Social media is probably one of the most misunderstood inbound marketing tactics today, but with its diverse audience and low costs, it is also one of the most invaluable.
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even Instagram, social media offers a unique opportunity to meet and connect with your ideal buyers on a more personal level. It offers you the chance to communicate directly with individuals and show the more “human” side of your brand.
In this chapter, we will outline overarching rules to help you develop and maintain a strong social media strategy that will help your sales team close deals:
Maintain Consistent Branding
Engage in Conversation
Rule #1: Maintain Consistent Branding
Your social media profile is an extension of your business, team, and its offering, so treat it accordingly.
When someone arrives on your profile, you want it to feel cohesive with everything else that they know about your brand -- not as if it belongs to another organization.
To help maintain brand consistency on your social media profiles remember the following:
Stick to your brand’s visual style guide. Use the same font, colors, and symbols as you would on your website or any other marketing assets.
Know and maintain your voice. Before you post or share anything, ask yourself “would my brand typically say this? Would it click with my audience?”
Straying from your established brand runs the risk of sending mixed messages. This can lead to confusion about what can be expected from you and ultimately, alienate your audience.
Rule #2: Publish Regularly
Publishing to social media once in a while may help fill your timeline, but it will not help you maintain an audience or establish relationships with your audience.
Work with your team to outline a regular publishing schedule for each of your social media channels.
Regularity, like brand consistency, helps establish a sense of reliability in your audience (a very important trait in a company you’re considering doing business with).
If you are new to social, use these best practices to help you get started with choosing appropriate scheduling times. For example:
Twitter: 3-5 original tweets a day (morning, afternoon, and evening/night)
Facebook: 1 post a day (original content or shared)
LinkedIn: 1-2 posts a week (original content or shared)
After at least 3 months, you will have a good idea of when your audience is active and what they are engaging with. Based off of this data, you can better determine when, what, and how often you should be publishing on each platform.
Rule #3: Engage in Conversation
At the end of the day, the goal of social media shouldn’t be to generate sales (though it is a nice bonus). Its goal should be to be, well, social.
Social media’s biggest opportunities for business lie mainly in attracting and delighting users, or in other words, introducing new people to your brand, and maintaining a connection with existing followers, fans, or customers.
But this doesn’t happen by posting content alone. You need to actively engage in conversation with people on your profiles and take note of what they have to say.
What are your fans or followers talking about? What are they complaining about? What do they love about your product or service? What do they expect from it?
Listen to these comments. Respond to them. Ask questions and offer solutions.
Aside from costly market research and user testing, social media is one of very few chances for a business to get feedback directly from their consumer.