What is The Art of Social Media Marketing?
Telling a relevant story at the right time to the right person in a way that allows that person to realize they need your product or service is the real art behind social media marketing. People typically make a purchase decision based on whether they think you understand their problem, and whether they think you have the knowledge, resources and commitment to solve their problem. Social media marketing is simply an extension of the age-old technique of getting to know your customer and then meeting their needs.
For businesses, marketing has entered a new era, the Age of the Consumer. It takes a focused and forward-thinking company to embrace the ever-changing media landscape without sacrificing strategy and measurable results.
In terms of using social media to promote selling your product or service: don’t assume someone is ready to have a particular conversation with you just because you’re ready to have the conversation with them. Consumers now have access to more information and have more control over the sales process than ever. With this change, a new way of selling has emerged. This method combines the power of technology with a sales person’s expertise and communication skills in a way that deepens the value of the overall relationship.
That method is social media marketing.
Social media marketing is an approach to the sales and marketing of your product that is relationship-focused instead of transaction-focused. With social selling, the immediate goal isn’t necessarily to get a sale as quickly as possible; the immediate goal is to establish a relationship.
Social selling usually occurs online, on social media channels, but it doesn’t have to. Instead of interrupting customers with a sales pitch, a product or service is marketed to a consumer when the opportunity presents itself. Aside from the obvious (answering questions and responding to inquiries on your own social channels) how exactly can business owners join the conversation?
First and foremost, if you are a smaller business and you don’t yet have a CMO or Marketing Director at your company, click here to get started. The first step is to align the proper people who have the skills to implement your strategy in digital marketing. If you are a CMO or Marketing Director, read on.
Example: A potential consumer asks a question that your product or service is uniquely able to handle. How do you find those asking questions? Solution: If you don’t have the budget to invest in monitoring apps (such as Cison.com) simply search an industry specific hashtag to see what thought leaders are conversing about. #DigitalMarketing
Example: A consumer expresses a concern or problem with a competitor’s product or service. Solution: Offer your solution in the comments. Be careful not to force your product or service down someone’s throat. Instead, point them to an article your company has produced (such as a blog) or an educational piece that shows that you understand the problem they are faced with and how to resolve it.
Example: A consumer asks for your recommendation by email based on previous content you wrote about or expertise they know you have. Provide a direct link to a piece of content or an offer that provides the answer to what they are looking for. This is a good way to begin segmentation. You want to give people only what they will find valuable. If your business is a petstore and a potential consumer is interested in puppies, you don’t want to send them an email trying to sell them a fishtank. If you do, it’s likely they will opt-out of your list and you’ll never have the chance to sell anything puppy related to them again.
How does social media marketing work?
Social selling isn’t a straightforward process. It is rather a collection of strategies designed to establish a relationship with your leads and customers. Unlike traditional selling, social selling allows your team to establish longer-lasting relationships with leads and clients by delivering only what your prospect is interested in.
Here are 4 tips to help you take full advantage of your social channels to help you generate leads that are stronger and better qualified:
Pay close attention to and respond to potential sales opportunities and clients through your social media channels. Often this technique is overlooked by companies who don’t have a CMO or haven’t yet recognized the value of a business presence on social media. It’s important to realize that this form of new media is a powerful way to connect with your audience and if used properly, your brand’s voice will be amplified tenfold by interactions that can be seen and heard by people all over the digital world.
Establishing your brand as a subject matter expert and your business as a credible authority within a particular niche is very important in today’s online landscape. People perform online research more than ever before, so a combination of search engine ranking and detailed content that is relevant to a particular search or need will help position you ahead of your competition. Learn more granular details about how to amplify your SEO by reading this article.
Create blogs, videos, white papers, ebooks, or other educational information about your industry that offers insight and value for current and prospective clients. The key is to provide something of value. If your intern writes the blog for you, scrub it to make sure it’s informative and relevant. More content doesn’t necessarily equate to more visits. Remember quality over quantity. The best kind of content marketing doesn’t feel like marketing at all; instead it tells a story and appeals to your prospect’s emotions. Consider what problem your product or service solves, and then create content around delivering a compelling story.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management):
Remember when an Excel spreadsheet replaced the old-fashioned rolodex? These days even a smart spreadsheet isn’t going to amplify your prospecting. The gold mine of opportunity that exists with a CRM platform allows you to identify prospects for up-sell or cross-sell, convert existing customers to new products or services, target new marketing, or even track invoices. Furthermore, managing your interactions between customers and your business using a CRM is the best way to monitor, analyze and follow-up upon the metrics delivered by your digital marketing efforts. Different platforms make sense for different size businesses and industries, so whether you’re using Salesforce, Hubspot, or even an enablement app, streamlining these systems to work together with your preferred email automation software will allow for efficient segmentation.
What stage of digital marketing is your company in? Download our free worksheet to find out now!
Keep in mind that social media marketing is not about you, your opinions, your point of view or your circumstances. It’s about helping others by meeting their needs, understanding their concerns, and adding a valuable solution to their path forward.