In Part 1 of this series about how social media will make or break your business in 2014, we talked a bit about the value of social media signals—especially to the search engines. We also talked about the importance of planning your campaign. In part II of this two-part series, we’ll delve a little deeper into how to make your social media campaign more impactful.
Identify your audience. In previous years, it was beneficial to craft content (pages, blog articles, etc.) and social messages (tweets, postings, etc.) with a specific target in mind: those who had the power to create and share links and influence traffic flow to your website. These influential “linkerati,” as they were called, may have been able to generate links to your sites back in the day, but they were never your audience. So, catering your content to them alone was an effort that grossly neglected your true target audience. The best thing any business or website owner can do to prepare for a social media or content marketing campaign in 2014 is to spend a little time figuring out who your audience is. Are they 25-35 year old moms who run home-based businesses? Are they 65+ retirees who are active on the Internet? Are they 20-something recent college grads? As you can imagine, each of those target audiences wants to be shown content that’s highly relevant to their needs. Think about your message—whether it’s a tweet or an offer or a blog article—and custom-tailor it to them.
Have something to say. Your target audience has needs. (And this is why you should go to the trouble of identifying your audience.) They want answers to their questions. They want problem-solving tips from an authority on the subject. They want advice, direction, and knowledge from the pros. If you understand their needs, and make an effort to reach out to them with a message that shows value, you’re likely to capture their attention, earn their trust, and get valuable shares around their social network.
Eye-catching, shareable content wins. Content that’s produced with graphics or images that help illustrate your message is content that’s easier to consume and share. People like eye candy. And a block of text, no matter how well it has been written, may look like a chore to read for some viewers. Keep images, charts, infographics in mind, as it will result in more likes, comments, shares, and clicks.
Make social a regular part of your week. One tweet a week is a single drop in a sea of social media messages. Social media is all about opening conversations and building relationships. As mentioned earlier, you should have an active social media presence. Visibility is as important as message. Tweet and post throughout the day. Make sure to check your feeds for mentions, re-tweets, shares, and new followers. All of these results are a testament to your effort.
Stand out from the crowd. Social media online is quickly becoming a crowded space. You’re going to have to be interesting, relevant, informative, and sharable in order to be successful in 2014. Sure, there may be some who bemoan the effort involved with building and maintaining a social media presence across the major social networks. (It isn’t all that difficult, by the way, especially if you have a crack social marketing team to call on for help.) But it’s important to keep in mind that building a social media presence is enormously helpful to your effort to establish relationships between your brand(s) and your customers. And social media allows your business to do more with far less overhead costs than traditional marketing.
This article is brought to you by Rank Fuse Interactive, which serves both businesses and agencies alike as a provider of search engine marketing (SEM) programs, including search engine optimization (SEO), paid search advertising (PPC), social media marketing, content marketing, mobile web marketing, and search-friendly web design.