Play Ball! 4 Ideas for Home-Run Social Media Marketing

May14So many brands struggle to use social media effectively. Spending precious time on marketing efforts that are not producing just costs you money. How can you really hit the ball out of the park with your social media marketing efforts?

Missing the Pitch: Why Your Methods Are Failing

If you’ve been reaching your customers through popular channels, but response has suddenly become all swing and miss, it may not be you. Social media sites can change the way they display information any time. Some changes can severely limit your reach, such as Facebook’s latest restructuring of how it chooses what shows up in a user’s newsfeed. If you’re just starting to use social media as a marketing tool, it’s important not to follow outdated advice. Don’t be too quick to blame algorithms, though. Plenty of other factors could be involved.

  • Are you posting too many ads? Users are most likely to hide your posts from their newsfeeds, unlike your page, or report your posts or page when you post paid ads, so choose advertising posts wisely.
  • Are your posts mobile optimized? Most social media users are looking at your posts from a mobile device, so if they aren’t appealing in app view, you’re missing your target clients.
  • Are you using the right site? You need to know whether your customers are hanging out on more on Pinterest or Instagram or Facebook. My local grocery store uses Instagram to host contests with lots of engagement. Their Facebook page never shows up in my newsfeed.

Take Your Customers Tailgating

Before you start advertising to your clients on social media, connect with them in a personal way. A real human should be engaging your followers in real time on social media. If you’re a small business, don’t overlook the importance of constant connectivity. Missing important messages could lose you customers.

Any good tailgate party means grilling up plenty of tasty tidbits to hand out and pass around. You might consider making room in your budget to a hire a dedicated social media brand representative or marketer to be a professional, likable, and helpful face for your company. Social interaction can be the first step in creating loyal clients who trust your company. If you keep it personal, professional, and helpful, you can avoid those brand-burning emotional reactions to customer complaints on social media.

Watch Your HBP
In baseball, getting hit by a pitch can put a player out of the game. If your social media followers are drowning in bad pitches, they won’t stick around long either. Limit your pitches to only quality pitches. Even though you’re there to market your business, your customers are not on social media to be sold to. They expect timely, quality customer service. Customers who want to contact your company directly or want a quick response will turn to social media to reach out. For many people, it is less formal, less intimidating, and easier than more traditional methods of contact.

Be sure you engage in a real conversation with your followers. Even better if you can respond to a public post with a public solution. When you resolve an issue and make an unhappy client into a happy one, you really hit it out of the park…to the cheers of the crowd.

Track Important Stats

Past behavior is an important piece of predicting future behavior, whether it’s a batting average or tweets about your company. A customer relationship management (CRM) platform with social integration puts those very important social media stats at your fingertips. Insightly small business CRM automatically detects social media accounts for your contacts when you input names and emails. You can view their posts and profiles across many popular social media channels. Not only can you see their posts, but you’ll be able to see how they’re engaging with other brands and what they’re most interested in sharing with others.

This social data lets you target clients more accurately, created better segments, and adjust customer engagements to be more satisfying.

Every Now and Then, Steal a Base

Surprising your clients can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. When it comes to social media, this can be done in a number of ways. One of the most popular surprises is an unannounced contest. Give a prize that your customers will be excited to win and talk about. Encourage genuine interaction without simply asking for likes, shares, or re-tweets. The practice commonly called “like-baiting” is frowned upon by users and social media sites alike. Of course, tricks don’t work when you try them too often, so use sparingly.

As with all technology, social media is always changing. Stay in the game by keeping your efforts current, personal, and engaging and you’re sure to hit a home run!

Diana Doherty is a freelance writer specializing in SEO content, and is a contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She loves all things tech, photography, craft, military family life, and business. She earned her BA in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego.

Megan Totka

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com, which helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence and also contributes to a number of publications, such as Business.com, Disability.gov, AICPA, and others. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.


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