When it comes to social media marketing, a challenge faced by all businesses is that social sites come and go. MySpace, once a social media Godzilla, is today nothing more than a site for social entertainment bought a couple of years ago for only $35 million by Justin Timberlake and Specific Media LLC. Google launched Google+ in June 2011 in yet another endeavor to take down the social media giant, Facebook.
No such thing happened as Facebook remains the most popular social site with over one billion users. The latest social site to hit the web is Pinterest with an astounding growth rate that has had social media marketers all over the world excited.
Long story short, when one social site recedes, another is born. For businesses, this is a major problem. After all, all social sites contrast with each other in one way or another and the tactics that work on one social site might not necessarily work on another. The challenge is for businesses to find ways to survive as the social media landscape continues to change.
Social media marketing and your business
Social media is a poor measure of how your business is doing in terms of sales and profitability but you will be surprised how engaging with your potential customers on the social sites can help you gain a valuable insight into your customers. For a start, the demographic data that you can get off the social sites can help you uncover valuable clues to uncover the emotional triggers of your target audience. These triggers, when used in the right place at the right time can help you generate more likes or comments on the social sites. They can also motivate sales.
Let’s take Facebook for instance. Did you know that…
1. According to demographics, Facebook users love personal questions and posts that generate the most likes and comments are those that begin with “What do you think about..” or “Do you feel that..”.
2. Facebook users love sharing their plans for exciting events like an upcoming vacation. They will discuss anything from a trip to Bora Bora to visiting family in the suburbs for a quiet holiday season.
3. People love saving money. For most businesses, that’s irrelevant but for those big brands that only target the high-end luxury market for example car rentals in Phuket or designer jewelry, that’s useful information.
4. People on Facebook love discussing their kids. Psychologically speaking, that makes sense. People enjoy discussing topics they are emotionally close to and for most people, one of those topics is their kid.
5. The best time to be active on Facebook is Monday through to Thursday between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and around 7 p.m. in the evenings.
So those are things you would take into account to better engage your audience on Facebook. What about things you should avoid doing?
First and foremost, people on Facebook hate self-promotion. Fact of life: People only care about themselves. They don’t want to know much about you, what you are doing and how you are staying on top of things in your field.
Equally important for Facebook marketers is this: Facebook users despise the unnecessary use of strong words and capitalization. It turns them off. So keep it sane.
How to stay on top of things for successful social media marketing
1. The psychology of social media marketing
For successful social media marketing, you want to uncover the emotional triggers of your target audience. A good place to start would be demographic information. This will give you a general idea about who you are connecting with on the social sites but for better results you want to also target other triggers based on information on your potential customers including personality, values, attributes, interests and lifestyle in addition to more general data such as age, gender and race.
So you know what ticks off your audience. The next thing is to know exactly how to communicate with your customers to meet their expectations.
The headline you use for any content you share on the social sites should be good enough to grab and hold the interest of your audience. To achieve this, you should use the data you have on the emotional triggers of your target audience.
The description that follows the headline should be just long enough to be a teaser that would motivate people to click-through and subsequently read everything else you have to communicate. Too much or too little information can come in the way of your click-through rate.
Also note that on the social sites, avoid the use of technical jargon. Speak as clearly as possible. The end goal is for you to convey the value you are offering that will benefit your customers financially. That’s all people want to know.
3. Analytics in social media marketing
Understanding your customers and successfully communicating with them is the hardest part of the process of strategic social media marketing. The rest is just trial and error to narrow down on the social media tactics that work best for you. Basically, analytics in social media help you get more fans, likes and comments and subsequently sales. The basic idea is this: You do more of what your customers like and less of what they do not appreciate to increase the reach and impact of your brand.