How to be an effective social media marketer in 2017

It can be an immense challenge breaking through the clacks and clangs of the noise constantly being generated on the web. Especially if you’re in the B2B space, the desire to be heard is almost greater since your company is relying on you to spread the word about an event or product release.

If you’ve ever worked on a marketing campaign, you know that the most important aspect of the efforts involved is to convert leads. Lead gen is by far the highest value any type of initiative can bring back to your company. If your boss asks, “How many leads did the last Twitter Campaign generate?” and your answer is “Zero” than your boss is probably going to dismiss the value of that platform immediately.

As a marketer, you know that Twitter is useful beyond lead generation or having people buy your products. Brand recognition, establishing yourself and team as thought leaders, networking, and learning about the community are just a few of the important features a platform like Twitter provides a business.

What if you could maintain those attributes and acquire leads? Sounds almost too good to be true. But there are ways. And there are ways on other social media sources, not just Twitter.

Your best platforms

It’s naïve to believe that, even if you have the most amazing graphics and ads that by simply slapping them up on social you’re going to get conversions. You have to be a bit more strategic than that. By looking at the Google Keyword Planner, Social Media Demographics, and perusing the current trends, you can make educated decisions about how to best utilize those amazing graphics and ads.

Maybe it seems like a no-brainer, but taking a look at different platforms’ demographics should be your first stop. As part of this infographic from Social Media Today shows, Facebook might be a better place for your marketing campaigns to start rather than Twitter or even LinkedIn. With over 1.9 BILLION users, you may uncover some hidden leads just by being an active participant.

One of the most startling stats you can glean from this chart is that 75% of users spend 20 minutes or more on Facebook every day! That’s a HUGE chunk of time. Although most of the active users are predominately female, the percentage of male users is not far behind which means you can target your audience similarly - which also means you can spend less time on specific graphics and more time on creative copy, engaging content, and relevant messaging. But wait, what does that mean exactly?

Winning them over

Everyone includes “Have Relevant and Engaging Content” on their lists of best marketing practices. But what are those parameters? Obviously, you’re not going to push content that isn’t up to snuff--- so why is that always a key part of common advice?

It relates back to that old adage, “you’ve got to have experience to get experience and to get experience you have to have experience.” A chicken or the egg issue, you have to have an audience before you can start speaking. But if you don’t speak, you don’t have an audience! This can get confusing and frustrating.

At 1E, our Twitter social following isn’t huge. But it’s not meager, either.

Because we are spending time creating messages every day (more than once a day), we have grown our following from 2,000 users to over 3,000 users in a few months. It might not seem like a lot of growth, but if that status continues, then our following will likely be almost 10K in under a year. A company with 10K followers is not necessarily more powerful than a company with 3K, but it certainly proves that your messaging is being heard by greater amounts of people.

By integrating different types of creative ads, fun and colloquial messages, as well as trendy and on-brand information, our audience has shifted from being semi-interested to actively engaged. We don’t just push our products, we showcase other users in dedicated initiatives like our MVP Monday program which features a unique Microsoft MVP or our Tachyon Tuesday Graphic Novel which highlights our product, but in a different and unusual way.

Just goes to show you, everyone has to start somewhere. 

Get to know them

Why do you follow anyone on any social media platform? Weather it’s LinkedIn or Instagram, you follow certain people and companies because they provide value to you in some way. If you tweet to a “major” company and you get a response, you’re far more likely to continue following them or utilizing their services.

Back in April during a very heated time for the airline industry, I experienced something with Delta that I wasn’t pleased with. (I took to Twitter to reach out since the customer service wait time on the phone was over 50 minutes.)

As you can see, Delta was very quick in responding. They immediately wanted to know what my issue was and if there was a way they could help. They didn’t skip a beat! While it can be challenging to respond to each and every message on your platforms, a simple like, retweet, direct message, or question back to the user is better than stone silence.

What is important to your followers? Why do you think they are following you? It’s worth looking into who your audience is and who your audience isn’t. When you lose followers, research who they are and you might be able to understand why they stopped engaging with you.  Sometimes seeing who ISN’T following you could be more valuable than to see who is!

I hope you’ve gained some insight into social media marketing. What tactics are you using? 

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