social media policy

Social Media Marketing: A Long Term Commitment For Long Term Returns

You’ve already put the effort into making your website a target audience friendly, highly informative yet simply written online sales tool (get in touch if you’ve missed our website content copywriting and Homepage Rewrite services). Now you need to strengthen it, and your brand, with a strategic social media marketing plan.

Does the word strategic take the fun out of social media for you? It might, but it’s not just a token word to get your attention—because we don’t talk like that—social media is serious when it comes to your business reputation and your return on time investment.

Social media platforms are fun to explore and easy to get caught up in but when you’re dealing with social media for business, like using them to generate sales, you need to plan your messages plus know when and how to share them.

Social media marketing is not a quick fix. You can’t just post some pithy comment or a great image and wait for the sales to roll in (though it does help), you’ve got to work at it just like any other sales pitch you make. You need to create content that’s compelling to your potential consumers and interesting enough to share by your existing followers and loyal customers.

It takes time to develop relationships and get known, and respected, in your social media circles. But, it can be done and you can get help to make the most impact with your social media tools.

social-media-marketing-quiz-300x238 Social Media Marketing: A Long Term Commitment For Long Term Returns

Have you tried getting started in social media but things aren’t going your way? Take this social media quiz, and don’t worry, everyone stumbles along in the beginning. It gets better as you focus your message and learn what platforms best serve your needs.

3 Things To Think About When You’re Social Media Marketing

  1. Define your priorities, purpose and goals for using social media.  Do you want to make sales, give your business a personality or just keep up with what your competitors are doing (Hint: the last option is not the best reason for social media, though if your competitors are benefitting from it you should be too). Create Contagious Content: brainstorm with your staff and talk to your customers to find out who’s looking for your service, what they want to know and where they’re going to find it. This helps you engage people who want to know about your business and not just broadcasting to people who don’t care (it wastes your time and theirs).
  2. Choose the right platform to get the response you’re looking for. Twitter and Facebook are obvious platforms to start with because they are popular and there is little guesswork left for audiences to use them to their, and your, advantage. If you can say it in 140 characters with an image that will compel a share, Twitter is your best bet for quick infiltration of a wider audience. If you want to create a relationship with your users and encourage them share their thoughts and ideas with you and others, Facebook easily provides that option.
  3. Keep your content fresh and timely without hiring new staff just to keep up with social media demands (though Tangible Words’ copywriters  are available to help with this). Use a Recyclable Annual Editorial Calendar. Recyclable meaning you can preplan and reuse topics each year (for things like your e-newsletter or weekly Facebook posts). And, when you’ve identified your content needs you can write it whenever you have time (like the last afternoon before a long weekend and you need something to do, but not too much to do…). Then it’s waiting for you when you need to post, and don’t have any time, with just a click of a button you’re up to date.

Here’s Another Tip To Make Your Social Media Marketing Better For Your Users & Easier For You

Create at least five blogs of timeless information that answers questions you always get from your customers—it’s called Pillar Content. You can use this content to complement your posts, shares, tweets to gets people directly to information they’re interested in on your website. And, you avoid the apathetic “visit our webpage” with fingers crossed they’ll click on something that makes them want to buy.

Remember, if you have staff doing your social media then you need to think about Social Media Content Policy. In it, you’ll set social media implementation details like frequency, target audience focus, and management tools to avoid duplication of effort. Need help with this? Contact Tangible Words.

Know How Your Customers Use Your Blog To Make Buying Decisions

Your business blog can lead customers to your store the same day they search for your service. “Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores in one day (Google 2014).” Investing time and effort in your business blog keeps your company top of mind with your customers and search engines.

Get the information you need to use your business blog, right now. You’ll find out how you can:

  • Increase online traffic (to reach more consumers),
  • Generate qualified leads (to save your sales team time)
  • Make more sales online (to make more profit).
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The Most Powerful Twitter Task You Can Do Today for Your Business

We’ve written about Twitter a few times on the Tangible Words Blog, but not a lot lately, and that’s for a very good reason.

 

Most of you know that in 2013, Tangible Words went through the same website redevelopment process we lead our clients through. And recently, I wrote about the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of realizing your website is the hub of your content marketing (which includes social media marketing, ahem.)

 

For Tangible Words, 2013 was all about redeveloping the website for user-friendly navigation, optimal interaction, clarifying our services, and continuing the steady stream of good ideas and thought-provoking content for small and mid-sized companies through our blog. We also changed our e-newsletter strategy a little bit, but made sure that our content strategy, editorial calendar and content policy (frequency, posting process) etc., were all in good shape – and working hard for the company. (Your content marketing is like a hard working sales person, and if your content marketing isn’t helping you make sales, we need to talk).

Methodical Approach To Content Marketing

Many of you have heard me say at our Content Marketing Program workshops that content marketing really is the main source of most of our leads. And while we’ve been on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter for years, it’s always been front of mind that social media marketing is usually done poorly instead of well because people forget to make sure their website content is SEO copywritten, navigation-ally sound, and bursting with great information before they start, and stop, and start, and stop at their social media.The end result is that the sales process gets broken sooner than it should, like this great e-newsletter that broke the sales cycle.

 

So speaking from experience, as well as knowledge about the industry and what these tools are supposed to do for you, we recently took the time to review our social media marketing strategies and content policy for each social media tool, and with our website, blog and e-newsletter leading the charge, we’re now into the new phase of content marketing, using new tools. The result? We’re getting great results because the content marketing strategies and cornerstone tools are already established. So now it’s easy to use these tools for business and meet our high expectations: Twitter Counters, Likealysers and Linked In post engagement have shown exciting metrics – but more than that, our strategy is allowing us to have genuine, helpful sales conversations with our prospects – which we really like!

All of this boils down to what we promised in the headline:

“if you’re using Twitter, here’s a wonderful thing to do for your Twitter account to start using this tool more effectively for sales: go through your Twitter following list – find key accounts and put them on a “List”.”
If you don’t know how to separate your Twitter peeps into lists, I found some great resources online to show you how:
  1. Social Media Today has a great article that shows you Simple Steps To Create Twitter Lists on the Twitter web browser.
  2. The Twitter Help Centre’s article about Using Twitter Lists shows you some added functions of Twitter lists, like how to message a list at once.
  3. And if I don’t convince you about the benefits of using Twitter Lists in this article, you should read Tom Durby’s post on #Hashtags.Org “How Do You Benefit From Using Twitter Lists?”
The wonderful thing about separating your Tweets into lists, is that it prevents you from going onto Twitter and seeing “NOISE” instead of immediately knowing with whom to engage. When you don’t know where to start on Twitter, you often default to the “I’ll just broadcast my latest blog article- because this is too hard” setting and that’s not necessarily great for building relationships (if that’s all they ever get from you) and it might not be an awesome return on your energy because SOCIAL media is about building relationships (and relationships are how you make sales).
Lists help you engage more efficiently and more meaningfully with your targets. I’d suggest you make at least 3 lists – you can make new ones as you go.

3 Twitter Lists To Make Today To Build Business Relationships and Make Sales:

  1. Clients – you should be following and engaging with your clients on Twitter, they love to feel the love and it’s a great opportunity to show who you’re working with to the world.
  2. Prospects – put all the people you’d like to build relationships on a list so you know who to connect with.
  3. Competitors – keep track about what other people in your industry are doing, it’s a great way to find opportunities and get stronger as a company.
I use Twitter a lot for Professional Development, too, so I also made a “Learn” list of people who help me stay on top of best practices for website marketing, and those who create content I might want to share like Infographics and statistics.

 

I’ve also found that there are a lot of really FUNNY people on Twitter, so I made a “Fun” list – for when I want to have a good jolly giggle to break up my day or someone else’s.

 

You can make lists private or public so that Oscar The Grouch doesn’t get alerted that you put them on a list, and also because these lists are really just for you: to make your Twitter experience more business-y and less messy.

When’s the Best Time To Start Putting Your Tweets Onto Lists?

It took some time to separate my tweets onto lists, so you might want to multi-task while watching a webinar or talking to someone on the phone. It allowed me to really clean up my Following list to make sure no matter which tasks I’d be switching between on a daily basis, whenever I got to Twitter, I was thinking proactively and able to follow my content strategy for Twitter.
From now on, whenever I decide to follow someone, it will be with my Lists in mind – because I know neither you nor I have time to lose with social media and content marketing. We need these amazing business practices to be a process we can follow almost absent-mindedly in our daily work, but that completely align with our over-arching business goals.