The latest Social Media Marketing Industry Report (2012), says that the top five benefits received by a company on implementing best practices for social media marketing are business spotlight (85%), enhanced traffic (69%), marketplace insight (65%), lead generation and increasing fan loyalty (58%). This data reveals the importance of social media as a marketing tool in today’s world.
Ric Sweeny, Marketing Professor at the University of Cincinnati, said, “Social media marketing is the ability to use nontraditional communication and connection to build a brand.” Here I discuss some of the basic social media marketing practices that you should consider.
Best Practices for Social Media Marketing
Cultivate your brand
Once you have decided to plunge into the ocean of social media, your prime focus should be humanizing your brand. Whether you want to follow a strict professional approach or a rather frank and casual approach, the choice totally depends on your brand and your culture. Use a conversational tone in your posts. However, you should make sure that your prospects are able to connect with your posts and your brand. The main motive behind this best practice for social media marketing is to tell your customers that people behind these popular products are real people, similar to them.
Let your customers know
Whether you are on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest, let your customers know about your social media presence. One of the best practices for social media marketing is to provide a multiple links and sharing features on your company’s website to your social media page. Moreover, it is always better to stand apart from the usual crowd. A survey conducted by Gartner revealed nearly 74% of all buyers make their purchasing decisions based on reviews from people on their social media network. Thus, in addition to bringing traffic to your social media page, you could consider providing your customers link to various review sites, such as Yelp.com, MerchantCircle.com and others.
Engage your prospects in an active manner
Regardless of whether you follow the best practices for social media marketing, your social presence is meaningless if you are not regular with your posts. However, it must be noted that too many updates or posts can also work the wrong way by annoying your customers. To avoid this, you must limit your posts to one or two posts per day on Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter updates can done many times per day. Also, you should reply to any questions or comments by your customers and fans on a regular basis.
It is recommended that you add a social media website question in your customer feedback form. This enables you to find out the place where your customers would prefer to interact with your brand and other companies.
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