What Should You Do to Take the Lead in Social Media Marketing?

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.

Social media marketing in srilanka

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.

Social media marketing failure

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 

 

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.)
    Publish Random Post
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Tip and Tricks for social media marketing 2016

  • 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.

Adieu.

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Advanced Social Media Strategies for Offline Businesses

In our contemporary world of today, most entrepreneurs use social media to enhance their businesses in several ways. This is because of the several benefits such businesses will derive from social media platforms. However, let us define the key phrases in our title.

Social media:

This is an online platform for social interactions among friends and contacts that afford you the opportunities to create and share information and ideas in virtual communities. From this definition, we can deduce that the social media platform has a pool full of people or contacts; has a pool full of information or ideas and opportunities to create and share with others whatever is of interest that you wish to share.

Offline business:

This refers to businesses that are done in the physical, where buyers and sellers meet one on one to interact and agree on terms for the transaction. Offline businesses require physical infrastructures like offices, factories, electronic and print media for the advert, and a lot of human resources for efficient service delivery. In the offline business platform, customers see whatever they want to buy physically; advertisements are done on Televisions, Radios, Magazines, and Newspapers and on Bill Boards; payments are made either with cheques or in cash, and sellers and customers meet physical, discuss and agree on terms of the transaction.

At this junction, it is important to highlight some of the benefits your business can enjoy from social media platforms. These will help you know the best strategies for your business as an entrepreneur.  Social media afford you the opportunity to introduce your new products and brand to targeted contacts who in turn can become your potential customers. Whichever social media platforms you belong to, you can build and grow your contacts base to become your targeted clients or customers.

You can advertise existing products and services on some social media platforms. This could be either in your timeline or fan page etc. Some social media have spaces for paid advertisements with a wider audience than your contacts, fan page members, or group members. Thus, you can take advantage of this to promote your offline business. Building your brand or business image and keeping it fresh in the minds of people is very important in enhancing your business. Social media are sites that millions of people visit daily. You can therefore seize the opportunities to build and constantly keep your brand image in the minds of millions of people when you constantly post and advertise on social media.

Cracking Social Media Platform

Social media is a real-time interaction platform. This means you can always interact with your clients or customers at regular intervals. This will help your brand or business have a human face and you will readily know the opinions and views of your clients. People want to be able to ask questions, express their minds and get quick responses, social media gives you this chance to interact with your potential customers. Several social media have platforms for groups of like minds. People or businesses that are in the same fields or offer the same services can meet and share interests, ideas, challenges, etc. The interactions between group members help them to know each other and find ways of promoting their businesses. Social media help in positioning the entrepreneur as an expert consultant. People who need the services can easily contact you for offline transactions. Thus helping you build a loyal brand or business customer base.

So much for the benefits, let us shift our attention to the strategies for enhancing your offline business with social media. You must understand that social media is far more than content and conversations. It is a platform where you have thousands of contacts, fans or followers ready to be converted to clients or customers. There are several methods one can use to convert social media contacts to customers and derive great benefits for your offline business.

Three Myths About Social Media Strategies

The first strategy is to have a special offer for your online contacts who visit your business place personally. The offer should be posted online with a code to identify them when they appear physically. The special offer must be very attractive and could be in form of a discount, reward, or something that is worth an online contact coming physically to patronize your business.

Also, you can always post in your social media blog descriptive articles, images, comments, and content that draw attention to you or your business. This will make your contacts, fans, and followers want to meet you or visit your office physically. If it is permitted you can post your URL so that people can easily reach you. You can search on social media for contacts and group members in your immediate environment or locality, those who can easily come over to your shop, factory, or office. The strategy is to target these contacts and convert them to become your customers. If your business is nationwide or international you can develop a method targeting your fan base and refer them to your offices and outlets across the country or internationally.

Another very effective method is to extract the emails of members of your targeted groups of contact and send them direct or individual emails inviting them to visit your offline business office. An enticing offer will do the trick to pull them to become your customers. You can also mail them your newsletter, promotion offers, new arrivals or products, etc.

It is also very good to advertise your offline business on any of the social media paid-page. Here you can reach a wider audience that can become potential customers. In the advert, you can give a description of your services or products and how you can be contacted. The advert will have images that can attract potential customers to your offline business.

You must develop a good interactive pattern with your social media contacts. This will build confidence in them and they will be willing to contact you personally to patronize your offline business. Effective interactions with your online contacts will also make them refer other customers to you. On the other hand, poor interaction can have a negative effect as well. Incorporate your offline business website with some major social media. This will increase the number of people who visit your website and invariably have contact with you or your offline business.

Make sure the press releases, catalogues of your new products, and promotions of your offline business are posted on your website and also shared with your social media contacts base. Thus, they will always have new and fresh information about your business. Of course, this will pull them to want to do business with you physically. Develop yourself to become an expert consultant to your social media contacts in your niche. Be ready to play the role of “customer service” to your potential customers. Answer their questions and queries quickly; provide advice and support services; inform them of new products or services and if possible ensure that they are able to call you directly. By so doing you can direct them to your offline business place.

Conclusion:

I encourage you to either join or affiliate your offline business with as many social media as possible. This will increase your contact base and create more sources of interactions like blogs, forums, and timelines between you and your targeted audience or potential customers. The numbers of social media are increased by the day but here are some that you can easily join and utilize to your advantage. Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Yookos, YouTube, and Tumblr.

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