Social media is changing, meaning that businesses need to adjust the ways they communicate to customers. Businesses are also facing social media challenges. How can you achieve social media success, how can you get new customers finding out more about you?
Research has been undertaken by IAB and LBi to highlight the challenges of social media and how businesses are adapting the ways they use social media.
The research says;
- 45% of marketing and sales departments are using the medium to raise awareness of their brand
- 28% are using it to actually interact with their consumers.This suggests that companies need to start using social media to directly communicate with their customers and provide them with further information.
What are the top 10 questions we get asked by businesses right now?
1. How can social media marketing be measured?
2. How do I understand the customers I am trying to attract on social media?
3. How can I communicate to my followers so they are likely to respond?
4. How can I encourage customers to make a purchase from my business?
5. How much time should I be spending on social media every week?
6. How can I plan what I will put on my social media channels?
7. Which social media tactics should I be using?
8. How do I use different social media channels, do I use the same content on every channel? How do you know if your content is successful?
9. How can I set up my social media profiles, join and follow groups, to show that my business is engaged in social media?
10. Should I be using one social media channel, all of them or just a couple of them?
Why are businesses becoming more social today?
They are realising that there are ways to measure your social media success and ways to understand why your campaigns have been a success. You can assess how many social media page views you are getting, how many new followers. Most importantly you can assess how engaged your followers are with you. Are they sharing your images, your articles and are they commenting on your posts? Through social media you can speak to your customers like having a conversation.
How are companies measuring their social media success?
The research found 30% are using existing Key Performance Indicators. Whilst 26% benchmark previous campaigns with more recent ones. There are also currently 17% claiming to record return-on-investment. Find out more about the current business outlook when it comes to social media.
How can you be planning and sharing on social media?
- Give advice about your products and services. How can they benefit customers?
- Announce events to encourage your prospects or customers to attend.
- Direct them to landing pages to download some information about your products.
- Encourage them to fill in your contact forms and visit your website pages.
- Encourage them to become fans on your social media channels.
- Announce special offers and competitions so that your customers can find your offers.
- Encourage your website to be found by making it visible on your social media channels.
- Talk about news today and share what is happening.
- Reshare other content that could be relevant to your customers. Talk about what is happening in your industry and what the main challenges and problems are for your business.
- Use social media to attract new customers to your business.
- Track if your customers are responding to you, they may be retweeting your content and sharing your information with their customers.
What has happened in social media recently?
- Twitter will start to track which apps you download: announced end of November 2014.
- Tumblr and Pinterest have just been announced as the fastest growing social media platforms: announced mid November 2014.
- Twitter in 2015 are looking to speed up product development so they can introduce product features even more quickly. A new timeline is one of the features they are looking to bring in for 2015.
- Facebook launches new Groups feature so that you can join groups much more easily.
- Several social media campaigns have characteristics that help them target customers in more than one country. This will help you to boost your sales in multiple countries at anyone time.
What have been some of the major social media trends in 2014?
- Many brands and businesses have starting using infographics and message images to explain more about their products and services.
- Videos continued to be increasingly popular to share on social media.
- Blogs have been increasingly shared as a support network for your new potential customers.
- Facts are also increasingly used to help customers understand the benefits of key products and services.
- Likes, shares, comments and retweets have helped many companies assess the impact of their posts on customers. This helps to assess the style and messages that your customers really engage with.
Both Coca-Cola and John Lewis have had successful social media campaigns in 2014. Coca –Cola ran a range of competitions and campaigns to encourage sharing between friends. They run their Share a Coke Campaign throughout the whole summer and personalised their messages and products to personalise their message. They heavily promoted their campaign though all their social media channels, so that everyone could take part.
Their messages on Facebook and Twitter are personal to coke fans, followers and existing customers. They want their customers to keep buying their products, therefore giving their customers opportunities to take part and FEEL like the brand meets their expectations as a customer.
The John Lewis Campaign this year has been promoted through social media right from the announcement of their Christmas launch. Friendship is at the heart of their campaign and their advert has been watched heavily on TV and their Youtube Channel. Their focus was to implement technology in their marketing but also their shops. They have a merchandise range which has helped to promote their whole Christmas campaign.
Hopefully this article has gone a long way to answer some of those burning questions about social media. We have also written an article about 4 ways that can harm your social media results. Use this as a guide about what you should not be doing on social media.
Article by Laura Morris-Richardson