Social media is a key tool for marketers, and if you’re not using it to reach and engage with your customers, you’re missing out.
To learn from the best in the business, I traveled to San Diego to attend Social Media Marketing World. iPad in hand, I went from one session to the next, taking vigilant notes. And just by engaging with people in the sessions or at the nightly networking parties, I was able to turn #hashtags into handshakes with influencers I’d previously met only online.
The party-like atmosphere had me reliving my freshman year of college all over again, except now the social media landscape is bigger than Facebook and MySpace. And this time, my mission was not to obtain a degree, but to discover and bring back the best social media marketing techniques from the world’s top experts.
Here are my top 5 takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2015:
1. Go visual or stay in the dark
According to a study conducted by Buffer, tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets. Visually appealing content helps your message get the extra boost in shares and a better return of engagement than text-only posts. According to Trend Reports, 65-85% of people describe themselves as visual learners. Social media outlets channel different messages to many audiences every second, and it’s easier to view a captivating image that tells a story than to read text.
2. Track social ROI
According to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, only 42% of marketers know how to measure ROI of social media, and 88% of them want to improve their measurement of social media. Nichole Kelly, CEO of the Social Media Explorer, says that 96% of your ROI comes from tracking your links, and 4% comes from storing that information. There are many free tools, like Google Analytics or more sophisticated link tracking tools like trks.it or ClickMeter, that you can use to track your audience.
3. Content is king, engagement is queen
You can produce all the content you want, but without engagement, the message is just noise. Get in the game — get your audience/players talking by responding to their comments in posts, or use hashtags to ask questions that will generate responses, and gamify their online social experience. Become a social explorer by joining chat rooms or forums where your audience is talking about their pain points and needs. Be your company’s online brand ambassador and seek out the audiences who are not actively following you.
4. “Being human is the killer app”
Think pushing your business agenda to your customers or sharing content is enough to capture the mindshare of your audience? You have it all wrong. Bring the human element to your brand and the social world — that’s what your audience wants to see and hear. As Mark Schaefer puts it: “Build trust, not just traffic.”
5. Podcasting = Huge opportunity
With only 9.7% of marketers participating in podcasting, it poses a huge content marketing opportunity for all businesses, regardless of size. Podcasts make information personal and bring that human element your audience is looking for. Since podcasts are live or on-demand, your audience can listen when it’s most convenient to them.
Whether you’re in the classroom or the corner office, these 5 tips can enhance your social strategy today. So what are you waiting for? Get social!
Looking for more smart marketing strategies? See How to Create Better Marketing Stories: Find the Heroism.Comments