What are the changes and how does this affect you?
Well immediately there are none. Everything is staying the same…for now.
LinkedIN is a powerful platform for B2B networking and when used in the right way lead generation can be made very simple.
Microsoft is well known for its computer systems and foray into gaming with the Xbox. Microsofts assets list is huge and adding LinkedIN is a feather in the cap.
Slideshare a subdivision of the popular platform may see some slight developments in its delivery, appearance and offerings.
I’ll rehash this post with updates about the purchase as I get them…stay tuned!
You really need to be on this platform in terms of endless networking opportunities and competitor analysis if you are not using a professional platform to represent yourself you could be missing a lot of networking opportunities
In August I posted about a work life change in direction from office to working from home on LinkedIN plenty of feedback and a great example of what you can do on LinkedIN
Its definitely not a platform to be overlooked we drive a lot of business from this platform and the networking is endless, If you want to discuss the pro’s and con’s of LinkedIN Im open to hear your take on the platform and any success you have had or think the impact of Microsoft being involved changes the functions of the platform.
Using Social Media Marketing To Boost Your Brand Online
Leverage The Power of Social Media Marketing To Generate Social Buzz
Social media has exploded in the last 3 years with new platforms emerging some you may know like Snapchat and Instagram and some you may not know about like Reddit and Delicious. Social is king there is no other way that is being used right now to communicate with friends, family and new faces its no wonder with Over 72% of adults (18+) using an online social media platform to communicate, demonstrate and promote what they do have been doing and want to be doing.
Will social media go away? NO! Its here to stay and if you are watching the evolution of social media and technology then you will know that the growth and close inception of new tech and new social platforms they integrate exampleFacebook Live stream. Facebook live stream is where a user will take live video and broadcast live on the spot out to who ever is subscribed or watching the broadcast where they can call out comments, acknowledge likes and request right on the spot, people are going mental about this and now its filtering down to the masses. Early adopters of this have paved a street of gold and now there is software to help push the organic reach even further.
Now if that alone isn’t enough to make you question the use and impact of social media in your business marketing tactic’s then read on…
Above: An overview of the social platforms and how they semantically link back to the end user.
For businesses, making the change to include social media marketing into their advertising efforts “Is the way of the future” “The time is now” “Seize the day!” all of those lines should incite you to get social and widen your social media presence and in turn be more accessible to your customers and potential customers by being available on a platform that they spend most of their time on. Social media marketing brings on new opportunity and a new degree of social responsibility for you and your team. The Behaviour of your management team on your branded social profile and their own social profiles will come under scrutiny but this works both ways and you can also analysis your customer profiles and the data that comes with this allows you to capitalise and scale your marketing in ways you may not have even considered previously.
Why does my company need social media?
The calculated statistics make it very clear whether you are running a small, local operation, or heading a global, enterprise-level effort, Your customers are online. Your customers are interacting in a multitude of social channels with their friends, colleagues, and even dare I say it other brands in search of information, recommendations, quality and engagement. Now imagine this you are not around on a social channel for this example Instagram lets go with a fuel company competitor example now you pretend company Freddie’s Fantastic FuelCo doesn’t have an Instagram account but competitor Rodney’s Rocket Fuel does have an active Instagram account and they are dishing out daily promoting product and new fuel offer’s on Instagram accompanied by a hashtag I like this one #getrodsrocketfuel and they are doing this regularly but you don’t even have a channel to compete with them how much of that customer market will you be bringing to your business? ZERO!
Key takeaway fro the above If your company is not around to answer, a competitor will be.
There is a lot of open opportunity on social media platforms for businesses to take full advantage and leverage their brand over competitor’s even if they don’t have an active account right now heck just ask me it is what I do manage social media accounts of those that are to busy actually running their business to take time out to run a social media profile.
How can you leverage social media to bring in more customers?
There are 3 key steps in gaining leverage in social media.
Feedback – Provide and Monitor
Millions and millions of people daily search through social news feeds looking for information that can be shared rapidly, social sharing and tagging (tag the name of your friend on a post you want them to see) is the way most utilised to share content on social media. The type of content shared ranges dependant on the user now this also incorporates businesses a smart business will share content strategically planned to be shared and offer discount deals and product incentives around the same time that the intended content share is posted making it available readily when user’s visit the source of the content that was originally shared, Do you see the opportunity yet?
User’s may comment on these offers and discount deals by asking questions, stating opinion’s on prices or the offer’s value or by tagging friends and this is where you can really cash in on social media marketing by providing feedback on these comments and providing additional value and information. Listen to your audience its ideal that when you post content you plan to have shared that you monitor or allocate someone to monitor the feedback of the post for the next 6 to 12 hours and even further depending on the social traction that the post receives.
If you have some planned developmental product or new service type incorporating social listening into product development by doing soft social launches can work as an early warning system allowing you to gain crucial insight into how well the development will be perceived and then allowing you to gauge if the product will be viable or identifying items to be addressed prior to official public release.
Relationships – Build and Sustain
take a step back from the bottom-line, ROI-seeking aspect to look at the big picture for a minute and see who it is you really want to target and how can you get them to come visit your business profile don’t get caught up in analysing every single action and calculating data metrics keep it simple measure the most important signals that you feel count and focus on building foundational relationships with your customer community to really get the most from your social media marketing efforts.
Engaging customer relationships will reap you benefits and help boost your brands social profile and the appeal to new visitor’s to your profile who will see give your page a visual audit looking for signals that they can trust your brand, use your brand, be satisfied with the service from your brand. The dividing walls between company and consumer on social media have been demolished and now in 2016 it is easier than ever for a potential customer to fire off a facebook private message to business page asking for some clarification or more information about a products or service and have an answer in hours for the responsive page owners.
Above: Building your social media relationships is much like this image cluster.
If after reading this post and think I have made some point of valid rationale forward thinking and want to integrate social media into your marketing efforts then I salute you for recognising my amazing brain and for taking the first step forward.It is essential that you determine your level of capabilities with social media using facebook as my example to determine your level of skill.
“Novice” I can open an account on facebook but how do I set up a business page.
“Intermediate” Im using a facebook business page and can open a Business Account on facebook but I’m not really sure how to use Audience Insights.
“Advanced” I have a Business Account and am running facebook ads I also know what Audience Insights is and how to use it.
“Social Ninja” Im running multiple Ads on Facebook and include Instagram or Twitter ads into my campaigns.
I want to say that true story I had a client I was helping build a facebook Business account for that didi not realise that you could open multiple web browser tabs at the same time he was going from website 1 to website 2 by deleting the website out of the address bar and typing i the web address of website 2 every time he wanted to change websites unreal but true story he now operates two facebook pages and has multiple other social platform profile operating and yes he knows about opening multiple browsers now.
Integration of marketing campaigns into your social media will reap rewards to your if handled correctly it is not something you set up a profile and then let it work on its own you will need to give it some attention and more in the inception phase as you need to interact to gain followers and the first 100 are the hardest to get. When set up correctly your branding will benefit from additional optimisation and will see a lift in impressions and reach, and customer service can proactively listen and action where necessary. When you think of it after the set up phase it’s not as hard as it sounds.
Create Brand Social Advocates For Your Brand.
Creating positive consumer feelings towards your brand can ultimately provide you with passive lead generation and help increase your social reach just by being seen as valued by people in the social community. The feeling of belonging to a brand or being close to a brand can inspire people to take on a voice for your brand sometimes this can go wrong but 90% of the time it works for you in your favour. When you are considering a new product or service do you value the social proof of others? or social recommendation of others? I know that weighs heavily on my decision to try a new service or provider.
You want to be doing what you do and that is provide amazing services and then you want to add on that social marketing effort to further increase your customer perceived value. If your customers feel that you are over delivering and going above and beyond they will reciprocate with vocal social testimonials and recommendations of your brand. Advocacy is the nirvana of social media, and through this advocacy you can really scale and grow.
Identifying potential advocates is a good first step. You can use social tools (many of which are outlined in the rest of this guide), site data, customer data, and even your own observations to help you pick out which customers are likely to go to bat for your brand. You’ll want to figure out what is most important to those potential advocates. What are they looking for? Are they fishing for recognition? Are they excited by exclusive access to news and/or content? Figure out what type of advocates your brand attracts and find ways to recognize them for their advocacy. It is important to note, though, that most of your greatest community relationships will be built organically. While your research and brand knowledge encourages people and helps you put the right foot forward, relationships take time.
Passionate followers can recruit, incite and defend your brands name and reputation along with customer value creating “social proof” that your brand is the one that other people potentially considering your service and brand want to go with. In order to do that there are some steps you need to take in order to gather and retain the focus of your customers that you will through social media markleting and providing quality services.
Selecting the appropriate social media platform to market on can be what makes or breaks your social media marketing efforts. The big are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN and Instagram closely followed by Pinterest and Google+.
You need to consider your brand, the service you will provide and your target market when selecting your platform. You can have more than one platform and I recommend that you do but you should have one core platform that is your go to platform
You will need to get your social profiles optimised and fan friendly. Create a visual of the below points in order to help create the best social landing page profile.
Who you want to attract?
Why they should come to you?
When & Where can they reach you and can you count as local to them or be within their reach?
What can you offer and what can they expect from you?
Does your profile image sell your business or your management accurately?
Your social profile is essentially your social landing page or social advertising core display where people will see you, your brand and the services related along with any reviews and feedback.
Now you are visible you need to reach out and get people to like you enough to want to like your page and follow your brand. Word of mouth is a great start and for you to continue to provide quality services and if you want to explode your fanbase then if you are in a position to do so run a competition or giveaway (If your industry suits this type of promotion).
Creating content that is relevant, engaging and satisfies the reader’s initial curiosity for clicking on your social header. Engage with follower questions queries and thank people for shares or suggestions to others it shows you are A) Real & B) Care two big factor’s in todays age of automated social profiles and social media marketing.
Within Step 4 is another set of actions that will help you expand your social profile and fan following.
Creation of your content
Listening to your social media and the social media of your competitor’s can help shape the content topics you cover and the way in which you deliver that content, go and have a read of three of your direct competitor’s posts in the comment section and see if there is any negative feedback or comments that raise concern about the product or service they offer.
Content publishing has become exponentially simplified the last couple of years and can help skyrocket your engagement and the potential customer reach. Non-technical web users are now able to easily create content on a rapidly growing number of platforms, generating interest from multiple social angles and have the ability to direct that social traffic back to a core social profile or a sales page creating more sales opportunity for their business.
Social engagement takes some work but can pay off in the long run and people are all to aware of an active business owner that answers questions and fields problems with care and pride of their business brand it comes across natural and people like to follow natural they like the responsiveness of a profile owner that helps customers and guides potential customers to the point that being seen to not try to suck the money out of a potential customers wallet over social media can win you 2 more customer leads per problem solved than the other side of the scale where being seen to vaccum up every yellow $50 note in someone wallet will create a negative view or your business operations and people may feel less inclined to engage and recommend if they see this behaviour.
Above: 6 Simple tips to not fail at social media marketing
Responsive Social Media Drawbacks
Now being a social media responsive business owner can also have a downside and as I say that just this morning I had two of what ill mention in a moment take place so please read on, if you are to free with your time and answers people see this as an opening especially if you are a very visible brand. Every couple of days I have people message me on facebook or linkedIN asking for advice, tips and ways to increase their business opportunities and Im ok with that please if you do have any questions just ask BUT! there is a line between free advice and asking for a strategy or technique that a business has for sale or provides at a cost this is called business someone provides a product or service for a fee and they get paid to deliver that product or service in order to make a living.
Anyone that Ive done business with can testify I give everything to a project and will help beyond an hourly payment in order to get the job done and in the nature of helping people I can help out guide and direct people with questions helping people makes me feel better as a person so ask questions and expect answers but I will politely guide those people seeking to much information to my sales questionnaire page you know the place that helps me get paid in order to eat and have a roof over my head.
In my case Im in a industry that helps businesses increase revenue and visibility so these questions are to be expected.
The point is there can be a lot of time wasters just seeking the FREE advice and wanting the answer to a problem over a message with no intent to book a service or seek my professional help. That can drain your time, attention and desire to engage on social media so learning when to direct the person to the website quote page or services price page is crucial.
that my business provides for a fee expected in the chat message for free Ill happily help to the point that I can without compromising my salary I make a living from doing what I do and i can give away only so much free advice and technique
I tend to pay close attention to my search traffic data for an indication of what people are searching for and how they came to my website and the time spent on site that helps me determine if i provided enough value, enough content or did they get the information and then take action.
By using your search traffic data, on-site engagements, and social listening efforts, your social media presence can help you determine what people are looking for and create content that fulfills their needs. (Not to mention giving you a wonderful way to share that content once it’s available.) Topics for content will likely fall in one of three buckets:
Learn and Improve
This type of content is designed to optimize your customers’ tasks or workflow. You are attempting to make their lives better by more fully utilizing your product (feature education, etc.), or even by offering assistance. The main goals of this content type are to build authority, drive connections, and increase engagement.
Explore and Discover
Reach out and look around is there ways you can uniquely incorporate your product or put a twist on your service so that it can help and give your customers even more value. One way I use this method is by offering social media profile set up and optimisation for clients this way instead of asking a client to buy in to my services at a high cost I can still help them on a lower cost for a smaller task and its effective for both parties I get a new client and the client gets to test my services without committing to a higher price win for me win for them!
Explore new platforms there could be a social channel that you didn’t even know existed where your target audience is more concentrated that you can corner that market maybe your direct competitor’s are unaware of this social channel and if you set your self up in the channel you have full control of that market, Now you have another audience stream to bring into your business and what can you do once you have that set up? Rinse and repeat find another platform that you think might be suitable entry platform.
Question and Answer
This type of content serves to meet customer support needs by providing support and guidance to customers facing difficulties. This takes place when something has gone wrong and not fully understood, and customers seek n answer. This can range from a detailed forum thread on resolving a technical issue to a simple question and answer on how to make a product return.
Finally always look within your community of happy followers you can often find ideas, improvements and almost a wish list of what they want to see and hear. Your followers can help provide you with relevant and useful insights into your market the possibilities are endless.
So if you want to take action with your brand’s social power in short you should! Its cost effective and the potential to attract, engage and convert new visitor’s is huge. key points to consider are selecting the most suitable social platform for your brand and the service provided identifying where your target market hangs out in the social media world and by doing this understanding who they are and by optimising your profile for easy search recognition and having a tight profile display that people when visiting your profile will know and associate you with what you do and who your brand is and if you are for them.
Creating content that serves to help your target market and provide engaging readership that people will like, comment and or share with their connections bringing your more social awareness within your chosen platform. I hope this helps you understand the value in marketing on social media and if you have any questions or want to ask for advice feel free to drop me a line on here!