Many agree that the world of marketing and social media today is like a wild jungle or zoo. So many social media channels and tools to discover and plenty of opportunities to hurt your business along the way. So how do you tame the marketing beasts and help your brand thrive in these wild times?
Just like there are different personality or communication styles, there are marketing styles or tendencies that we may fall into that can trap us or hurt us if we don’t learn to balance those with some good habits.
We are going to take a look at four of the beasts that can help or hurt your marketing and give you some tools to tame them.
We know that elephants use those long trunks to spray themselves as well as everyone around them, so this animal represents the SPRAY & PRAY marketer. Just throw a bunch of good content and interesting posts out there to see if anything sticks and draws someone in. This often leads to frustration when the water runs dry and you realize that all that effort has led to very little, if any, return.
Without a strategy and daily plan to draw your ideal customers closer, it won’t happen. Step back and outline your purpose on each channel. [READ: Where to Begin with Your Social Marketing] Write specific activities that will help you achieve that purpose. Do you need to add a strong call-to-action at the end of your blog posts before promoting them on social media? Are you capturing email addresses with landing pages and helpful content pieces that help build trust with your ideal audience members? There are several steps needed before you start spraying social media posts.
Owls are all business and oh so serious. This animal represents the DRY & NOT-SO-SOCIAL marketer. Only posting business content that shows their expertise and wisdom. While this is not all bad, you could be missing the point on SOCIAL media sites, and that is, to be SOCIAL.
Like the strategy outlined in our elephant’s profile, you may need to plan to be social throughout the day. Make time to comment and like other people’s content. Create or find some fun content that shows a lighter side that people may be more likely to connect with. On Facebook, especially, look for ways to create fun posts that encourage engagement, not just consumption. Perhaps a question to your audience? A fill in the blank statement. A fun photo that you found that people in your industry would find the humor in. [Check out our 30 Things to Post on Social Media When You Don’t Know What to Say] and download our guide: 20 Types of Facebook Posts to Increase Engagement.
Dolphins are playful and fun. Who doesn’t want to hang out with one of these friendly creatures? This animal represents the VERY SOCIAL BUT NOT CONVERTING TO BUSINESS marketer. Dolphins are on their social channels a lot; commenting and sharing everyone’s content but putting very little focus on their own business strategy. They are always wishing others happy birthday or congratulations on business accomplishments. Being “always present” but applying little focus on your own content can hurt your brand. People start to wonder, “What do they actually do?” “How do they actually make money?”
While being friendly and social is important, don’t forget why you and your brand are on these social media channels in the first place. You want to connect with potential customers, draw them in closer to you with helpful and interesting content and find a way to do business together. Even if your product or service doesn’t seem to fit the model for creating a sales funnel and content to draw people in. Activity on social media can seem futile without a solid plan. How could you personalize your marketing if you had people in different email lists? Could you create some special promotions or content pieces that are for a very targeted audience? How could this help you close more business?
Zebras are social and efficient, traveling in packs to help each other survive. The zebra is INTERESTING AND HELPFUL, blending focused content with social activities to draw others to them. Regardless of how amazing your content is, without a plan, your content is will not return the results you hope for.
To be more efficient in your marketing, create a plan that ties into your overall business goals. If your goal is to increase brand awareness because you are a new hair and nail salon, you need lead magnets or tip sheets on hair and nail care that people can download and have your location and phone number at the bottom. Add a 10% off your next visit coupon and you can track the number of people your social media activities brought in. If your goal is to build a mailing list for your new book launch, you need lead magnets that allow people to exchange their contact information for the item being downloaded. The more specific you make your lead magnets, the better you can qualify someone and even put them into different lists in your email system to further customize your offerings. If your goal is to drive sales, you may want to look into buyable pins on Pinterest, or the shop feature on Facebook and Instagram. Tie your social media activities to your overall business goals and you will not just survive in the social jungles, you will thrive and greater success spending time there.
So regardless of your “Marketing Spirit Animal” be sure your animal is tamed and has a plan to turn that social media activity into business. Let’s all make sure we are putting more focus on being helpful and interesting with our content to draw people in, build trust and business.
Have you heard, “Twitter is dead”? Have you asked yourself if Twitter is a social media channel you should really be investing time in? There are many tools to use in your marketing and Twitter definitely has a place IF…you share content from a blog, or vlog, if you want to drive more traffic to your website, or if you want to connect with people globally or locally that you may not otherwise be able to do.
So YES, using Twitter in your marketing mix is time well spent.
Here are 7 reasons why Twitter should be a part of your social media marketing strategy:
1. The Sheer Number of Twitter Users
In 60 seconds, Twitter users share 500,000 tweets, There are 319 million monthly users on Twitter. A surprising 43% of those don’t send tweets themselves, but watch or read others’ tweets. We’re looking at a concentrated area of people, who you are able to segregate by industry and keywords.
2. Brevity is King
There is no getting around it: short and sweet wins the game on Twitter (and everywhere else these days). You have 140 characters to get your point across. No talking someone’s ear off with lengthy copy. The more you tweet, the better you become at whittling down your message while retaining its meaning. After all, don’t you appreciate when someone is on point and takes up less of your precious time?
One Twitter user who is an ace at getting his point across succinctly is Brian Fanzo. His motto is ‘Talk Fast, Tweet Faster’. He does both well and adds tremendous value to those following him.
3. The Use of Hashtags to Find and Be Found
What a wonderful component of this channel! Use industry keywords (e.g. #SocialMedia, #smm (social media marketing), #TravelTips, #productivity) in your tweets to help others find you and your content. Many people want to curate content around a certain topic and when they click on a hashtag or search for one, Twitter serves up all content that contains that hashtag.
Tip: Search first if you’re unsure about a specific hashtag and make sure it’s relevant in your industry. If no one’s using it, you’re less likely to get the big bang out of it. Use hashtags that are relevant and popular in your industry.
Another tip: Look at the trending column from your home page and see if there are any topics you can tie in with your brand’s message – capitalize on what’s already working! (Caution, do not hijack a trending hashtag just for the sake of jumping in, if it has nothing to do with your brand. Many have become Twitter case studies of what NOT TO DO while attempting this.)
4. The Use of Tweet Chats to Connect with Like-Minded People
One of my favorite uses for Twitter is attending tweet chats. Think of them as meet-ups you can be a part of without actually having to drive somewhere to attend. I have met so many wonderful people in a Tweetchat (or Twitter chat as some call them) who have helped sharpen my skills by sharing their knowledge.
Typically a moderator will ask a short series of questions, and people in the chat answer them by number. You always have the option to just lurk, read, and not respond. However, your answer may help someone. I encourage you to join the party!
Tip: Use a free tool like TWEETCHAT.com to filter out all other tweets during the chat. You can follow along easily and it adds the hashtag you are following to all posts you send out during the chat. Two of my favorite weekly chats are #CMGRCHAT (Wednesdays at noon MT) and #BRANDCHAT (Thursdays at 9am MT).
5. Twitter Lists Help You Filter
As many professional organizers will tell you, everything in your home and office should have a place. Twitter is no different. Organize your digital stream by using lists. You may be following 1,000 people but you have a handful of people you really want to keep an eye on. By adding them to a list, you can be sure you don’t miss their tweets. You may want a list for co-workers, one for favorite business leaders, or news sources. You can even create lists that stay private so you can create a client list or add your competition to a list and see what they are doing on Twitter.
When you want to read posts just from the people on your lists, you simply go to your profile page and click on your lists to filter out all the other noise. You can also use a tool like Hootsuite to pull these lists into columns on your social monitoring dashboard for even more convenience.
Lists are also a great way to find new people to follow. You can look at an industry expert’s lists they’ve created or are a part of, and find a helpful trail of similar people to connect with. You can subscribe to the list itself or choose to follow specific members.
6. Proactive Community Growth
You truly are limitless (when in compliance with the 2000 rule) with your growth potential of your Twitter community. As you are starting out, follow 10-20 interesting people a day. They don’t all have to be in your industry. Follow people or brands related to an interest you have or because they offer great content.
Tip: People/brands should be active on Twitter to be considered interesting! Check to see the last time they posted a tweet before following them. You don’t need any duds.
Add them to a created list or simply read through some of their tweets and like, comment or retweet (or share) their content. This will help you get on their radar and hopefully get a “follow back.” Twitter is one of the tools that allows you to find and follow people without needing their permission to connect (for the most part–there are some who get on Twitter and make their accounts private, but very few).
7. The Ability to Tag Accounts and People
A great Twitter feature is the ability to mention (@mention) others both in the post itself and in tagging photos. If I am reading a book or attending an event and want to mention the speaker or author, I simply add their Twitter handle in the post @PersonsName and they get a notification that they were mentioned or tagged. This helps you jump into a conversation with someone you may not have had the chance to do so before!
Use tagging as a way to engage with others. You’ll get so much more out of Twitter by “talking” with others as opposed to just lurking.
Are you using Twitter in your marketing mix? What are your reasons for doing so? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.