How do you introduce social media into your online marketing strategy?
There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a social post from a direct competitor go completely viral while scrolling on Twitter or Instagram, while you know that your products and/or services are just as good and your company is of great service to all those potential customers. could have been. Of course you wish your colleagues in the industry the best, but the first shopkeeper who likes that there are meters-thick rows in front of his neighbor while it is dead quiet in his own store has yet to be born.
With that in mind, it is not surprising that more and more entrepreneurs want to include social media in their marketing mix. After all, good social campaigns can have a huge positive influence on an online marketing strategy and companies that do this well will certainly benefit. Apart from the question of whether "my competitor is doing well on social media, so I want to" is now the best foundation for your online marketing strategy, good example does follow and almost every entrepreneur nowadays wants to be active on social media. But how do you deal with that if you have little experience with business use of social media? What are the pros and cons to look out for?
The place of social media in your online strategy
The most important first point of attention is the realization that no social campaign stands alone. If you, as an entrepreneur, want to get serious about social media and also want to take advantage of it, you should consider social campaigns as part of your larger online strategy.
That may sound complicated, but it doesn't have to be. It starts with seeing social media as more than a place to dump an occasional statement, illustration, or hyperlink. People are on Facebook or Instagram to be entertained, to see fun or interesting things, or to be surprised. In short, announcing that your company will also be open on Saturdays from now on may not be the best choice.
Instead, make sure you outline what story you want to tell your customers and prospects and what media you want to use. Think of a beautiful landing page on your site, a monthly newsletter in which you highlight a theme, a periodic blog, and then as a supplement all that from time to time a social post that ties in with all those other resources. In this way, your different marketing expressions reinforce each other. Refer to your social channels in your newsletter and customer communication and provide content on those channels that you would like to watch yourself.
Now that's easier said than done. A good one content marketing strategy you don't just design, especially if it's your first time. Therefore, if you want to get the most out of it, consider a online marketing agency (tip!) to hire a company that is (partly) specialized in social media. Although that will cost you a financial investment, it will save you a start-up period of trial and error and ensures that you can immediately start high-quality.
Five benefits to take advantage of
But what exactly are the benefits of social media in your marketing strategy? Why should you invest in this? We have listed the five most important:
- You can use social media for free. Unlike advertising space in a magazine, banners on websites or a roadside sign, a post on LinkedIn or Instagram is free. Of course there are also paid campaigns on Facebook, for example, but you are never obliged to incur costs per post.
- Your potential reach is huge. Millions of Dutch people use at least one social media platform. More importantly, they spend a relatively large amount of time there. With a well-thought-out strategy you can quickly reach many customers.
- Your message can spread quickly. Every entrepreneur's dream is an inspiring message that goes viral. That is anything but easy to achieve, but social media is made to quickly disseminate information that many people find interesting or relevant. That can work to your advantage.
- You become more discoverable. Google thinks it is important that you are clearly visible online in order to be found relevant. Presence on social media also counts.
- You are close to your customer. It is easy to get in touch with potential customers on social media to, for example, answer questions or respond to a critical note. Ultimately, every transaction starts with coming into contact with each other at all.
Five disadvantages to be on the lookout for
Social media is of course not sacred. We have also sorted out the five most important disadvantages, which you must therefore respond to.
- Social media is not yours. Your website does. Will Facebook decide to change the terms or pull the plug tomorrow? Then you will lose your accumulated base followers. So always make sure you have a good website that contains all your information.
- Negative messages also spread quickly. That one complaint can generate a lot of attention on Twitter – T-Mobile knows all about that – and you don't want that right now.
- You have to continuously innovate. Your post from yesterday is old news today. Content on social media ages even faster than the newspaper. Maintaining social channels takes time and effort.
- Finding your audience can be difficult. Because how do you know which of all those Instagram users might become a customer of yours? It takes time and finesse to appeal to your target audience, and it is not always easy.
- Every platform works differently. You behave differently on LinkedIn than on Facebook, and that differs from Instagram and Twitter. There is no 'one size fits all'-solution. So with a serious social media strategy you have to keep several irons in the fire and often do double (or triple) work. You have to be open to that and have time for it – or you have to limit yourself to one platform, which in turn limits your opportunities.