Whether you’re new to the world of social media or just looking to plug a few gaps in your knowledge, this guide aims to help you get the most value out of your social media efforts. Before we get into the ‘how’, lets start with the ‘what’ and ‘why’…
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing can be defined simply as the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. As a marketing tactic it’s unique, in that it encourages user-generated content (e.g. online comments, product reviews, etc.), also known as ‘earned media’, rather than relying solely on marketer-prepared copy.
Why should my business use social media?
For channel resellers, the rise in social media offers huge opportunity to grow lasting and scalable relationships with your customer base. Not forgetting the sheer volume of data customers make available through social.
Whether your business is using social media or not, customers are already having conversations that are relevant to your organisation. And with well over 3 billion active social media users (i.e. 44% of the world population!) It’s better to be part of the conversation, right?
Let’s look at how exactly a channel reseller like you can get the most out of your tweeting, liking and sharing efforts. Look out for our practical ‘quick win tips’ we’ve included in each section.
Getting to know your ideal customer
The key to making any marketing campaign successful is understanding who your ideal customer is by creating a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that represents your ideal customer and is based on market research and real data about your existing customers. Once you understand your buyers’ needs, objectives, interests and what keeps them up at night, you can use this to guide your marketing messaging.
Quick win tip: Here’s a guide to buyer personas you may find useful. Better still, speak to your supplier partners to see if they’ve already done the research leg work for you.
A simple way to grow your connections is to add / like / follow those you want to notice you – think customers, prospects, industry influencers, trade publications. Get seen by sharing their posts (you never know, they may well return the share) and don’t be afraid to start conversations.
Quick win tip: Label your content with hashtags to make it discoverable to users. Great for promoting events and getting your posts in front of relevant users. Remember, #KeepItSuccinct
Post share-worthy content
Driving engagement with your audience on social media is all about sharing content that they find useful or interesting – from blog posts to whitepapers to videos to helpful guides (like this one!). The more shareable the content, the more coverage it will get. And the more coverage your posts get, the more they will drive visitors to your website and raise your brand profile.
The quality of the content you share and produce, as well as the advice you share when joining conversations, shapes your authority. A brand with a deep knowledge of their product provides incredible value to buyers – the more authority your brand has on a topic, the better resource you become and the more you’ll be perceived as the ‘go to’ expert.
Whether it’s content you’ve created yourself or someone else’s you’re sharing, think before you post: “would the audience I’m trying to reach find it useful or interesting?” If the answer is no don’t waste your time, they’re unlikely to read it themselves let alone share it with others.
Quick win tip: Coming up with share-worthy content is time consuming. Ask your supplier partners if they offer white label content as this will to save you lots of time.
Paint the picture
Always include an image with your posts. Why? Research shows that when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retain 65% of the information three days later. Here’s the clever science to back it up.
Quick win tip: Make images sharp and get the sizing right to avoid unexpected cropping and fuzziness. Check out HubSpot’s useful guide to social image sizes.
Social media is fast-paced. You need to stay active in order to be seen – a post every few weeks will simply get lost in newsfeeds. Create a monthly calendar of posts – you can always change them nearer the time but having a fluid schedule to work with will help you stay active.
Sharing other people’s content is an easy way to get involved – remember, always credit the source if you’re not using the retweet / share button in the platform.
Get your sales team and other customer-facing staff involved. They’re known to customers and are usually well-versed in promoting your business in the right way.
Customers expect to be able to contact you through social media. So, let them. Customers will appreciate if when they post comments on your page, they receive a considered reply rather than an auto-generated message. A brand that values its customers, takes the time to compose a personal message.
Quick win tip: Consider automation tools to save you time. Check if your providers offer access to a marketing portal that can automate your social posts or provide content to post out.