Bring People to Your Website Through Social Media
Sometimes with all the talk about social media, businesses may briefly forget one of their original goals for initiating a social strategy—namely, bringing customers and prospects to your company website.
Silvia Pencak writes, “If you are a small business owner, social media will be greatly beneficial in attracting customers to your website… Very few consumers make a purchase the first time they view a website. The initial visit may be enough to capture their attention, but you also need to gain their trust and convince them that your product is a better buy than that of your competitor.”
Silvia offers two recommendations:
1) keep your customers informed by updating your information regularly and
2) communicate with your customers. “If a consumer posts a comment or question on your page, be sure to answer back as quickly as possible. Not only will this show them that you can provide them with excellent customer service, but speaking to them directly will also help to gain their trust, showing them that there is a person behind the business.”
Fans and Followers, Really?
Someone may have once told you that having more fans and followers should be one of your key goals for managing your online communities. After all, numbers matter, don’t they?
Jay Baer hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “Your customers don’t innately want to follow your company on Twitter or friend you on Facebook, or read your blog, or watch your videos. There are mountains of great content online unencumbered by a corporate dynamic. Thus, embracing your company and its content is not a high priority.”
Jay says it’s about rationale. Companies that can create compelling reasons for their customers to connect with them will succeed on the social web. And those that don’t emphasize helpfulness and relevancy will fail.
How can your company be more helpful and more relevant? What can you say that will give your customers good reasons to connect with you?
Ingenuity is Memorable
In Phil Mershon’s article about creative social media marketing case studies, he shows how seven companies have used their ingenuity to create memorable community experiences.
The eight key lessons we can learn from these businesses are:
- Take advantage of photos and videos.
- Showcase your customers.
- Enable social sharing on all of your content.
- Google+ will impact search results.
- YouTube is far more advanced than you may realize.
- Optimize your content for mobile readers.
- Give people a reason to engage.
- Think about starting a LinkedIn group for your industry or niche.
Marketing Isn’t a Bad Word
Community managers often have to work extra-hard to avoid marketing faux pas—being perceived as using social networking platforms exclusively for business marketing purposes. But let’s call a spade a spade. When social media marketing is done right, it’s not a bad word nor out of line. Ultimately, it’s how businesses need to communicate in the 2010s.
When Jeff Bullas was asked, “What should be the ultimate goal of social media participation for businesses? Is it to create awareness, drive traffic to your website, sell product, branding, or something entirely different?”
He answered, “Businesses have different goals they want from each element of marketing. It’s no different for social media, as it is just another marketing tool and medium. Marketing fundamentals still apply. For some, brand awareness is paramount. For others, it’s increased sales.
Power to the People—Write On!
OK, so maybe this isn’t what John Lennon meant when he wrote the lyrics to the song, “Power to the People.”
As a social community manager, you walk a fine line—being in charge of the content that your business posts and maintaining a number of presences, responding to and cleaning up inappropriate comments all the while, working your hardest to listen and respond to your community.
At the end of the day, after you’ve handled all of the necessary responsibilities, the company still needs to continue to develop content on an ongoing basis.
Pamela Vaughan provides tips for stellar social media community management and offers this sound advice regarding content: “Share remarkable, targeted content based on needs/interests of individual communities.
“Without remarkable content, your brand will have nothing valuable to share, and your community members will either dwindle, flock elsewhere, or not even bother to participate in the first place.
“This content should not only be remarkable, but it should also be easily shareable so your community members can expand its reach by sharing it with connections in their networks.”