With plenty of social advertising packages to choose from, some of the spirit that makes social media marketing so different from traditional marketing is getting lost.
If we go back a few years, let us say 10 to 12 years ago, before many of the social platforms had buy in from big businesses, there were clearly defined benefits, that are still obvious and available today. One of the biggest pull factors for a business to hop onto social networks was the fact that they were free. Aside from the time investment any company could get their foot in the door with a bit of creativity.
The other major motivator for businesses to get involved was the fact that social networks enabled people to connect with each other really easily. So the focus changed quite dramatically from not what you knew, to who you knew, and who saw you doing it.
Even though the social landscape has changed in many different ways, and there are innumerable options and possibilities today, there are still businesses using it for its core benefits, and they are doing it pretty well too. Let’s take a look at some really cost-effective strategies and how you can use them to transform your social media results, with minimal advertising spend.
Create Relationships Within Your Networks
Remember, sometimes it is not about what you know, but who you know that can make the difference between success and failure. And there are very few people who can be successful on their own anyway; in most cases, for the best results and to achieve our goals, we need to work in teams.
The most successful social networkers get to know bloggers and social media influencers to help them broaden their networks and build their contact lists. The more brand ambassadors you have out there the greater the potential exposure.
Being “good” at social media is as much about identifying other influencers to move your content along as it is about creating the content itself.
What’s In It For Your Audience?
Remember, if you want to attract an audience’s attention, or get their buy-in, you’ve got to ask: “what’s in it for them?”
Unless a person is particularly passionate about a subject or topic they are not likely to want to comment on or share a post. But tell them they could win the latest fragrance or their favorite brand of sunglasses and suddenly you have a lot more action going on.
Need some ideas? Social Media Examiner took a look at a case study done by Pick Your Plum:
Pick Your Plum is constantly giving their social media followers reasons to share. They often run promotions asking customers to tag a friend and then give away something to both the winner and the friend. Prince reports that their Facebook likes always go up dramatically during these promotions.
Set Simple, Short Term Goals
Search Engine Journal tracked their on social media strategy success by laying down a short term goal strategy. Their goal was to increase their followings on social networks by modest percentages month on month, but they ultimately ended up comparing three-month intervals.
They started out with two channels initially and were therefore able to offer them more focus. Once they became more confident on Twitter and Facebook, they decided to extend their reach to LinkedIn and Google+ and apply their short term goal strategy there too.
Since we’re a media publisher and don’t have as much visual product collateral to share, we focused more on Twitter and Facebook rather than Pinterest and Instagram. If you’re a fashion or food-related company, for example, it may make sense to do the opposite. (And although we don’t place as much focus on Pinterest, our website traffic stemming from there has increased over 500% the last three months.)
Modern Social Media Strategy Requires Recycling Too
Not all the content you produce for your social channels needs to be original, either. This article from Moz.com looks at how the most successful social media marketers today can reuse and repurpose content, as well as leverage content produced by other influencers on a network.
Not every update has to stem from original ideas of yours; you can bounce off the ideas that other people are already posting. Social media relies on conversations, so jump in and be a part of them. You can even look for Twitter chats that are relevant to your brand and dive in. (This is also a good way to get your account and brand more visibility.)
Get Clued Up About Multimedia
Sure, people want to read blogs and share memes but the research shows that the biggest movements are happening in terms of multimedia content. And if you want to adopt a progressive approach to social media marketing, you might want to think in terms of all the different types of content that technology makes available for us today.
According to Reel SEO, if you want to be setting trends, video is where you should be focusing your efforts:
Video is predicted to account for an unprecedented 84% of all Internet traffic by 2018, an increase of 6% over the video’s current slice of the online pie, the equivalent of 4.5 trillion YouTube clips. Cisco estimates that video traffic will equal 37 exabytes (EB) per month, that’s total traffic which includes sites like YouTube, and Buzzfeed Video, alongside VoD services such as Netflix, and Hulu.
Encourage A Two-Way, Mutually Beneficial Relationship
Share, comment on and post contributions and submissions from your fans. Allow them to share their fanaticism and support and then recognize them for it.
Similarly, if you want fans and followers to be more vocal about your material, lead by example. Show people you are not just interested in selling and that you are willing to contribute to the community in some aspects. This is more likely to be met with success than an approach that just expects praise and support and which focuses on self-promotion.