There are 3.8 billion active social media users. For context, world population is 7.8 billion. So, when nearly half of the world’s population is using social media, it stands to reason that a social media strategy to engage customers is important, right?
It makes one wonder why so many companies skip over social media strategy and focus on tactics. They use the tips, tricks and hacks they learn via how-to articles or free webinars and then wonder why they aren’t getting the results they expected.
Setting goals greatly increases the chance of achieving them, but so many companies jump into social media without determining what their goals should be.
Others bring their goals to the table with wide-eyed enthusiasm but get attached to problematic tactics. When those don’t work, they give up and say, “Social media doesn’t work for us.”
The challenge of making social media perform doesn’t vanish when you give up.
It’s important to remember that the company is on social media (whether you’re participating or not). Conversations happen concerning the company and a growing number of consumers are joining in that conversation, preferring to communicate via social media.
If you’re not engaging with customers in a meaningful way, your competitor will be.
With a well-defined social media strategy, which includes a plan to distinguish your brand/company, things begin to fall into place more readily.
- Everyday problems that seemed unfixable suddenly become an afterthought.
- There’s no wasting of valuable assets on efforts of little value.
- Worthwhile tactics come into focus and begin to pay off.
A real-time example to illustrate how creative social media strategy clears the path for success.
A large company reached out to Kruse Control for help getting traction with a new product via social media. The company leadership was admittedly in the dark about how social media works but they recognized its importance and wanted expert guidance.
Most leaders have a preliminary plan of how their operations need to shift with the launch of a new product. Where things get murky is how best to present the product into the social space, what metrics to track, and how to budget for it.
With all the players in place, including data, we were able to provide them with a social media strategy that delivered the right message, reached the right people at the right time, and exceeded their goals by 35%.
As social media becomes even more complicated, and as skeptical consumers have growing disinterest in run-of-the-mill brands and offers, the need for social media strategy gets more intense.
If you don’t have the expertise in-house to determine actionable goals and integrate a social media strategy that works for you, contact a qualified expert to help remove the guesswork and establish the best course of action.
Yes, I need help!
Creative Social Media Strategy…For The Win!
Here are 6 common business challenges that can be solved with a data-driven, creative social media strategy.
1. Challenge: Weak Brand Awareness
Social media is ideal for reaching a broader audience, however, why you post is central to success. Every post creates an impression in users’ minds.
Social media strategy to solve this challenge: Steps must be taken to identify what makes the company and its products valuable. Identify internally why people choose you rather than your competitor, then craft content to support that differentiation.
Refrain from promotional sales content when the challenge is strengthening brand awareness. Approach as though you’re meeting users in person for the first time. No one likes to be greeted with a sales pitch so focus on more meaningful content that personifies why customers choose you.
2. Challenge: Slow Sales
Social advertising is one of the most powerful tools to increase sales. By publishing engaging content you lay the groundwork for further engagement. The next natural step is to target would-be buyers with offers.
Social media strategy to solve this challenge: Facebook’s ads platform is highly adept at identifying and reaching your ideal customers. A successful Facebook Ads strategy has the following components:
- Define your target audience.
- Choose the right ad placement – Awareness, consideration, conversions.
- Strategic ad design is crucial – ads must attract attention and compel buyers to click.
- Use landing pages with lead forms to track conversions.
- Test and track your campaigns.
3. Challenge: Declining Customer Retention
It costs 5 to 8 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Social media is excellent for staying in touch with current customers…and it’s fairly cost effective!
Social media strategy to solve this challenge: Treat your social channels as communities where like-minded people come to hang out. Appoint a “community manager” or who engages and supports your community by listening and being responsive to questions, needs and concerns.
A good social media relationship with customers improves perceptions and fosters offline relationships.
4. Challenge: Poor Online Reputation
Reviews are insanely influential.
- 90% of consumers read online reviews.
- 88% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- 86% will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative reviews.
- Customers are likely to spend 31% more with a business that has positive reviews.
- 92% will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating.
Don’t give online ratings sites the power to control your business. If what’s being said about you doesn’t mirror the true customer experience delivered, take action now to turn things around.
Social media strategy to solve this challenge: Remove the obstacles that stymie reviews.
Create a review funnel. Systematically drive customers to one conversion funnel that routes them to the review sites you care about.
- Automatically ask, remind and guide happy customers through the funnel.
- Recover unhappy customers before they vent online.
5. Challenge: Declining or Nonexistent Connection with Customers
We’ve been witnessing a massive shift in what it means to be effective on social media. The pandemic has shaken things up, further driving the wedge between companies and their customers. It’s time to think differently.
The big challenge that companies face is connecting with customers on an individual and personal level. Connecting with customers in meaningful ways humanizes your brand and builds genuine relationships.
Social media strategy to solve this challenge: Monitor all social media channels and respond authentically (aka: like a human!). Ask questions, provide insights, or offer help with problems.
Note: In the road to the car sale, this strategy is crucial because more and more customers are preferring some or all of the transaction be conducted digitally.
- Leverage free or low-cost brand monitoring tools such as Mention, TweetDeck or Social Mention.
- Engage with users in the comments on your social media posts.
- Invest in more advanced social listening tools such as Keyhole, or Brand24.
- Employees are engaging more and more with customers online. Leverage their expertise by using employee engagement tools such as Social Chorus or Dynamic Signal.
6. Challenge: Low Search Visibility
Nearly every buyer starts her or his purchase journey online. Your website is the virtual storefront of your business and not being found in search means fewer customers and decreased revenue.
On Google and Bing, and now Facebook, it’s super important to be visible when people are searching for what you sell.
Social media strategy to solve this challenge: To improve search visibility on Google and Bing, focus tactics on publishing links to content that go directly to your website. Although social media is not a ranking factor, it has a link to search engine optimization. These “social signals” will increase a site’s authority, thereby indirectly improving search rankings.
To improve search visibility on Facebook, promote those links with Facebook ads. A well-researched, data driven Facebook Ads strategy is an integral part of your over all social media strategy.
A Facebook page with high engagement shows up in search more prominently and positions your company as a trusted resource.
Take action, improve business with social media strategy.
Today’s challenges must be met with today’s solutions.
Companies must develop a strong foundational social media strategy to meet customers where they are and help them buy.
If you would like advice or help with creating your company’s social media strategy, please reach out to me here. I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.