The Voice | Social Media Marketing: The Time is Now
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Social Media Marketing: The Time is Now

Category: News

shutterstock_174838673As a key member of the team that is behind the social media efforts of the Voice, and a marketing student that has also studied social media marketing, I see utilizing social media as an essential, yet overlooked, piece of the marketing mix. Competitors are already on social media, making it the perfect time to update your social and online presence. Utilizing social networks will bring increased exposure of your company, can help improve search rankings, allow you to share information and news instantly, and helps you interact and communicate with both current and future customers.

Not understanding the various Social Networks properly can have a negative effect on your social media marketing. Here are the top 3 social media networks your business should get involved in:

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the largest business social network; the website is full of professionals seeking information, news, and valuable connections. This is one of the most efficient ways of getting your company noticed by professionals. Postings on LinkedIn should follow suit with the professional quality of the site. This is where to post more detailed information, which can be of a longer length, than networks with short posts like twitter.

Facebook: Creating a Facebook page for your business will help you to extend the reach of your company. Many people still turn to Facebook for news and updates: 47% of Facebook users get their news from the site. Facebook leads the way as a path to news updates, and is a great place for sharing.

Twitter: Twitter is a microblogging website. Staying short and conversational is key to mastering twitter for your business. Hashtags and mentions are important to getting more views on your posts, having two or three at most in a tweet. Being genuine is key to mastering twitter: if your tweets are all extremely serious, are full of links, and seem more robotic than human, your account won’t be taken seriously and you can harm your company image.

The quality of the post, appearance of the account, and how often you are posting are the three main focuses of your social media marketing.

Post quality is most likely the first thing you think of when writing something for social media. No one wants to read something poorly written, too long, repetitive, or irrelevant. Make sure to be properly formatted for the different social networks, and to keep post length fitting to requirements of the medium. Having quality content is more important than focusing on how many followers your account has.

Appearance of your account is very important to the other users. If your profile image is of poor quality or irrelevant to your business, it can look bad for your company. Having a profile picture of a person (an employee, manager, etc) can also confuse users. Social media is a mix of people and businesses. Save the portraits for personal accounts, whether for business or personal/social life, and use images such as your business logo to make yourself more easily identifiable as a company page. Having a neatly designed, well coordinated page will draw in followers.

Creating the occasional post may seem to be getting your business out in the social media world, but with a constantly updating feed of postings, your post is likely to get lost quickly and to not reach the users. If you want to ensure your posts get seen, posting often will help you get noticed, and show that you have interesting information to share. This is especially important on twitter, where your tweets can get quickly buried by all your competitors posts who are tweeting more often than you are. Having a goal, such as posting 3 tweets per day, will help you to stay on track with your social networking.

Make sure to develop a strategy that works for your business, don’t just adopt a strategy you’ve found on a website. These can be great starter points, but every business is unique in its needs. Once you’ve gotten a proper grasp on the basics, you can tweak your strategy and see which social networks work best for your  business. If you aren’t reaching the demographic you are aiming for, consider introducing a different type of content or branching out into an additional social network. Patience is key for your social media strategy: you most likely won’t be discovered overnight. Building a proper following takes time, and building a slower but high quality, strong and sound following is much better than an instant wave of random followers that aren’t all relatable to your business.
If just a few hours are spent on your social media presence a week, you’re bringing your business more attention, improved marketing, and potentially new customers. All for free. With only the investment of a small amount of your time required, there is zero reason not to bring your business onto social media. Who doesn’t love marketing their business for free?

To help your business get the ball rolling on your social media efforts, here is a list of some of the guidelines we use for our social media at The Voice:

  1. Set content goals: Our goals include posting a minimum of 3 tweets per day, and 2 blog posts per week
  2. Focus on the etiquette of the platforms: Don’t use too many hashtags on Twitter, save longer posts for Facebook and LinkedIn
  3. Create a list for when you’re idea-blocked. Some of our go-to posts are talking about interesting advertising articles, or talking about the history of ads
  4. Build relationships: Connect with people you know or would like to build a business relationship with, but don’t send multiple private messages, or constantly ask them to read, like, or comment on your material
  5. Create posts that allow a 2-way conversation with your audience. You should encourage those following your social media accounts to interact with you
  6. Don’t over-promote your business. The whole point of social media marketing is to get your business noticed, but if you only brag about your own company, your accounts will look closed off and arrogant, not inviting and genuine.
  7. Always remember your audience: don’t forget to keep in mind who you’re targeting your posts at when you write them
  8. Keep everything relevant. As an ad agency, if we started reblogging random articles and posting pictures that are totally irrelevant, your followers may get annoyed. Don’t forget they followed your account for a reason
  9. If you’re still stuck on where to start, follow themes. Dedicate Monday to posting about company news, Tuesday to sharing a relevant general interest article, Wednesday to promoting a  business you work closely with or a company that inspires you, etc.
  10. Stay dedicated: Social media is easy to put to the side, but doing that puts all the free marketing and interest you’ve generated to waste. Keep up the good work!