Are You Using Social Media to Grow your Brand and Sales?

Do you have a social media strategy? How well are you integrating your social media strategy into your overall marketing and do you know what is working?

In a survey by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business many CMOs didn’t know how well their social media strategy effectively linked to their overall marketing strategy:

Asked how effectively they believe social media is linked to their firm’s marketing strategy, 59.5% of CMOs were neutral or negative, while just 40.5% believed it is linked very or somewhat effectively, 45% said they haven’t been able to show social media’s impact on their companies’ performance at all, and only 13.2% believe they have proved the impact quantitatively.

Why participate on social media?

First, you need to make sure you know the value of participating on social media. There are lots of amazing surveys showing how social media affects buying decisions:

•A third of millennials say social media is one of their preferred channels for communicating with businesses. (MarketingSherpa)
•71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Ambassador)
•57% of businesses surveyed have generated customers through LinkedIn, 48% through Twitter and 42% have generated customers through Facebook (Inman).

Social media is digital word of mouth. Its main use is a Customer Retention and Referral tool. People are asking for recommendations of businesses to work with on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and wherever people are gathering on line. People may already be talking about you there. But if you aren’t there, you may not know what they are saying (and it may not all be favourable). Social media can also be a Customer Acquisition tool through Advertising.

Social media is not a “build it and they will come” strategy. You can’t just set it up and leave it, although many firms do. Good results require effort and the effort will be well worthwhile.

There are huge benefits to participating in social media including:

•Expanding your Internet presence
•Growing your e-mail list
•Connecting with current clients
•Retaining customers
•Acquiring new customers through Referrals and Ads
•Helping your Search Engine Optimization for your website or blog.

Make sure you know why you are on social media and put key measurements in place so that you know when you are successful.

What is a social media strategy?

A good social media strategy outlines the following things:

1.The goals you have for your social media marketing efforts
2.How you are going to measure those goals and what are your success metrics
3.The overall plan for how you are going to achieve those goals.

Your social media marketing strategy needs to be heavily integrated into your overall marketing plan and business goals. When your overall strategy is in place, you add the tactics to support that strategy.

4 types of social media strategy

With social media marketing, there are different ways you can achieve your goals. There are 4 different types of social media strategies that you can use. In general, people are using these strategies but they can look different depending on the platform.

•Content – Developing content that you can share on social media that educates, entertains, or inspires. The content can be on your blog, videos, or images
•Hashtags/SEO – Using hashtags can grow your business on different social sites as well as using keywords to get found through social search.
•Partnership – Partnerships can be through groups, brand ambassadors or other amplification techniques to get your product or service found by leveraging existing networks.
•Social Advertising – Focusing your efforts on social ads to sell your product to new customers, grow your email list and get your product found.

But what is really working out there to grow your business? Here are some examples of businesses using social media strategies that are working.

#1 Video content

Sophie Uliano with Gorgeously Green does a great job of using live video content and uploaded videos to engage with her fans, grow her email list and sell retreats. She focuses on educating women about natural products and teaching healthy eating. Her videos regularly get thousands of views within a day and tons of comments and shares. She mixes Facebook Live videos with uploaded videos.

#2 Growth through hashtags

Researching and using the right hashtags can be a great strategy to get better reach and more visibility. You can also use branded hashtags to track mentions or enter a contest. Shortstack documented a recent successful hashtag contest run by the Cruise Lines International Association that had over 106,000 entries in a month. They used the hashtag #CruiseSmile and people could enter either with the hashtag or on a microsite. They also used brand ambassadors to help get the word out. Their goal was brand awareness but they also saw a lift in bookings.

#3 Brand ambassadors

Brand Ambassadors can have different roles with social media promotion. Sometimes it’s about asking a circle of your close friends to give something an extra share on social. Or you can work with influencers to appear in content and posts. When you have raving fans, you can mobilize your fan-base.

#4 Social advertising

Through Facebook advertising, you can reach your ideal customer in the most direct way to grow your customers and sales. The ROI on Ads can be really good. This Facebook Ads Case Study shows that using Facebook Ads to get leads and then sell a course yielded a 221% return on the Ads cost.

You should target to turn $1 of Ad cost into $2-3 of revenue. If you set up your Facebook ads to generate this yield, then the more ads you do, the more you will sell. FB ads work better for high priced products and you may be able to sell a couple of low priced products in a 24 hour sale just to cover your ad cost.

The REAL money is in those viewers that say NO to your initial offer. Follow-up sequences promoting your product should be sent to those viewers who don’t accept your initial offer, often 95% of potential customers. These sequences should use the same material in a different media such as video, PDF, webinar, workshop and others to convert them to a sale. There are many reasons why potential customers don’t accept your offer the first time and by continuing to promote to them, you will convert many of them to a sale in due course. To do this, you need to plan a follow-up sequence based on viewers’ behaviour. This will help convert cold prospects to customer.

Based on material from Andrea Vahl and Frank Kern.

Action Plan

Start with Facebook Post comments to build engagement with your fan base
Do lead/LIKE ads to build the fan base more
Use FB ads to grow your sales
Develop follow-up sequences to maximize conversion.

Patterson Digital Marketing offers proven Facebook and other social media marketing for clients. Our package includes:

• Facebook Business Page set up and design optimised with your website
• posts to the page – 10, 30, 60 and 90 posts per month
• LIKE campaign set up, design and management
• Facebook Ads Campaign set up, design and management.

There is no long term contract involved – we operate on a monthly retainer and you can cancel by giving 7 days written notice not to renew your retainer. Invest month by month until you wish to stop.

So if you want to boost your results and sales with Facebook Marketing and Advertising, CALL US on (027) 489 5009 or email chris@pattersondigitalmarketing.com and we’ll get you on the road to success.

Chris Kirkham