All marketers agree that “engagement marketing” is the most effective methodology for encouraging action from a target audience. On the Internet, social media tactics have been the most dominant form of engagement marketing. This is obviously due to the scale at which social media has infiltrated our lives. In fact according to a recent study by London’s Science Museum, it was determined after asking 3,000 Britons that most people would prefer to live without a flushing toilet rather than Facebook.
Now we could always argue on prioritizing hygiene over our social profile but whether we like it or not, we must embrace our transition in to a technologically obsessive culture. We are blessed and poisoned by its curse. We are left with no choice but to accept it and respect its power to interact, improvise and influence us in ways we never thought could be done before.
I am not suggesting that we are becoming “social slaves”, at least not yet, but most of us do consider that being social is an integral part of being human. A more important question is how do we define “being social”? I can only imagine it is a matter of time before Merriam-Webster adds a new line of meaning to being social that quantifies “Facebook friends”, “Twitter followers” and “Linkedin shares”. Let us hope we can sustain our sanity till then.
Since we have determined that we cannot escape these social circles, we must understand how we can leverage social media platforms and use their power to our advantage. The main reason why social media marketing is the most effective engagement marketing strategy is primarily because of its addictive and viral nature. In addition to getting users hooked, it is highly customizable and also provides detailed analytics of user behavior. All this is great but it would be even better if you can motivate, or perhaps even control your target audience to follow your agenda. Wouldn’t it be marvelous if there was a manual consisting of decrypted algorithms detailing a step by step hack to locate and conquer user accounts of your interest? Since that is not possible, I will make an effort to lay out the next best thing.
So where do you start ?
Before devising an action plan that works for your business model you need to understand that all social media platforms (and search engines) have a common backbone, CONTENT. Content is the livelihood of all social media engines and without it, there is nothing to process. There are 3 steps to a successful social media strategy:
Creating content that is related to your business, product or service. This would include any copy, graphics, pictures or videos. There is unfortunately no escape from this. Having original content will allow you to take control in driving targeted traffic to your presence online.
Publishing content: With a plethora of options to fulfill any socialite’s craving, you can put your efforts to best use by focusing on the most popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and any other tool that is related to your industry. It is highly recommended that you include a blog on your website as well. Once you have setup these content channels, ensure that you interlink them together and add the ability for users to share any content they find interesting.
Finally it is important to manage your social media channels. The main reason why most businesses choose not to have social media profiles is because of maintenance. Thankfully there are some great tools that you can use to consolidate and monitor all your social media channels for management. One such tool is Remindful.com that allows you to manage hundreds of social networks, blogs, groups and newsletters all in one place.
A point to note is that we should not forget the power of Facebook in the social media realm. It is the most widely used social media tool and if you use it effectively, you can leverage the awareness of your business quite significantly.
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