Social Media Promotion 101
Let’s say you have already established that social media presence is essential for your company. In other words, step one is made. What’s next? It depends.
Scenario 1. You create communities (groups, accounts) on the networks you use yourself (or your friends, your boss, his wife, his aunt, etc.) and fill them with various pieces of information. Sometimes it’s your company news, other times it’s cat pics from the Internet. You want to make people follow this account whatever it takes, right?
Scenario 2. First think, then act.
This article is for those who think first.
Why your business needs SMM?
You are very likely to end up in a wrong place without a clear understanding why you have actually started this. Having a social media account just for the sake of having it is senseless. Social media should help you achieve your business goals. That’s why you should create a list of these goals.
For example, it might look like this:
- Inform potential and existing clients about your product or service;
- Collect feedback about your company or products;
- React to the feedback;
- Redirect your target audience to your website to further push clients towards the purchase;
- Find potential employees and create a pool of candidates;
Each company has its own goals, therefore, all lists turn out different. You will have your own.
What social networks to use?
Having set your goals, think which social networks will help reach them. Where should you go? It might be a good idea to carry out a survey to understand this. There are plenty of monitoring tools out there, for example, Hootsuite or Social Mention.
First, find out if your competitors are on social media and how active they are. Determine which networks they use to promote themselves and which avoid. Think why it’s so.
Then check if people talk about your product on social media. If so, learn where you have more mentions and where you are less popular. If the product or service is new, then probably it is worth focusing only on the presence or absence of your target audience in a particular social network.
Having done this, make a list of social networks you could take a shot at. This list is not final. Only experience will show what you really should opt for.
From time to time LeadMachine has to look for new employees. To solve this problem we have a group on Vkontakte. It’s the most popular social network among young people in our city. We also have a group on Facebook called iKurilka (which stands for the Lounge for Internet Marketers) where we post the most helpful articles in English. This group’s purpose is to channel traffic to the site. Subscribe if you haven’t yet. Sure enough, the audiences of the groups overlap sometimes. However, some social networks may be better at solving certain problems than others. That’s why we always recommend to use as many platforms as possible during the initial trial period in order to assess their effectiveness. You may abandon some of them later.
What type of content to post?
It depends on the social network. You can’t write more than 140 characters on Twitter, and you can’t create a survey on Instagram. The most common post on mainstream social networks such as Facebook or Vkontakte is some text with an image or video attached. As to photo sharing services like Instagram or Pinterest, users usually post pictures and use hashtags as descriptions.
Each social network offers additional features you must take advantage of. Think how to use them for your own benefit. What will describe your product better - a long blog post or a YouTube video? Please note that writing a text is easier than making a truly interesting and engaging video.
Borrow ideas from your competitors. You needn’t limit yourself to you business field only. We often look through groups of western companies when we are searching for something new. Write down your findings and think how to adapt these ideas to your business.
Smart SMM. Should you cross-post?
This question is as old as time. Are we going to post the same stuff on Facebook and on Twitter? Or should we create something unique for each network? Your content should follow a single strategic direction. But you should never cross-post.
There are plenty of reasons. For instance, cross-posting on Twitter can cut off your message because of its infamous 140 characters limit. As a result, the whole thing doesn’t look good.
Ideally, your posts should have something in common and complement each other. For example, you can write a detailed blog post about one of your services, upload a Youtube video announcing this post or reviewing the service, share a link to the blog with a short description of the post on Facebook (those who get hooked will click the link and read the rest), and write a simple summary of the post on Vkontakte.
Here is the structure of platforms and content we have developed for one of our clients.
Choose the tone of voice for your groups
The communication model between you as the brand and your customers should resemble real-life communication. In this case, interacting with you will feel natural for your clients, they will understand their social role in the community and the benefits of joining it.
According to Eric Berne, every message in real life is issued by one of the three roles a person performs: Child ego, Parent ego, and Adult ego. When designing your social media strategy you should decide which role will belong to consumers and which one to you. Will you be a boy next door giving advice or a nerdy friend that asks the right questions and shows the audience the right direction? Will you communicate as an adult or a peer?
Why your social media efforts may fail?
Neither a careful choice of a network based on monitoring and in-depth analysis nor your well-thought-out model can guarantee desired results. Your efforts will come to nothing, and you won’t attract the audience to your group until people understand why they need it, how they will benefit by joining your group. Will they get a discount for your services? Or free content that will make their work better? Answer this question. Without this answer you won’t succeed, believe us. We’ve been there.
Social media metrics
Determining social media metrics that matter for your success is crucial. Any activity can be estimated and counted. Do you want to know if you’ve attracted the right audience to your group? Monitor the statistics of advertising campaigns. The growth of followers indicates whether your content is good and useful. In order to assess the work of your social media community manager check the levels of engagement. If you set your goals correctly and UTM your URLs properly, Google Analytics will tell you how many clicks you have got. Choose the metrics you are going to track in advance and monitor them since the very first day.
There are direct and indirect indicators of how successful your social media efforts are. Direct ones are:
- Monthly growth. It shows the number of new followers and subscribers, as well as the degree of their interest in the brand and content;
- Engagement. It is calculated as the ratio of users that actively interact with your page to the total number of followers;
- Unique visitors. This number shows how many people who had not interacted with your brand before viewed your group for the first time. The higher this number, the better your reach and the content quality.
Indirect indicators usually include:
1. Conversion rate from social media to the site. These numbers tell you if your social network is a good source of traffic to the website. You should take into account:
- The total number of users who came to the site from the channel;
- The time each user spent on the site;
- The number of pages viewed;
- The duration of visit;
- The bounce rate;
- The percentage of new users;
The time spent on the website, the number of pages viewed, and the duration of the visit shouldn’t be lower than the average rate. The bounce rate should be the same as the average or less.
2. The number of users who contacted your offline office after a promo on social media. You need to know absolute numbers of users attracted. One way to track it is by using promo codes.
3. The growth of positive mentions of the brand, the decrease of negative mentions, the total increase of mentions online. Measure this indicator by regular social listening and tracking absolute numbers for certain periods.
You should check your social media metrics once a month, ideally at the end of it