Einstein once said, "the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." He could have been talking about how most businesses approach social media, making the same mistakes again and again. Social media marketing success is within reach of most businesses, as long as they focus on the fundamentals.
Create content that engages with your audiences' interests
Facebook alone has over 2 billion monthly users. Not all of them are your target audience. Your target audience could be just a few hundred, and a social media strategy would still be worth your effort, as long as you create content that connects with that audience. Create content that connects with your target audience's needs or desires. Tap into existing conversational topics. Broadcast changes in your business that you believe may be of interest and then measure responses. You don't have to be everyone's friend, but you need to bring a little humanity and humility to the way you communicate on social media.
Social media is a place where you have a dialogue with your customers or target audience. Many pundits will tell you that you need to monitor your channels all the time and communicate directly with everyone who makes a post. While, in principle, that would be ideal, few businesses have the time and resources to watch their social channels that closely.
There are more time productive ways to stay on top of how your followers and target audiences are responding to your posts. Check who has liked, reposted, or (more importantly) clicked a link. With the right social media management tools, you can measure responses across all channels, and at-a-glance learn and adapt your messaging.
Social media is the most agile form of mass communication in history. If you are setting out with a social strategy that is set in stone for 12 months, chances are it will fail. You need to adopt the agile marketing model of testing hypothesis on channels quickly, measuring results and then adapting your approach.
Every channel is different
Each social channel is different. Channels like Facebook have slower response rates and require less regular posting, making it challenging to expand your reach. Twitter and Instagram both use hashtags, which allow you to connect with existing conversations and dramatically expand the reach of your messages. LinkedIn is an excellent professional service and B2B channel and also features hashtags. Not all channels are suited to all businesses. Creating the right channel mix will save you time and improve your ROI.
With the right social media management tools, you can learn the best days and times to post. You can then schedule content in advance, allowing you to create weeks of posts. With the right social management tool, you can achieve a month's worth of posts in under an hour. Most businesses can afford an hour to manage 3 social media profiles, especially if they can measure a return on their effort.
It takes about 3 seconds to read a 5-word headline, whereas it takes 13 milliseconds to recognize an image. That's literally the blink of an eye. This is why images are paramount in social posts. If you watch the average person scrolling through their social media feed, you will notice that it's images or videos that capture their attention. To master social media, you need a library of images and a way to manage them. Managing images and other digital assets is one of the most common oversights made by businesses. The right tools will help you to collect, utilize and protect every image in your collection.
The right social media management platform
Finding the right social media management platform for your business is paramount. There are social media management platforms that only manage social media. There are social media management platforms that include email and SMS in the mix. Only XL.Today™ includes social, email, and SMS in a single campaign workflow, plus an integrated Digital Asset Management solution. XL.Today™ is the first of a new generation of Agile Digital Marketing platforms designed to help you transform your marketing.
Integrating an advanced image management solution allows you to manage your social, email, and SMS campaigns at blazing fast speeds. With all of your images and brand assets within reach, you can create highly effective social media and other personalized marketing campaigns in just a few minutes. XL.Today™ helps you master social and other forms of marketing as you go, with a comprehensive video learning channel, at-a-glance dashboards, and an expertly operated help center. Even if your business has never taken social media marketing seriously, you and XL.Today™ can make it happen.