Social Media marketing is more than just posting once in a while…Don’t let your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram gather cobwebs, you need to “show up” day after day with fresh content. Instead of spreading yourself thin across 5 different sites, focus on 2-3 primary accounts. Incorporating social scheduling and automation saves time and energy.
- The proliferation of iPads (Air, Mini), Amazon Fire, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Microsoft Surface Pro, Smartphones = Frictionless share culture. Teens love to Share
- Teens love self expression and identity development (creative outpost for ideas, somewhere where kids can share their ideas and photos)
- Instagram fulfills fundamental teenage needs (discover what’s new and what’s next)
- Teens want to be where their favorite celebrities/brands are
- Teens are where their parents aren’t (although that is changing as more parents are now on IG to monitor their teens as well as enjoy the platform themselves
If you are a “brand” or business, Instagram is a great way to expand your business’s reach and engagement (tell a story) with your customers. Growing a dedicated following on Instagram won’t happen overnight. But the bright side is that Instagram users are very active and love to engage. Instagram is the ideal choice for SMB‘s. You can engage with your customers, advertise your products and build awareness for your brand of service!
As of 2018, nearly 97 percent of all Fortune 500 enterprises use at least one social media platform to promote their initiatives and foster positive communication with stakeholders. This statistic was back in 2017-2018. I’m guessing in 2021, the % change is almost 100%. Its clear that using at least one social media network, such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, in order to establish a good communication line with stakeholders, customers and advocates is crucial in 2021.
Determine which social platform serves your brand or service better. Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around that will amplify your brand. Choose the most popular platform based on your company’s product or client demographics. For example, Financial Advisors would choose Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter over Instagram. Actual product Fortune 500 retail marketers that need more “visual” branding would gravitate towards Instagram or Pinterest.
Pro Tip: Don’t let your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram gather cobwebs, you need to “show up” day after day with fresh content. Instead of spreading yourself thin across 5 different sites, focus on 2-3 primary accounts. Incorporating social scheduling and automation saves time and energy. Picking and prioritizing your social networks based on your audience location. Repurpose content so your not always trying to reinvent the wheel. Build your presence and following on those accounts as much as possible. If you do not have Fortune 500 type social media resources, just pick and focus on 1 platform. Once you get the hang of it (content creation, scheduling) branch out and add another platform. You can also outsource the work to a contractor. When you outsource anything, one of the greatest outcomes is gaining expertise that isn’t currently available to you. This is especially true when you’re considering outsourcing social media management.
Don’t post the same EXACT content or same post on each platform. The platform and the audience using each, are unique and as such require a unique post. W
If you post the same content on each platform, you run the risk of customers “unfollowing” you on one if not all of your platforms. Customers (or audience) will grow tired of the duplicate posts/content. Posts can be similar, but not exactly the same.A majority of Instagram users are under 30, and many are in their teens. Instagram users are primarily looking at images and/or videos as posts or as Instagram Stories.
Forward-thinking salespeople are embracing a more “social” approach to break down old communication barriers such as Cold Calls, and Email = Social Media. Social selling allows salespeople to laser-target prospects, establish rapport and with their networks, and possibly even ditch the dreaded practice of cold calling.
While determining the best way to connect with prospects and help coax a consumer down your sales funnel, buyers are consistently going to social networks and the Internet to research products they have an interest in purchasing. Whether you are a B2B or B2C brand, potential buyers are looking on these social media platforms for product information. As smartphones are getting bigger form factors and faster processors, consumers are apt to looking, researching with these larger handheld mobile screens.
Here is a brief breakdown of Social Media as related to the Enterprise:
Business to Consumer = Facebook
Business-to-Business products (or services) = LinkedIn (if you have a first-level connection in common with the executive or buyer who will sign off on a PO)
All types of sales = Twitter
*Twitter is the best for “all kinds of sales” as it’s a very popular network (across all demographics) that doesn’t have privacy settings that keep you from high volume searches and actions.
Social Media Sales strategies
Twitter. Make sure you “add” to the conversation a little before directly engaging in customers:
- Like (heart) a few Tweets
- ReTweet one or two Tweets
- Follow them
Friend, Follow, Follow Back or Connect with individuals with profiles that match you or your clients. Its VERY Important to build relationships on any Social Media platform. Not only can it help to generate leads, it can also help foster relationships with current customers.
Be in expert in your space. Provide solutions or tips and feedback to your customers or potential customers if they post a question or gripe on Twitter/Facebook. Prioritize the social channels and tools your audience is already using and that you’re familiar with, then organize those by their primary function.
Listening on social media is one of the most powerful tactics in a social selling strategy. Monitor for popular hashtags and keywords that are relevant to your industry or brand to find useful insights but also see what is being said about your competitors.
Never cold pitch on Social Media platforms. It comes off as desperate and will be ignored. If there is a conversation trending within your industry and potential customers, join in to offer meaningful commentary and interact with these potential buyers. Listening for these opportunities and finding out the pain points your potential customers are having will give sales people a feel for the conversation and allow them to add value.
Social media is “networking” more than it is “advertising”. The goal is to get them to call you (or vice versa), have an open mind about your product or service, and then make your sales pitch.
When its time to engage or pitch, follow these steps:
- Ask for their email so that you can send them some info on your services.
- Find them on LinkedIn and add “connect” with them.
- Send a polite email and mention a conversation you had with them on Twitter or Facebook. You can also mention a tweet or Post that you “favorite” or “liked” from them.
Good Social Sales tools in this space that keeps track of conversations and engagement include:
Hootsuite. More for individuals and small business.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Enterprise grade and scalable.
Its apparent that Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not fads anymore. These platforms are now mature options to generate leads and sales online. By experimenting with different Social Media sales strategies, you can find the best way to convert them into real quantifiable results on all levels. There are no participation medals in social selling: if you’re going to do it, you have to do it right. That means providing valuable insight to the right prospects at the right time.
I shared the above graph way back in 2017. Instagram has become a critical platform for product marketing, particularly small business. The Instagram platform is evolving and raising the bar. Forward to today and the 2023 forecast below:
Instagram is a great way to tell a story and find customers. Once you’ve got a story going, an audience will grow organically (as pictured above). A key ingredient with Instagram is using # Hashtags to get your business found by customers. Hashtag marketing makes your posts searchable and gets your business found by local & national customers (especially relevant on Instagram where you can post 10+ Hashtags per post). Growing a dedicated following on Instagram won’t happen overnight. But the bright side is that Instagram users are very active and love to engage. The option to switch to an Instagram business account and use Instagram tools for checking insights and running advertisements has been life changing for small business (SMB).
With Instagram ads, you can reach new customers and extend your reach with customizable, trackable advertisements. You can target specific demographics, link to your website and collect valuable user data that can help inform your other social media marketing campaigns. Instagram is the ideal choice for SMB‘s. You can engage with your customers, advertise your products and build awareness for your brand of service!
From a product or services firm perspective: Pick two or three social media platforms and concentrate on mastering those (if resources allow). If resources are limited, concentrate on Facebook and Twitter first. Determine which serves your brand or service better. Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around that will amplify your brand. Choose the most popular platform based on your company’s product or client demographics. For example, Financial Advisors would choose Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter over Instagram. Actual product marketers that need more “visual” branding would gravitate towards Instagram or Pinterest.
First things first. Establish Trust. People naturally look to other people as a guide for their own behavior. Don’t get spammy with your posts or tweets. Post social media content that is quality and compelling (always include an image). Encourage free exchange. Be open to change and continuous learning. Social proof (trust) typically rises exponentially, and it will become a self-perpetuating force.
Remember to establish reasonable goals once you start gaining momentum. Listen to your customers or fans (followers). Always gain feedback and adjust accordingly (iterate). Figure out what to measure when putting together goals. Example: do you measure “followers” or “likes” “retweets” or “retention” or “sales”?
Your goals should be distinct, in that you have a specific, defensible reason for participating in each platform. Take a look at your outreach strategy and review the reasons your business is implementing a social media marketing outreach plan. What do you want out of your social activities? Are you trying to drive visitors to your website, your blog, via Twitter or your Facebook page? Are your competitors on social media? Focusing on your ultimate goal will guide your next steps: what you do (what other channels you will use going forward), when you do it (what schedule you will aim for? Night or Daytime according to your demographic), and what content to share. Be vigilant and always participate every day (even if you have to schedule and automate it). Social Media marketing is a slow process that will pay off dividends in the future!
Instagram is becoming a critical platform for marketing, particularly small business. The Instagram platform is evolving and raising the bar. Instagram is a great way to tell a story and find customers. Once you’ve got a story going, an audience will grow organically. A key ingredient with Instagram is using # Hashtags to get your business found by customers. Hashtag marketing makes your posts searchable and gets your business found by local & national customers. Keep your Instagram strategy simple and focused!
- The proliferation of iPod Touches, iPads, Android Pads, Smartphones = Frictionless share culture. Teens love to Share
- Teens love self expression and identity development
- Instagram fulfills fundamental teenage needs
- Teens want to be where their favorite celebrities/brands are
- Teens are where their parents aren’t
Instagram can help brands (and small business) reach audiences through captivating imagery and video. There are over 150 million active users with a typical user between 18-32, with household income north of $75,000. 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35. For many small businesses, Instagram can also drive sales. A basic list of “must haves” follow:
- High Quality pictures. Use your smartphone or a good DSLR camera.
- Consistency in Posts & Content (this also holds true on all digital and social platforms). It also helps with SEO (search engines) and your overall content marketing strategy.
- Hashtags. To further promote and extend the reach of your posts, add Hashtags (helps people searching for those terms in the search box so they can find you).
As far as Instagram metrics. The number of followers doesn’t truly reflect the real engagement with posted pics. The number of likes and comments on pictures is a way more meaningful measure of engagement. Focus on what your community wants. Go with the flow. Instagram is a natural, impromptu medium when compared to a typical marketing campaign tool. Above all, make it work with the mobile nature of the platform.