5 Ways to Manage Social Media Better Than the Competition

Using social media is a significant step toward propelling your marketing efforts to new heights, but most of your competitors are also using it. A 2016 survey by research and consulting company BIA/Kelsey reports nearly 78 percent of small-to-medium-sized businesses use social media, up more than 4 percent from the previous year. In a world where Facebook status updates, a barrage of Tweets and Instagram photos inundate your target consumers, how can you capture their attention despite the digital noise?

Like any relationship, the most successful social media efforts are forged with genuine intent and a focus on connection. Using data-gathering and analytics helps your business refine its efforts through optimization, which in turn increases customer satisfaction. Use these five tactics to shine online.

Prepare Employees with the Best Equipment

Today, any person with a smartphone can be a news maker or customer service agent, with the ability to capture on-the-fly photos and videos that contain useful content for your brand and help customers solve their problems. Equip, at the very least, your social media strategist with a reliable smartphone with long battery life that they can use whenever they need to post something quickly, respond to a customer, or shoot something interesting. A durable option that is water- and dust-resistant, like the Samsung Galaxy S7, is a valuable choice for small businesses because it lasts longer in rugged conditions.

Strategize Before Posting

Having a thoughtful strategy will help your business align its sales objectives with the content you’re spreading and the relationships you’re forming on social media. Since more than 50 percent of companies state the lack of an effective strategy as their greatest obstacle to success, taking the time to plan out a content calendar and create content pillars for engagement can instantly give you a leg up on your peers. Use factors such as these to build out a social media content calendar a few weeks in advance:

  • New product releases
  • Company culture updates, including recent hires
  • Upcoming promotions
  • Content that ties in with holidays

Allow for modification of the calendar depending on trending topics and events, but use the calendar to enable your social efforts to support company-wide marketing initiatives. There are many free social media calendar templates online you can use for guidance. (3)

Put Measurement in Place

For every piece of social media content you are posting, there should be a way to measure its effectiveness. For example, assigning a unique Google URL tracker to each link will allow you to track the journey a visitor takes from your Facebook page to your blog post to your product page. This strategy provides a view of how users interact with the content you share on social channels, and where drop-offs or conversions take place, allowing you to optimize the content you post and tweak your landing pages accordingly.

Invest in Paid Advertising

To guarantee your social messages get seen by your target audience, paid advertising is a must. Research and advisory firm Gartner says by October 2017, 80 percent of social marketers will be working with social advertising programs. B2B platforms such as LinkedIn Ads allow a business to connect with top executives and purchase decision-makers, while Facebook Ads are essential for new brands starting out who want to grow a substantial audience. Be sure to A/B all ad campaigns you launch, so you can shift copy, imagery, targeting and placement based on what is working for your brand. Gaining attention and new followers through social advertising allows your business messages to get seen more frequently in the future, and the ads can serve as powerful referrals.

Use Social as Customer Support

Stellar social media support can give your company a competitive edge, amaze customers and further develope brand loyalty. Marketing expert Jay Baer of Convince and Convert reports 42 percent of consumers who contact a brand via social expect a response within an hour, and 32 percent want a response within 30 minutes. By making sure your business is constantly monitoring and responding to feedback, you’ll make customers feel validated and cared for. Even responding immediately with something like, “Thanks for your question. We’re looking into this to get you a response soon,” is a way to let customers know you’ve heard them and are working to help them.

With a solid strategy and the right tools in place, your brand can ensure you’re continually optimizing both non-paid and paid content. By forming relationships with followers through interactions and exemplary customer support, you can shape those fans into brand advocates who will spread the positive word about your business for you.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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