the truth. Email is one of our main sources of connection with others all around the world. While SM marketing has taken off, email marketing is still a great way to reach your desired customer base. It's true that it's just not as easy as it used to be. A business can no longer rely on sending a simple text-only email out into the world and having everyone open it up to take a look. These days, getting your customers to open your emails takes a little more work than it used to. Still — if you know how to reach your audience and what they're looking for, you can absolutely use email successfully.
In short — the reports of the death of email marketing have been greatly exaggerated. Don't use social media and avoid email. Make sure your integrate the two and cover all your marketing bases.
Keep Things Professional...ly Distant
This advice isn't always terrible, but whether or not you can take it with a grain of salt or need to ignore it entirely depends heavily on your industry. For the aforementioned tech company, developing and maintaining a slightly-distant, impersonal "voice" may be a good decision. Clients looking to do business with a tech company, after all, aren't often looking to connect with the individuals behind the company, but more for impersonal solutions to a business problem. That mom-and-pop we discussed, however? Choosing to sound impersonal and distant, rather than making personal connections, could seriously hamstring their attempts to use social media marketing successfully. When we work with clients, we make sure the "voice" we use for each client's social media is targeted specifically to the kind of audience they are looking to find.
In short — whether or not this advice really counts as "the worst" has a lot to do with who your company is trying to reach. Tailor your "voice" to your audience, and remember that while those working with specific industries prefer impersonal marketing, most are looking for a more personal connection.
Social Media Only Works If You're Always Selling Something
Marketing, even marketing on social media, is just a different kind of advertising, right? What good is advertising if it isn't selling your clients on products or services you provide? This kind of advice is terrible for the modern customer. People today are hyper-aware of when a company is just trying to get them to spend money, and the kind of blatant advertising that used to be successful will now chase everyone away.
Instead, peple are looking for companies that don't just tell them to buy something, but create a personal connection with them. We call the moment when a customer makes their decision on who to work with the Zero Moment of Truth, and the goal of social media isn't to try and strong-arm your clients in your direction, but inform and connect with them so that when that moment of truth comes, your company is the one that comes to mind.
In short — social media isn't about direct sales, or at least not all the time. Give your customers something to connect with, and you'll be much more successful in creating a loyal customer base who will return to you again and again.
Now, for the Best Social Media Marketing Advice We Can Give
The best advice we can give you on how to utilize social media marketing for your business is simply to tell you to invest in the kind of marketing that ensures everything you post, on every account, is a reflection not just of your company but also of what your customers are searching for. Anticipate their needs and create a personal connection! Today's consumers aren't content to be advertised to — they're looking for that same personality and individuality you once received from the neighborhood grocery store.
At Waypost Marketing, we focus not on trying to strong-arm someone into utilizing a product or service, but on the kind of compelling storytelling that targets the personal connection today's customer is searching for, anticipates their problems, and ensures that the solution is your business and what you have to offer. Check out our responsive website design services and email and social media marketing services or contact us to learn more. You can reach us by phone at (864) 288-6162 or by clicking the banner below to schedule your consultation today!