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Connecting to Customers through Social Media

By: Eryn Sorensen, ICS Consulting, Inc.

There are 2.3 billion active social media users and 176 million users were added in the last year alone. The social media world will only continue to grow and become ever more effective and critical for individuals as well as businesses. 93% of individuals believe that businesses should have a social media presence. Focused effort results in focused results for a better return on investment.

Caryn Butler, VP of Business Development at Socially Smitten, spoke to SMPS luncheon attendees on November 2nd. There are seven primary social media platforms that are most commonly used and effective: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Pinterest. On average, each individual social media user is active on 5.6 social media platforms, which deems great odds for reaching them on at least a single platform. A message that is consistent, relevant and engaging is crucial due to the amount of other companies and advertisements that your customers are being inundated with.

The market has shifted to a pay-to-play social media realm. Facebook continues to gain relevancy with over 4 million posts shared every single day. If you post an organic post, less than 16% will actually see your post due to engagement and the algorithms that Facebook has structured.  Facebook boosting is an inexpensive way to increase engagement, your brand and potential customer retention related to that specific post. Within the boosting options, you can target demographics, business owners, principals, presidents or decision makers. Organic is what organic is – the only way to increase posts is to financially invest in them. AB testing is an alternative way to test your advertisements across various platforms – different colors, photos, etc. may perform better than another advertisement would on the same platform or another platform. Social media postings, on any platform, you want to make sure drive customers to your website because you can directly control the message and the content that is displayed on your website. A crucial portion of strategy should include redirecting social media users back to your controlled website.

Only 25% of businesses have a social media strategy. Strategy results in accountability, goal setting, results, consistency and creating internal buy in. Sometimes not having a social media platform is better than having a social media platform with inactive or infrequent postings – it creates doubt in the consumer or to question the company in all aspects of the business. Topics relating to thought leadership, surveys, coupons or deals or posing a question increase engagement on the consumer end.

Is your company a B2B or B2C? Identify where your consumer is and what platforms are best to engage with them. Make sure to keep your message simple, consistent and engaging – while utilizing the text limitations within each social media platform. Video engages at a 75% higher rate than any other post. The algorithms within social media platforms, specifically Facebook, tailor to show videos prior to other posts. Consumers don’t want just information or entertainment, they want “infotainment.” Emotions cause people to share and interact – cats and dogs or other empathetic posts have an incredibly high rate of shares and views. All of these tips will aid in what you post, how you post, where you post and the strategy that your company can set regarding all social media for your business.

Social media is critical and your strategy behind social media is pertinent to your social media success. If your company desires focused results, then focused metrics are needed to properly attract, retain and engage your existing and future customers. 

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