In our posts, we’ve covered ways to boost digital marketing results, the dos and don’ts of automating social media updates, ways to improve your digital marketing strategy, tips to boost your social media influence, and tips to make social media work for you. All of these articles provide great insight into getting more out of your marketing efforts. But if you’re looking for more tips to improve even more, or if you’ve hit a plateau in your social media growth and want to push your marketing to the next level, then you won’t want to miss this article. We’ll talk about bolder moves you can make and ways you can think outside of the box to keep your marketing efforts on track.
Make important friends.
So you might have some friends and fans that follow you already—that’s great! And you should keep up the effort in reaching out to new folks. But we’re talking about making some influential friends. The big names in your industry. The people who really know what they’re doing.
Begin by researching social media sites of those who are big in your industry. Who is active on social media? Who seems to get a lot of engagement from their fans? Who has a great website or blog that you could subscribe to? When you search for your industry, whose names get brought up (in a positive manner, that is!) over and over again? Once you’ve located these companies, analyze what they’re doing. There’s a reason fans want to interact with them. Is it the quality of their content? The frequency at which they update their social media or website?
The best way to think of this exercise is to emulate the cool kid at school. This does not mean to copy what they’re doing. It means that you look at what they’re doing—seeing what works—and incorporating that into your own techniques. Then, once you determine your plan of action, here comes the most important part:
Make friends with them. (Or at least try to.) But how?
Retweet their posts or share their articles. Tag them so that they not only get credit for their hard work, but eventually, they’ll see you sharing regularly and may reciprocate or start a dialogue with you.
Comment on their blogs. If you have something substantial to add to the conversation, don’t be afraid to put it out there. They may give you credit and add it to their article, or they may respond to you to acknowledge your comment.
Ask them for an interview for your site. Even if you view them as competition, there are ways of connecting with influencers to show that you are willing to reach out and learn from the best. This can only place you in a positive light!
Make a spectacle of your positive reviews.
In today’s marketing world, reviews play a huge role in determining whether a customer will chose to interact with your business. According to a survey by Podium, 93% of customers say that online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. 82% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase decision, while 60% even look at reviews on a weekly basis. These are significant numbers. So, if you have positive reviews, there’s no reason you should hide them. Show them off! Try these helpful tricks to get more mileage from your reviews:
Place reviews in a prominent spot on your website. If you have product- or service-specific reviews, put them in a visible place next to a call to action to buy.
Place links to popular review sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List on your site and on your social media pages. Make it easy for potential customers to find the information they want no matter how they come across your site. Just imagine you were shopping: If you found a company’s Facebook before their website, you may want to see reviews before you make the decision to purchase anything, right? So make sure they can find reviews on your Facebook page!
If you don’t have many reviews, be sure to ask customers to leave reviews if they were satisfied with the services and products they received. Many customers just forget. If you want to add an incentive like a 10% off coupon code in exchange for an honest review, you might see even more enthusiasm. Just don’t bribe them to leave glowing reviews—that’s unethical, and people can see through that kind of shady tactic right away.
Stop talking about yourself constantly.
Okay, you’re thinking, “Well, you just told me to show off my reviews! Now I’m supposed to stop talking about myself? What gives?”
We get it. But hear us out.
Social media has its own unspoken set of rules that vary from platform to platform. It can seem complicated and time-consuming to keep up with the changes. Social media is social, after all: What’s “in” one year might not be “in” the next. But suffice it to say that Twitter tends to be more fast-paced, with multiple posts a day being a-okay. On Facebook, posting constantly will get you hidden or unfollowed pretty quickly. So it’s important to understand the posting rules of the platforms you’re on, and then follow this rule:
80% of the time you should be posting content like industry news, influencer posts, and “fun” stuff related to your company.
20% of the time, you should be posting promotional material or direct sales pitches.
This prevents you from seeming like you’re pushing sales on people and seeming like you only care about your customers’ wallets. While you are a business and of COURSE you want to make sales, companies are expected to connect with their clients on a more personal level nowadays. By highlighting things outside your business, you can create a brand persona that people will like to interact with. Here are a few helpful tips to get started:
Avoid hard sales pitches. Imagine you’re a photographer. Don’t post a picture of your new winter package and say, “Click here to schedule your sitting now.” Instead, try posting the photo and saying something like, “Now booking! Perfect for those gorgeous snowy backdrops and bringing a little warmth to chilly winter days!” Okay, we’re not photographers. But you can see the difference: One is light-hearted and provides relevant information while connecting with a customer, and the other just demands a customer do something without much background information. Which would you be more likely to click?
Link to your blog articles, cool ideas that other companies are showcasing, or even to happy customers with their products. Continuing with the photographer example: You might link back to a blog where you posted successful results of a happy winter photo session. You might link to a website where you see gorgeous winter photography and say you love their work. Or you might do a customer spotlight or run a contest to be featured on the website for a month. Use your creative spark and come up with a way to talk about relevant information without doing a hard sales pitch.
Okay, this was a lot to read. But we hope that there were some helpful tips in this article that you can begin to apply to your own marketing efforts. It can discouraging to run your own sites and not get the results you want. However, it takes time and a little bit of risk-taking to get the results you want. Brainstorm ways that you can make these tips work for you. And you probably have your own methods that have been working for you as well!
The most important things you can do are:
Keep trying, even when you feel discouraged.
Be willing to learn from your mistakes.
Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Good luck! If you have anything you’d like to add, do so in the comments!