What does it take to develop engaging and informative social media marketing channels that catch and hold the attention of customers and partners? How can companies and causes develop and implement social media marketing channels that make a meaningful impact? While no small feat, a well-executed, multi-platform social media marketing program can rank among an organization’s most valuable assets. Here are five core characteristics of great social media marketing.
Great social media marketing is consistent
We’ve all seen them. The business blog that launches with a bang, is consistently updated for the first few months and then fades into the sunset. The Facebook page that showcases events, products and culture beautifully…until the point person transitions to a new position, that is. Great social media marketing is consistent not only in frequency of content but in brand image and voice as well. Social media is just one component of a company or cause’s marketing toolkit and it should be aligned with other marketing assets to ensure consistency of brand – which minimizes confusion among stakeholders and helps to build brand equity.
Great social media marketing is visual
The growing popularity of video and rise of Instagram speak volumes as to the importance of compelling visual content. When you are a b2b company, b2c company or nonprofit organization, there is an opportunity to leverage visual to strengthen your social media marketing. While an explainer video may be the most valuable asset for showcasing your company’s technology, a series of authentic photos submitted by clients may help to tell your cause’s story in a unique and authentic way.
Great social media marketing is audience-focused
You can talk about what your widget is and how to use it – or you can talk about the problem your widget helps clients to solve. While both offer an opportunity to showcase key product features and attributes, the latter is consumer-focused and more likely to resonate with target audiences. Taking an audience-centric approach to social media marketing begins with surveying audiences to determine which platforms stakeholders are open to receiving information from your organization. It can then stem to answering common client questions via a blog, showcasing client success stories on LinkedIn, and sharing client-submitted photos on Facebook and/or Instagram. Regardless of the platforms that are right for your organization, using language that is both consistent with your overall brand positioning and will resonate with consumers will significantly enhance the effectiveness of your social media marketing.
Great social media marketing is engaging
Social media marketing should be a two-way conversation. Effective community management entails not only monitoring for questions and comments from online audiences, but responding appropriately to this input. Further, posing questions to your online communities – which may range from “who was your favorite speaker at our conference?” to “how do you use your wacky widget?” – demonstrates that your organization values client input and wants to embrace social media marketing as a tool for building and strengthening relationships. When your social media marketing content is engaging, stakeholders will like, comment and share your information. And, social sharing is key to growing your online communities.
Great social media marketing content is part of an integrated marketing program
Social media marketing shouldn’t happen in a silo. Whether PR, advertising and sales are separate teams within your organization or part of the same department, it is key that these team members collaborate to ensure consistency across all marketing channels, which includes ensuring your social media marketing is integrated with other efforts. For example, if your company is exhibiting at an industry tradeshow, you’ll want to make sure that not only has the PR team pitched relevant media and the design team has prepared the appropriate collateral, but that a plan for pre-show, post-show and during show social media marketing has been put in place.
Effective social media marketing programs seamlessly blend strategy, creativity and content to cultivate, educate and activate online audiences. Whether your company is new to social media marketing or looking to incorporate a new channel into the fold, focus on executing consistently and delivering the content your audiences are craving.