Social media marketing has changed, big time. Let's discuss briefly what works today (in the third quarter of 2016) and why.
Social media marketing, just as social media in general, is about community. It's about conversing on subjects that others within your network are interested in. As a business marketing your services on major social networks, you firstly can't be limited to answering customer queries related to your products. Sometimes its necessary to simply say hello. Personalizing the interaction experience opens the door to fans, followers, and contacts letting you know what they'd like to see more of.
Before posting content (because content is a big part of all marketing strategies) that will hopefully be shared virally, especially within your target audience, one must strategize a simple plan of action based on the needs of others. Who is this article, podcast, or video for and how can it help them? It goes without saying that being an expert in the particular subject you're covering adds credibility - and naturally builds trust as a result.
A few other questions you can ask yourself before publishing are:
Is it unique?
Does it truly serve a purpose?
Will it connect with readers/listeners/viewers on an emotional level (without manipulating them in any way)?
Does it lend itself to potential inquiries into my/our products and/or services?
For an individual's or organization's bottom line to increase significantly, a solution to a rampant problem must exist. And although your company might be the answer, conveying this to an ideal prospect in an overly-direct manner won't likely work in our day and age. It's the reason why most ad networks fail and, luckily for them, fail quickly.
As potential buyers in nearly every major market ourselves, we've become indifferent to companies telling us that they're the best in their field. So how do you attract the right kind of attention? There are several methods, but our favorite is to inform.
The top brands today, both small and large, inform like never before. They've gone above and beyond the traditional free ebook offering, launching complete courses or entertainment pieces in exchange for an email address, phone number, and/or physical address (with subscribers fully aware of follow-up marketing around the corner). This is not to be confused with freebies or the freemium pricing model which may also prove to be profitable long-term.
There are several ways to inform through social media; rather than list them all, we'd like to simply point out the number one method in our professional opinion. It's social sharing with your website as the starting point. We're naturally biased, being an inbound marketing agency, but our outlook is warranted. On social media outlets, featured and disruptive paid ads alike (whether or not they highlight and/or lead to useful free content) become a hindrance at worst and virtually non-existent at best. You've seen them before, but have they truly gotten your attention?
Posting content to your own website (as opposed to one of the many social media giants) opens the door to visitors inviting their friends, family, and colleagues into what they believe others might find to be useful. It's not salesy, and thus, it works. Those on the receiving end of social sharing feel confident about the referral because there usually isn't an incentive to share content by someone they've previously built rapport with. As for the publisher, the only recommended push should be encouraging individuals to share the content (via social sharing buttons below or alongside page and/or blog posts, by politely requesting that your audience share articles they've enjoyed reading, at the end of your videos, within podcasts, etc).