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The Secret of Social Media Success

If we strip it right back then there’s one thing you have to remember when it comes to social media marketing. We all have to remember that it’s “social”. The more you engage, converse and adapt to the social space, the more likely you’ll be to have likes, comments and shares.

As a very simple example, if you sold ice cream then you could say, “We sell ice cream” or “We have a shop in town, come and buy our ice cream.” But that’s not very sociable. It would better to say, “Have you tried our brand new flavour of ice cream?” Or run a poll asking people what their favourite flavour is and add a link to your website.

That sounds nice and easy, doesn’t it. Perhaps you have a great idea for a topic that’s engaging and will get lots of people talking. Perhaps you’ll get 600 likes and 100 comments. How wonderful does that sound?

In reality, that could be good or it could be completely meaningless. This is when the complexity of social media marketing has to be considered. With your marketing hat on, what you need to ask is how many of those interactions have actually converted to a sale? What is the return on investment? Whether you’ve paid for adverts or just spent valuable time posting, it still needs to pay off. What does 600 likes equate to in real terms? Are any of them actually from potential customers?

If you want social media success then the first thing to know is why are you on social media? Is it to get sales? Is it to launch a new product, get feedback or just for general brand awareness? When you know why you’re posting then you need to decide what determines success. Quantity means absolutely nothing, it’s all about quality.

If I told you that one company had 10 likes and another had 2000 likes, which would you think was more successful? At the top level, the greater number of likes seems more attractive. However, if you dug into it and found that the company with 10 likes had brilliantly targeted their campaign and of those 10 likes, 5 people had bought from them, yet the company with the 2000 likes had nothing more than 2000 likes, then it changes everything.

Before you start typing away on a daily basis with all sorts of posts and comments, first of all think about what you want to achieve. If it is just simply to get your name out there then that’s fine, but you can still measure success. Have targets in mind that you can track. Put a link on all your posts directing people to your website or a purpose built landing page. If you could see your visitor numbers grow in Google Analytics then that would signal just how interested the people liking your posts were and that’s far more valuable information.

I don’t advise all of my clients to use social media for their marketing, and for others they use it only for ‘surround sound’ to support other parts of their marketing plan. However, for some companies it’s a vital part of their marketing mix and can massively help to increase sales. It all comes down to what you’re selling and who you’re selling to.

If you do decide that social media marketing is right for you, the next step is to choose your platforms carefully. Don’t feel the need to be on everything. Look at who your customers are, how they spend their day and what platforms they’re on. If it’s very visual, perhaps use Instagram, if it’s more business related then LinkedIn might be better. As a general rule, younger audiences tend to use Twitter and more mature people prefer Facebook.

The key things to remember are: decide what you want to achieve, decide how you'll measure the success and, no matter what, keep it sociable.

If you'd like any advice on how social media marketing could work for you, please don't hesitate to contact Lindsay Woodward Marketing.

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