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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

When it comes to devising your brand’s social media strategy, the devil is in the detail. Small mistakes and basic omissions can leave your efforts falling short, potentially impacting your online presence. There are numerous, simple mistakes that business owners are still making on social media, so here are 7 critical elements that often get neglected: 

1.) Email is NOT Dead
It may be the oldest online social network, but don’t go writing email off just yet. It is still a great and powerful way of connecting with your clients, and has the added bonus of being cheap. The majority of businesses check their inbox regularly throughout the day, and research by Zapier suggests that customers who receive their emails are more likely to share important information across other networking platforms too. 

2.) Link Back to your Website
So many brands invest time and effort into creating great content for their Facebook or Twitter pages, however trying to find a link back to their website is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Your website should be your priority, and your social media channels should drive traffic back to your site. Make it super easy for those who are interested in finding out more about your services to find your site. 

3.) Focus, Focus, Focus
With a plethora of networks now available, keeping a cohesive social media strategy can seem like a full time job in itself. A lot of business owners may feel that they have to be active on all social media channels, all the time. In reality, it’s far more valuable to focus on one or two sites and use them really well. Do some research into what sites your target audience are using and focus your efforts there. You should be able to see higher engagement and conversions at a lower cost.

4.) Make your Employees your Advocates
Bring your brand back to even more customers by utilising one of your greatest assets - your employees. Make them advocates for your business by including them in your social media brand-building efforts and welcome their strategic input. Not only will it build the brand amongst employees, but it will foster greater employee advocates too, creating a strong all-round presence. 

5.) Don’t be Afraid of Retargeting 
If done right, retargeting can be a very powerful marketing tactic. By using past social media campaigns and specific URLs, it is possible to track specific leads around the web from a simple tweet or Facebook post. Following on from this, you can target your potential customers the ads that are most likely get them to convert, as well as being able to quantify this data to see how much of an impact your social media is actually having on sales.

6.) Use Facebook Targeting 
So many businesses forget to capitalise on Facebook’s targeting software. With this tool, certain posts only reach a certain demographic to strengthen the appeal in one without turning off another. The targeting function can be found on the Facebook admin pages and could make an impressive difference to your marketing strategy. 

7.) Use YouTube!
YouTube is often forgotten in social media strategy because it is often not thought of as a social network. In reality, it is one of the most powerful sites you have in your tool kit. Users tend to browse the site, and the related video suggestions YouTube shows users in the sidebar are almost as good as buying ads on the page. 

Make videos that are either useful (e.g., expert how-to's), which potential customers are likely to come across when searching for information on their own or that are entertaining (e.g., funny commercials). Ultimately, make something that people would share amongst themselves. Search results featuring videos have a higher click-through rate, so not having a video presence could mean missing out on potential customers from organic search traffic.

Special thanks to Madeleine Hammond for today's guest post. Madeleine is a marketing executive at Skeleton Productions - one of the UK's leading video production companies with Skeleton Productions


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