Social Media Marketing: Free Lunch is Over

By Chad D. Lerch | Owner, Digi Marketing Pros

The social media landscape changes at warp speed — if you don’t have someone keeping tabs, you could lose your competitive edge.

Facebook-Best-Practices-For-BusinessIt’s insane how Facebook and Twitter tweak their algorithms that determine what they think users want to see. After all, if you don’t like the experience, you might socialize elsewhere.

Social media managers recently discovered the free lunch on Facebook was over. Impressions of posts from businesses have dropped dramatically across the board, forcing many brands to pay for “promoted posts”. It’s a smart move on Facebook’s part, its stock is at an all-time high. But for businesses, it’s created quite the conundrum.

So, what do you do in the midst of this madness? Here are a few tips:

Quality over quantity
Create content your audience will want to consume: offer free advice, run promotional product giveaways, and incentivize traffic to your Facebook page (as opposed to people seeing your posts in their feeds). Promote your your content across multiple marketing channels — Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest, and your blog. If you’re not on Google Plus, you should check it out.

It’s not about you
An industry standard is 1 in 7 social media posts should be promotions, or hard sells. Use your social pages to engage with groups or individuals who are likely to purchase what you’re selling. Instead of talking about yourself, talk about them. Compliment their posts and reTweet, share, or pin great content that is generated by those who you want to reach.

Know your audience
Take the time to review your page stats. On Facebook, for example, free reports break down your audience by gender, age, and geographic locations. Is your audience overwhelmingly on the West Coast? Don’t post at 8 am ET. Is your audience overwhelmingly grandparents? Don’t use hipster slang. Are your followers mostly women? Lay off the football analogies.

Install social icons on your website
I recommend using “like” and “follow” icons for business websites as opposed to icons that click through to your social pages. This allows visitors to like a social page without leaving your site. It also keeps the visitor’s focus on the point-of-purchase process without losing them on the social side. It’s a win-win.

Keep it short
Adrianne Adelle, a graphic designer, artist, photographer, and Pinterest expert, says social media managers should be clear and concise when posting. Keep it short. Keep it simple. She encourages content creators to make sure the user experience is positive. Confirm that your links click through to the intended landing page.

Respond promptly
Social media is all about nurturing brand ambassadors and spreading the word about what makes your brand irresistible. If someone posts a question to your Facebook, respond promptly and politely (even if they are not nice). This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often corporate Facebook pages are not monitored and questions go unanswered. Every conversation is an opening for a sale or up-sale.

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