While social media marketing continues to grow in sophistication, the businesses that use it as their primary marketing tool are beginning to judge their success in more advanced terms. Whether one has established a page with a substantial following or not, social media is changing from a medium of pure engagement to a platform for informational output and driving power.
Social media will always be seen as a frontier for two-way communication, but companies large and small are realizing that once a potential customer or fan is already set up viewing their page, an opportunity is lost if one doesn’t guide the user to other important aspects of their business (websites, product showcases, reviewed sites such as Yelp, etc.).
Growing an Audience
The first step in creating an advanced marketing strategy is realizing what, exactly, is the proper audience to target with one’s fan page–what audience it is, exactly, who would be eager to follow the business. Social media sites are only as effective as one’s sharing power. Outside of one’s own means, there exist multiple strategies intended to push new users to “like” one’s social media fan pages:
Creating and running social media contests is the most basic and generally the initial step in active audience attainment. Once one has chosen the right contest type to build their promotion around, the next step is marketing the contest itself on all platforms to the point where the contest reaches a level of importance equal to that of selling product. “Likes,” follows, email database growth, and enhanced customer loyalty are all valuable—and all bi-products of a contest run effectively.
Implementing Outside Advertising
Another key strategy when looking towards audience growth is to place an ad promoting one’s page in an outside advertising forum. Whether print, television, or radio, paid advertising exposes one’s message to those who may have previously been out of reach.
Adding social media invitations to third-party ads automatically changes the viewer/promoter relationship from one where the viewer is simply an established customer eager for product news to a relationship where the viewer is an interested prospect viewing one’s site for informational and background purposes.
Cornering a Niche Market
Today’s companies, more than any other time in the history of capitalism, are being forced to transform from product pushers to industry experts. The easy sharing of multimedia attributes such as videos, GIF images, and podcasts is placing the burden of proof back on the companies to show their audience that they are indeed experts of their craft. The definition of brand loyalty has changed from requiring that one is loyal to the consistent purchase of a product, to meaning that one should be subscribing to the coverage found on a set YouTube channel.
When in the process of developing one’s niche, one should remember that sophistication doesn’t always translate into excellence. Uniqueness, honesty and message relevance are much more important than professional content quality.
Another step towards advanced social media marketing is to adapt one’s message across multiple platforms. While it’s likely that one will have followers who exclusively follow only certain social sites, trying to generalize a message enough to work on multiple levels creates watered-down marketing on all fronts. Instead, it’s important to figure which messages work best with each site and tailor one’s marketing to enhance the beneficial aspects.
Also, when one separates their communication by platform and differentiates the content they’re putting forth, it encourages those who use multiple sites to follow both and thus establishes even more brand loyalty and audience growth on every front.