It has turned out into a habit for many to fall asleep on Facebook and wake up on Twitter, and it is one of my habits too. While some use Social Media as a hobby, others tend to make money through it. But in the process of marketing, how far do the Sri Lankan brands do Social Media marketing?
Three reasons made me write this post. Firstly, it is the Social Bakers’ statistics about the leading social media profiles and pages. According to that statistics, I noticed that it is mostly Sri Lankan entertaining sites like Hiru TV and celebrity profiles that are being followed by most of the Lankans, and the local brands don’t top on that overall list. To know further, I checked into the overall profile reach, and I found out that there are brands like Coca-Cola in the top ten. “So why couldn’t the local commercial sites get more fans than the local entertaining sites in social media?” was the only mind voice of mine.
Secondly, while writing about Digital Marketing in my last post, I happen to notice that most of the local marketers think Social Media Marketing is digital marketing, while it is not. And what Sri Lankans think of social network marketing is posting something about their product on famous social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter and boosting them would attract more users.
Thirdly, in my last post, a user commented on what he felt about social media marketing. The one who commented said that some of these pop-up adverts on social media are more annoying than helping us pick the product or even to check the website about the product. The result of all these reasons is the post.
If new to social media marketing, know why you should do it.
With an internet penetration rate of 29.3% in Sri Lanka, the per cent of active social media users has reached 14% of the population. With the entry of smartphones, most of them use social network platforms on mobile. An overall view suggests that the most frequently used social media platforms, especially on mobile by the locals, are Facebook (94.17%), Twitter(2.62%), Pinterest(0.67%), Google Plus, YouTube, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. This usage rate is the reason for one to make use of social media effectively if he/she is into promoting products and services.
Unlike the traditional marketing methods, this social media marketing allows the marketers to interact with the target audience. Through this relationship, a marketer can analyze the preferences of the users and change his way of marketing according to those wish lists of overall consumers. Plus, it is the portal to get a direct and quick response from the customers, and for the customers to know about products.
Guess what? Social media marketing improvises the brand’s loyalty because of the crowd one has on such platforms. Such loyalty is build up through the brand’s engagement with its audience on the platform they use.
One might have a website, but the traffic the site gets is limited. This social networking is a portal to attract more diverse users to the site one owns. The more one is active on social media, the more the page or profile attract the audience.
Another plus is that the platform, Social Media, is free. Let it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, every platform is open. But, social media marketing tools are not free. There is little cost when using such tools, yet the tools are cheaper when compared to the marketing trends used earlier.
Are you unsure where you fail?
The Biggest Mistakes We See Companies make when they first hit Twitter is to think about it as a channel to push out information.
– Tim O’Rellly & Sarah Milstein
Most of the marketers kicked off into this social media marketing because they thought it is a cool thing to do, and they entered the virtual world with no objectives. This irresponsibility, I would say, has led them nowhere actually. The reality is that having a thousand followers isn’t the only thing about social media marketing because one cannot make money out of it. What one as a marketer has to do on Social networking platform is entirely different. After an analysis of where marketers fail, let’s look into how one could overcome such failures as well.
- How often do you update your pages?
Most of the local companies have created a Facebook page, Brand’s Twitter and Instagram, but how often do you update your account? While the media sites and celebrities of Sri Lanka frequently update their page to make fans stick with them, brands fail. Regular updates are quite important to show off the followers that the page is still active and worth following.
- About what do you post?
From a user point of view, local marketers seem to focus on posting only about what they sell. But when a new follower check into their social media page, how would he/she feel when he/she sees that everything shared are links to the site? Pretty boring right?
- As a marketer, do you monitor your social media sites?
Like the first reason mentioned here as a failure, most of us don’t take social media severe enough to follow it closely. We fail to hit hard with the fact that social media is one of the leading platforms to “catch” audience and customers if used in the right way.
- Are you on the right platform?
Everyone wants to have an account on popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. But, think. What if your site is not relevant to be on either of those stages, but on stages like LinkedIn and Instagram? Creating a profile on all the social media platform can be stressful when thinking of maintaining them all.
- Unsure of when and to which post “boost” option should be used.
The boost option is to attract new followers. Where our marketers make a mistake is, not choosing the right audience, and not thinking of the alternates like “promoting a post.” But what most of the marketers sometimes do is, boost almost every post they publish which would cost them more than they have allocated.
A few handy suggestions to overcome failures
Publish great content — content that teaches people something, entertains them, makes them think or, in some other way, adds value to their lives.
– Brian Boland
- Keep the profile updated.
It is very much important to stay active on your page (even more than you are on your profile, maybe). Even if there are days when you couldn’t be updated, maintain a regularity or make use of “scheduled posts.”
- Publish random posts.
Don’t stop with publishing about your product; share something you found interesting from other profiles. If you are on Twitter, retweet some tweets from your followers, and let it be something interesting (and that may or may not have to do anything with your product.)
- Keep an eye on your social media sites.
There are tools like Buffer that would not only help you analyze your social media reach, but would also assist you with scheduling your posts for a different social media platform.
- Choose the right social media platform.
Marketing is not seeking publicity. It is promoting your brand and product to potential clients. Therefore there is no need for you to choose the popular social media platform, but the right one. Know your audience, and know about the platforms available to stick with your followers.
- Know your content and choose.
Boosting a post is an option that could be worth enough if you know to handle it. Maybe it is time to stop boosting almost all the post you have shared, and to choose the right one. If you are someone who had made the above-said mistake, start with your “EverGreen posts.” Keep in mind that the “boost” option is to attract new followers, so when boosting let it be a better post. And, do not choose the boost option to make a post reach your “target audience.” Either you could you “promote your post” option for such activities.
Tips and Trick to make the lead in it
- Use hashtags.
If you are still trying to attract “like-minded” clients, use Hashtags (#) in your posts. Not all the platforms are going to allow you to use hashtags, yet popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram do allow you. Hashtags allow you to engage as a community.
- Maintain a community.
Always remember the primary goal of being on social media: to create a network. Just by posting links from your website, or about your product wouldn’t help you. Talk to your audience, and listen to their thoughts. Create a poll, or make them review your product. Use your creative team to make users get engaged with your social media accounts.
- Do some “re-marketing.”
There are always some posts that would bring a new audience, maybe because it turned “trendy” recently. Such posts can be re-marketed with relevant hashtags of the “trending” subject.
- Use images, videos, and GIFS.
These are known as visual content marketing. I happen to see most of our local marketers using their Television ad promos as Video sharing on Facebook and Twitter. People who watch your ad on TV and Facebook can quickly get bored of seeing the same promotion. Try to do some new uploads. And make sure that your uploads convey your message as well as has a CTA.
- Write according to the platform
It is general to post contents on social media, but some platforms are good enough for longer posts while some are not. For example, Twitter doesn’t allow more than 140 characters, so your contents should be catchy and short. While Google plus encourages long timeline conversations more when compared to Facebook. Know your social media platform very well and change your content according to that.
- Marketing plan
If you are a starter in doing marketing in social media, make sure you have a plan. Have a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) framework when planning your social media marketing.
As a follower of some local brands, I happened to notice how such brands handle their social media. I have covered only a few, yet essential suggestion to the local marketers. If you are a consumer, let us know how you feel about social media marketing and advertising. And if you are a marketer, feel free to share your thoughts on handling social media. Let your thoughts flow in the comment box below.