January 25, 2014
Re-envision your social media strategy this year and get a fresh start on running marketing campaigns with candor. Here are your 10 must-do's.
1. Choose one network — and do it really well. It's a myth that your store needs to be on every social network. By spreading yourself thin, you'll never make an impact on customers. My advice is to pour all your energy into one this year. If I had to choose? Make it Facebook.
Expo West appearance:
What Facebook is Trying to Tell You
Thursday, March 6
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Platinum Ballroom 6
2. Listen more than you talk. Take to social media to discover what your core customers are interested in. Hint: Sign up for Mention.com (get alerts when someone uses your brand name) and use Facebook Graph Search to see what other pages they like by typing "Pages that people who like ____ like" and fill in the blank with your store.
3. Spend more than half of the time sharing useful, solution-oriented content. Focus on solving your customers' problems and they'll regale you with loyalty. Need quality content to share? Visit our sister publication's website DeliciousLiving.com.
4. Remember to follow up with customers after you've shared compelling content. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to post and then ignore the replies. Real engagement and helpfulness happens when you continue the discussion.
5. Stop focusing on "followers" and "fans" and start focusing on engagement. Facebook Insights include an Engagement metric. Take note of Likes, Comments and Shares. Pay less attention to Reach, which only indicates the number of people who potentially could have seen your posts.
6. Consistency wins on social. Post every day versus 10 posts in one day every week. Being consistent ensures your brand continues to populate your customers' social media feeds, whether pins on Pinterest, tweets or Facebook posts.
7. Budget for social media. Hire a social media/community strategist. Run Facebook ads. Just like any marketing tactic, your return will only come with investment.
8. Acknowledge every tweet or comment you get on your social networks. You wouldn't ignore a customer asking for help in your store, would you?
9. Make it visual. Choose appropriate images (and take your own, as long as they're high quality) for your social media posts. Don't have a full-time designer? DIY with text on top of your images via free services such as PicMonkey.com.
10. Use your website's analytics to measure social media traffic to your store's site to refocus attention on marketing campaigns that worked. Google Analytics is free and contains a helpful social media overview located under the Acquisitions tab. You can easily see what networks drive the most traffic during any given time period.
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