Do I really need social media?

It baffles me that in today’s ‘always on’ world, where we’re more digitally connected than ever before with a smartphone permanently strapped to our hand, that people still question whether they need social media.

You might not like social media, but you can’t ignore it. According to the ‘Global social media research summary 2018’, since January 2017, social media usage has increased 13%, and there are now 3.196 billion social media users worldwide.

There’s an interesting book called, ‘The Sales Acceleration Formula’ by Mark Roberge. In one moment I felt he perfectly summed up why you need social media:

“Social media is like a live conference that is happening every second of every day. Set up your booth and get involved in the conversation.”

If you can be bothered to dedicate the time, resource and money to social media, it could pay dividends to your business – much more than some traditional forms of marketing. According to research published on eConsultancy:

  • Reps using social media as part of their sales techniques outsell 78% of their peers.
  • A lead developed via social media is 7x more likely to close.
  • A third of B2B professionals said that social selling tools increased the number of leads they had to work with.
  • 39% of B2B professionals said that social tools reduced the amount of time they spent researching accounts and contacts.

Getting started with social media marketing

Now you’ve seen the light and decided to embrace social media marketing, the big question is where to start?

Obviously, there are some big names that spring to mind – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube – but there are literally hundreds of others. Trying to have a presence on every social media platform would be stupid. To determine the best mix for you, you need to go out and research the market:

  • Start by asking your customers what they use
  • Perform some desk research to see what platforms your industry favours
  • See where your key publications are promoting their content

Marketing through social media

Once you’ve decide on your platforms, you need to decide on the content you’re going to promote. Social media isn’t a one-way channel to promote your content, it’s a conversation. As a rule of thumb, try to stick to talking about yourself for a third of the time, and engaging other people for the remainder.

When deciding on the content to promote, be guided by the platforms and what your target audience is sharing. Never take a blanket approach and post the same content across multiple sites, that’s never going to get you anywhere and will just waste your time.

Some channels lend themselves to a particular type of content:

  • YouTube – videos
  • Instagram – photos

But for others you’ll need to be smarter. For example, you might find your audience engaging in a particular LinkedIn group seeking advice, while they’re sharing case studies on Facebook. If you identify what information your target audience is looking for within each platform, you’re more likely to achieve better engagement.

Furthermore, don’t be fooled into thinking you have to generate fresh content all the time. Think about:

  • Repurposing your existing content into other formats
  • Reposting useful/interesting information
  • Curating content from third-parties

Social media copywriting

Writing for social media is very different to other media, mainly because:

  • You’re constrained on length
  • It’s more conversational
  • It has to feel more spontaneous

The key to success is to structure it in a way that’s easy to share and like.

Write content that:

  • Is tailored to your audience
  • Shows you as an authority figure
  • Clearly states what you are trying to get the reader to do (e.g. Click here to read this ebook on XYZ)
  • Is high-quality (i.e. NO TYPOS!!)
  • Has a goal in mind

And think – is this something you would share with a friend?

Connect with me on Twitter

If you’ve enjoyed this article, why not connect with me on Twitter. I like to share interesting articles that I’ve written or read, as well as random musings and things that are going on in my life.

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

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