Five Strategies for Creating Social Media Advocates and Allies
Social media has changed the world of marketing forever by giving companies and organizations a voice. Whether you run a large business with a big advertising budget or a small startup just looking to get the word out, social media offers a unique, authentic and accessible way of connecting with your target audience.
In this recent Bearly Marketing blog article about social media brand exposure, we provided an in-depth breakdown of just how powerful a social media voice can be. If you are looking to take your social media marketing campaign to the next level, however, then you should set your sights on harnessing the power of multiple social media voices. Read on for five of the most effective and widely-used strategies for cultivating social media advocates and allies.
#1 – Create An Unforgettable Customer Experience
The first step toward develop brand advocates? Give your customers and clients something worth advocating. No one is going to publicly vouch for a company that failed to meet their expectations, after all! Here are a few of the basics of fostering customer satisfaction.
• Product development. Pay your dues by putting effort into market research, technical innovation, and unique style. If your products/services don’t make the grade, then nothing else matters.
• Be open to feedback. Customers, clients, employees, and even industry partners all have opinions about your company and your products. Through conversations, surveys, social media, and the internet in general, you can learn about these opinions and use them to your advantage. But an open mind and a communication-friendly company culture are musts.
• Emphasize branding. No matter how good customer experience may be, it will soon be forgotten without the help of smart and prominent branding. Packaging, store/site design, and even employee dress codes are all ways of showing off your brand — and though not every method is necessary, customers should walk away with a clear memory of having shopped at your business.
• Provide support. Help customers choose the product or service that best meets their needs — and provide easily accessible support to anyone needing assistance with a product that they have already purchased. If you can do these two things effectively, your customer satisfaction rates will skyrocket.
#2 – Connect With Your Customers Online
You have loyal customers who walk through your doors every day — but are you connecting with them in the online world? Here are a few strategies for doing just that.
• Promote your page in person. Simply asking customers to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter can be surprisingly effective.
• Invite existing contacts. One lesser-known feature of Facebook? Email invitations! If you have significant email contacts who are not connected with you on social media, a quick invite could increase your social media following significantly.
• Unify your online presence. Use social media buttons on your website, and be sure to include links to your other social media profiles on every network.
• Use organic marketing and paid advertising to grow your following. This initial investment will pay off over time by allowing you to connect with potential customers, develop online advocates, and more.
#3 – Promote Social Media Engagement
One of the most common ways that your audience advocates for your brand is simply by engaging with your content. A shared post can reach many of their friends, for example — and even a comment or like can cause the post to show up in their followers’ news feeds. Moreover, social media engagement can help forge a closer online relationship. Here are a few strategies for improving social media engagement.
• Stop the scrolling. Making your content eye-catching is the first step toward getting a social media user to interact.
• Ask questions. Any type of call to action in a social media post increases your odds of engagement — but asking for audience opinions tends to be especially effective.
• Tune in to the right frequency. Posting too often or not often enough will kill engagement rates. A bit of experimenting should help you gage the ideal frequency for your audience.
#4 – Team Up with Industry Partners and Social Media Influencers
Your vendors, your distributors, and virtually every other professional contact you have probably share one thing in common — they are all looking for promotion, too. Here are a few effective ways of working together.
• Give each other a Social Media Shoutout. Simply agreeing to give each other a shout out (complete with a link to each others social media sites and/or websites) can help both you and your industry partner grow your followings.
• Share content. Reposting each other’s original content — or even making guest posts — is another great example of mutually beneficial social media teamwork.
• Get together and talk marketing. From sharing strategies to mulling over social media data, the odds are good that you both have a few tidbits of wisdom that the other could be utilizing. In the end, the more social media input you have, the better!
• Reach out to influencers. Though you may not have the same personal relationship with social media influencers, the wide audience that they command makes them a powerful resource for businesses. Most influencers are always on the hunt for quality content to syndicate — its all a matter of identifying relevant influencers and reaching out in an effective and convincing fashion.
#5 – Have Concrete a Plan
The four tips above will work for most companies — but the extent to which you focus on each one will vary depending on your business and your industry. Crafting your own individualized plan is a must. And regardless of what the details of that plan may be, we recommend that you use the following three principles of business planning: set concrete goals, track your progress, and adapt your approach. Visit Bearly Marketing online to learn more about the most important analytics of social media success.
Want to learn more about how you can grow your social media following and increase your online marketing presence through strategies such as brand advocacy? Get in touch with Bearly Marketing today to start your social media marketing journey!