With the new year rapidly approaching, we put our heads together at Speak Social to come up with a list of New Media marketing tips that we feel brands should keep in mind when thinking about their 2013 marketing plans.
This is just the start to our thoughts for 2013. Want to know more? Join us tomorrow, for our #SociallySpeaking Training Course from 10 – 3 at the Central Austin Ronald McDonald House. <Learn More Here>
Social Media is About Making Connections
Friends, Coworkers and even strangers have more impact on a consumer’s purchasing decision than ads or commercials. Are people talking about your brand? What are they saying? The old sales tenant is: if you want business, ask for it. Social Media offers opportunities to find creative ways to ask for attention.
Facebook is Not King, Content Holds the Leadership Power
The Partnering Group found that 70% of consumers click through to a retailer’s website from a blog, and 68% of consumers use YouTube to research desired products. Consumers follow more brands on Social Media platforms other than Facebook. Pinterest, for example, is more successful than Facebook at converting traffic, as is Twitter. In 2013 a company whose strategy is built solely on Facebook is in trouble. Do you have content that is diverse? If you do, then diversify where you publish it.
Question: Which Device Should You Focus on? Answer: All of Them.
People look for content in different ways. Mobile usage continues to rise, as do tablets. Is your content mobile friendly? Do you have a mobile strategy that feeds into a traditional web strategy? A mobile strategy doesn’t necessarily mean Mobile Apps. In 2013, the days of spending $200k on a Mobile App will be long gone. Just make sure your developers know how to create content that displays cleanly on mobile and tablet technology. Smart companies will consider user experience in everything they do.
Do People Really Care About Your Company’s Culture? More Than You Know.
Consumers are spoiled. They want superior service at good prices, but more-and-more they also want to know they spent money with a company that represents good values. Chances are you don’t run a morally bankrupt business. So why not share the things that make you a unique and credible brand? Tell your audience why you do the things you do. Set up a window to your culture. Share the things that make you special. You will find that this gives you a competitive advantage that you never fully leveraged.
Get Visual, and Do It Now
The most sharable assets you have on Social are the visual ones. Photos and Infographics are by far the most shared content on Social Media. Followed closely by video. Do you have a great instructional blog for potential customers? Load it with pictures, or turn it into a video for maximum exposure.
Email is Alive and Well
The smart players in 2013 will have a strategy that takes Social content and incorporates it into an email campaign. When it comes to conversion rates, email kills. However, a stand-alone email campaign is only half the equation. You need to build trust before you can run a truly successful email campaign. The not so well kept secret is that Social and email can complement one another perfectly, and turn spam messaging into a revenue generating campaign.
Ignoring Reviews is Not a Safe Strategy
Yelp! can really be unfair to business owners. Acknowledge that fact and let’s move on. Reviews require a response, and not just the negative ones. When someone takes the time to write a review, and you don’t respond, you lose an opportunity. Your potential customers are watching, they want to give you the benefit of the doubt, and your silence speaks volumes. Managing reputation is one of the new costs of doing business online. Your reviews can serve as a pulse that you can monitor. Find ways to improve perception by examining reviews unemotionally, and taking appropriate action.
Social Media is Not a Silver Bullet
Marketing is complicated because people are complicated. Consumers receive information in many different ways. Some like to watch TV, some love data-rich content, others respond to videos. Social Media provides amazing access to potential consumers, but it is not magic. Social Media will not make a bad business good, nor will it change a business overnight. If you don’t understand this going in, you will do what many businesses do, give up before you win.
Make SEO Social
Much like email, SEO is still an extremely important part of any online strategy. That being said, SEO is changing. Personal search, and the integration of Social channels into the search algorithm, completely changed how we sort information. Keywords are relevant, but are only one of many criteria for how content is found. A brand’s online Social presence has weight, and personal search values user’s Social connections as well. If you have an SEO company currently, make sure to ask them what they know about Social Media. If the answer sounds like nothing, run.
Social Media Tells a Story That’s Bigger Than Your Marketing
So many businesses see Social Media as free sites to blast 30% off discounts till their blue in the face. It is for this exact reason that businesses see minimal success using Social, and write it off shortly after beginning. Engagement is about starting conversations, and building loyal followers of your brand that are emotionally attached to doing business with you. These followers will buy your products even when they’re not on clearance.