It took several years and tons of different tactics for social media marketers to find what works.
Somehow, we were able to turn the guesswork of social media into precision. What was once a chaotic digital channel has been transformed into a treasure trove of opportunity for businesses. What was once believed as a fad has now become a quick way to engage audiences and drive sales.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies still aren’t tapping the opportunities that social media presents.
This article will cover five of the most-frequently neglected strategies when implementing social media campaigns.
Several years ago, businesses realized that social media wasn’t just for driving new awareness and (hopefully) sales.
In fact, social media is an amazing platform for dealing with client. When a customer posts positive feedback on a company’s Facebook wall, or tweets a complaint, it becomes visible for everyone. The way brands respond (or when they don’t) will also say a lot about who they are as a company.
Brands are increasingly using social media when providing customer support. Start leveraging your social media presence to deliver happiness to your customers and build meaningful relationships with your intended audience.
How to Take Advantage of this Social Media Opportunity: Use helpdesk software that ties your social media to your customer service efforts
If you have a big audience, it may be hard to track and individually respond to thousands of queries or complaints every day. With such a tool handy, you can convert incoming Facebook messages and wall posts or tweets and direct messages on Twitter into tickets that you can log onto your helpdesk system. When you have a response ready, the response to the ticket will automatically be converted back to a Facebook message.
How to Take Advantage of this Social Media Opportunity: Create a secondary social account exclusively for real-time customer support
Cloud communications company RingCentral, for instance, has a Twitter account solely dedicated for this purpose. When customers tweet the official @RingCentral handle about an issue, a customer support rep will respond using the @RingCentralCare account to ask for more details to resolve the matter or direct them to a related thread on its user community. Aside from saving money on phone support, this also enables the brand to aggregate data such as demographics or frequency of interactions with existing customers.
Market research company TNS believes that for some purposes, “social media research can do just as good a job as conventional survey research, often a lot more cheaply.”
Before, it used to take days or weeks or even months to conduct surveys and gather responses from a random sample large enough for researchers to generate conclusive data.
How to Take Advantage of this Social Media Opportunity: Create a poll on Twitter
For instance, ask “What do you like best about our new product X?” and create options with radio buttons that survey takers can click on. In just a matter of seconds, you can get instant feedback from your audience – most especially if they follow your social media activity closely.
Listening to social media can tell your company a lot about what you need to know about your audience, which includes customer satisfaction levels and demographic information among others. SurveyMonkey says that launching surveys and linking to them to your social media can also help make consumers reveal their unbiased opinions about your brand easily.
Most brands would instantly choose the typical online marketing and advertising tactics for guaranteed exposure; and there’s nothing wrong with that, since these are the tried-and-tested formula for guaranteed business success.
However, these companies might be failing to realize that there’s enormous opportunity with what’s already in their backyards.
How to Take Advantage of this Social Media Opportunity: Tap your employees to widen and multiply social media reach
This is a great tactic you can employ to supplement your existing social media initiatives.
Say you have 20 employees in your organization. Imagine if each employee is able to reach out to 10 friends through social. That’s 200 more eyes on your content. These connections will also probably be more meaningful since your employees are the ones “evangelizing” about your product or service to their peers. These people will be more compelled to take immediate action since the recommendations are coming from people they trust.
Employee advocacy platforms such as VoiceStorm can help your company turn your employees into brand advocates; all you have to do is curate content – blog posts, videos, tutorials, announcements, whitepapers – that your employees can quickly share using their social media accounts. Employees are awarded points for what they share and there are leaderboards available for everyone to view. To keep them motivated and engaged, some companies would even give tangible rewards to people who stay on top of the leaderboards.
Companies that heavily rely on social media strategies may become adverse to spending money on those strategies.
Some of them would try to pull off a purely organic approach in this highly competitive digital channel. They seem to be forgetting that employing a hybrid approach, that is, creating a blend of organic and paid social media efforts can be lucrative for business, too.
How to Take Advantage of this Social Media Opportunity: Don’t be afraid to lay down some coin
If you’ve been dabbling in social media long enough, you’ll know that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Reddit have developed sophisticated advertising solutions that can assist you in reaching your customers better. By using these paid services, you can create multiple touchpoints with your general audience. If they’re reluctant to commit during the first contact (i.e., the first time they see your social media post or ad), you can use these advertising tools to do some retargeting until you turn them into paying customers.
And, often, when you consider the time you’re spending to drive organic awareness, social media advertising can drive a better return on investment than doing it all organically.
Social media is a treasure trove of insights about your competitors.
It’s a good place to find first-party data that can tell you what other companies in your niche are doing right and what mistakes they make that you can avoid.
Don’t just stare at your Twitter mentions as they come or fiddle with your Facebook Insights dashboard all day. Study the tides and learn to predict the effects their movements bring.
How to Take Advantage of this Social Media Opportunity: Watch your competitors
Sprout offers this quick guide to performing a social media competitive analysis that you might want to use. The information you’ll find after an audit might even lead you to an effective tactic you haven’t tried yet.
In addition to studying other players in your space, you also shouldn’t be afraid of mentioning other brands or products whenever applicable. Aside from extending your reach to the audience you already have, you can also extend your content’s reach to those who follow the particular brand you’re mentioning.
Social media presents so many opportunities to help you grow and maintain your brand presence online aside from the usual stuff everybody has been doing. But of course, as with any other digital initiative, employing any of these tactics as part of your overall strategy requires careful research and utmost dedication.
Don’t be afraid to try them out. Social media marketing success, after all, requires actual learning plus some trial and error. Just make sure to track each of your efforts to know which ones will be most effective and sustainable for your everyday grind.
About the Author:
Klaris Chua is a digital content marketer who has written many pieces on startups and small business communications. She used to be a reporter for a business newspaper but the conventional path of a writer didn’t appeal to her. You can connect with her on Twitter.