So you want to use social media to your advantage. You’ve come to the right place! Social media, it’s more and more critical to the marketing mix. In almost any industry, it helps with SEO, plugging the gaps in communication channels and spreading the word about your brand. It’s more than cute puppy posts! (Although we can’t resist a shameless plug of our @cuteasabiscuit Instagram page – she’s the office pup!)
There’s another big reason that social media should be part of your mix. It’s a pretty inexpensive way you can promote yourself, your business or products or job vacancies without spend (or at least with very little).
If you intertwine what you post on social media with your content marketing strategy, it can be a powerful boost. Content marketing must be aligned with your target audience, that’s a given. But social media can help you to get your content out there, build brand awareness, enhance your employer brand and showcase your awesome customer service skills. Convinced? We hope so.
Let’s take a look at a few ways you can use social media to your advantage.
Tweet, but also be conversational
As you push messages out on Twitter, it’s just as important to follow people back, respond to questions and thank people for retweeting or liking something you’ve posted. There are also ‘Twitter chats’ you can get involved with, it creates dialogue and conversation – like you’re in the pub (but you could be sitting on the sofa in your PJs or office).
Connecting with people is key. We recently interviewed a candidate for a position and when we asked what attracted them to Sixth Story, he said that he’d followed us on Twitter for years and loved what we put out and felt it was a company he could be a part of.
Get involved with Facebook
We’re strong advocates of Facebook. Nearly all our clients, whether they’re the Managing Director of an SME, a Communications Director for a Charity, or the CEO of a large construction company, all have at least one thing in common – they’re on Facebook. Out of the 1.49 billion Facebook users worldwide, you can run post ‘boosts’ or targeted ads to reach a very, very specific demographic quite cheaply. If you know your customer, you can create a profile and the targeting capabilities of Facebook are unreal.
Let me rephrase. What if we told you that for less than £21 you could potentially reach 5,000 people, would that pique your interest? Facebook and Facebook advertising is definitely something that you should consider if you’re not using it already. It can be highly effective for recruitment adverts targeting your ideal candidates or it can be one hell of a way to gain brand awareness pretty quickly.
Despite its bad street cred, use LinkedIn
You don’t scroll very far these days without seeing someone bleating about LinkedIn (in a really bad way). Don’t let the moans about “is this a dating site”, “this isn’t Facebook” and rants about grammar and so on put you off. I look at LinkedIn in terms of the opportunity cost of not being on it. It’s a great way to add value to your connections but it is what you make of it. I have three simple rules for doing just that.
- Whenever you met anyone, have an enquiry, work with a new supplier, get into the habit of adding them on LinkedIn right away. It’s another touch point.
- My 80-20 rule of social selling is to add value 80% of the time and 20% of the time you can plug your expertise, your services or your brand.
- Interact with people, comment, like and share content, give referrals – it’s a network so it’s important to network.
Last year we’ve won two new pieces of business with thanks to LinkedIn. Not only that, I’ve reconnected with someone I met nearly four years ago – only because through LinkedIn they had kept up to date with our work and we were front of mind for a specific opportunity. If I hadn’t been on LinkedIn so frequently there are three great opportunities that wouldn’t have happened.
Follow and engage with influencers
Social media isn’t just for targeting potential clients. We’ve touched on building an employer brand but there’s a much wider audience you can reach too. Whether you’re looking to connect with journalists, potential suppliers or looking for partnerships, you can connect with them all on social media.
If you connect and develop relationships with influencers online, you can expand your reach and ultimately drive brand awareness. Something as simple as a repost or mention from an influencer can do wonders.
With the help of one of the influencers we follow @jeffbullas, we had a blog article featured on a major website and had 760 shares on social media. Can’t argue with that!
Wanna read the blog that got so much love? Why you should own your marketing, not rent it.