The arrival of the New Year is a great time to rewind and analyze what worked with social media and what didn’t. Here are 10 practices that could kickstart your online business on the right note.
1. Build a Strong Content Base
Google emphasizes on original content, the reason why blogging has returned. Blogs are the most ideal and sought after factors for building a strong content base. They definitely help in improving search engine rankings, help in establishing thought leadership, generate brand awareness and strengthen the bond with your customers, giving them a chance to interact with you and thus your brand.
It is strongly recommended to use a blog either externally or internally on your ecommerce site. WordPress provides a great platform for this with its various plugins. Even Tumblr and RebelMouse are great options for the same. Regardless of which platform has been selected, start the New Year with a resolution that whatever will be posted would be original and informative.
2. Be Useful
There are only 2 ways in which a company could enter into an unexplored market with full bang. By being fantastic or by being useful. By being useful, a company should focus on the needs and the interests of their prospects than their own. This requires creation of content that reflects the altruist mindset. A company could spend lots of money on advertising to grab eye-balls, however the lesser expensive and more effective way is providing valuable content that builds awareness efficiently.
3. Publish simultaneously over all Social Networks
Syndicating through social network should be the next step in executing a successful content plan. Social media could prove to be a very effective distribution channel through which a content could be promoted and find it’s right audience. The following steps will explain in detail how one could utilize social media to get the best results for marketing the content.
4. Beyond Facebook
Think social media and the first name that comes to our mind is Facebook. Of course, it’s the largest and the most talked about social networking site and it has definitely proved itself to have some commercial value, however that’s not the only outlet in social networking.
Various sites like Twitter, Pinterest and Google+, to name a few, contribute in the purpose of delivering commercial value and promoting content to the right audience. In addition to that, working across various social networking platforms expands our presence. Youtube, Vine and SlideShare are effective channels to promote a well made content effectively throughout the web.
Larger your presence on social media, better your chances of filling up your site with potential prospects.
5. Manage an Online Community
Another important step for marketing on social media is to interact often with fans and followers. There is a two step approach in managing an online community.
• Respond to those customers who are engaging with you:
It is inevitable to respond to the customers comments or questions promptly. Those who have liked or shared your content should receive compliments from your side. If not at once, they should get the response for all their actions within 24 hours. Respond politely to any complaint or criticism. Have a conversation offline to avoid others from piling up the negative comments.
• Trigger the engagement with supplementary content:
A successful social media engagement demands that you provide content frequently, most preferably daily. All the social networks provide a great platform to update several times in a day. The easier from the lot is Twitter, which provides short and quick way of updating with its 140 character limit.
Even though you blog for 2-3 times per week, it is not enough to keep the consumers satisfied. Supplement the posts with micro content in the form of questions, polls, photos, videos, status updates and more.
6. Content Curation
One of the most popular and effective forms of content marketing is content curation. The content doesn’t necessarily have to be original to your own site.
A number of platforms could be utilized for this purpose. Some of the most popular and affordable are Scoop.it, RebelMouse and Meddle. Many find even Buffer very useful. Trap.it, ContentGems and Feedly are good platforms to gather content based on relevant topic keywords.
7. Use a Social Media Management Application
One way to minimize the time investment and increase efficiency is using a centralized application. All the processes will seem to be overwhelming with such systems.
HootSuite is quite popular because it enables syndication to many social media networks, and it is free to use at the base level. The user interface could at times prove to be confusing, especially if there are several columns and tabs open at the same time.
One more social media management tool uses is SocialOomph. Sprout Social and SocialBro follow in the sequence.
8. Join the Hashtag Revolution
Hashtags have grown in popularity and are nearly famous in almost all the social networks. They are now used on Facebook and are the most popular on Twitter and Instagram. It is recommended not to use more than one or two hashtags, as that is the best practice to increase traffic without appearing to be spammy and attract retweets.
9. Use Third-party Applications
Popular sites like North Social and Offerpop provide a number of affordable and promotional tools that could enrich and enhance the social media engagement efforts
For instance, Offerpop offers hashtags content campaigns generated by users for Twitter, Facebook, Vine and Instagram. North Social has a suite of close to 20 applications that includes custom Facebook pages, mobile apps, coupons and sweepstakes.
10. Don’t Ignore Mobile
The increase in the use of mobile devices comes with a complete transition to smartphones and tablets for engagement on social media. Studies have shown that an increasing number of audience are now engaging on Facebook and Twitter via a smartphone or tablet. Instagram, Pinterest and Vine have most of their traffic from mobile usage only.
It’s not necessary to carry out each of these activities all at once. Start by building a strong content, and then syndicate it to social networks using an efficient management application.
As soon as you notice improvement on one network, add another social network to your list. Move beyond facebook and make good use of all the mobile-enabled social marketing channels.
Start strategically, focusing on the needs of the customer, very early and establish an efficient tracking system to measure the success of your efforts.