YOUR COMPANY OR BRAND MUST COMMUNICATE WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE.
If you certainly use social networks on a personal basis, have you ever considered using them for your business? Inexpensive, these tools have quickly become one of the pillars of any good digital strategy. However, their optimization cannot be improvised and must be the object of an adequate marketing strategy which often requires the advice of an SMO agency.
Who is social media marketing for?
Contrary to a common misconception, social networks and related marketing techniques are not reserved for B2C companies. Social media are no longer limited to a specific use, and have now been invited into the professional life of many B2B producers and traders.
If we had to choose only one example to illustrate the evolution of social media uses, it would certainly be the blog. Initially reserved for personal, even intimate, publications, it has gradually been democratized and has finally entered the professional sphere. Today, the professional blog is the digital medium most used by B2B and B2C companies to implement content strategies, relayed on social networks.
Be careful, however, to select the media that you will optimize according to your activity. If some networks are difficult to use for B2B strategies, others are exclusively reserved for professionals who sell to professional customers.
Social media for B2C businesses
If your customers have found different ways to escape traditional advertising, they have massively invested in social media. That's why, if you sell products or services to individuals, you can't do without social marketing. This is even more true if you manage an e-commerce site and if it is a pure player.
As a B2C company, social media can be used to
Promote your brand or your company.
Launch a new product and make it more visible.
Develop your brand image.
Interact with your customers and use their feedback to improve your services.
Streamline customer service processes with real-time complaint management.
Build customer loyalty.
This list is not exhaustive: eventually, your digital audience and the way you communicate with them will shape your interactions. You will then be able to be more creative (or even original), depending on the tastes and common references of your community.
Social networks and B2B companies, the impossible marriage?
As we said above, professionals have not been spared by the tidal wave of social networks. However, their uses are different from those of individuals, who see these new media as entertainment and leisure.
Here are some of the options available to you if you sell products or services to business customers:
Showcase your brand or company.
Launch a new product and make it more visible.
Affirm your expertise by putting it at the service of your customers and prospects.
Generate qualified leads and nurture your relationship with them.
Build customer loyalty.
Interact with your customers and exploit their feedback.
Target a specific consumer segment.
Why integrate social media into your marketing strategy?
Any SMO strategy must start with a series of questions, which you'll need to ask your entire team and answer individually and collectively.
Let us stress this point: professional social networks are not the exclusive playground of marketers and community managers. The entire production chain must be involved, including the sales and human resources departments. Social networks are not one-sided communication media, like a TV commercial or a flyer: they open a dialogue, excluding the traditional monologue of brands. You will have to connect people: those who make up your company and those who make up your target.
The first question you need to ask yourself is about the objectives of your social media strategy. Do you want to raise awareness of your business, improve sales or retain existing customers? Choose your objectives carefully, without trying to accumulate them. The more precise they are, the clearer the digital marketing strategy will be.
The second question to ask yourself concerns the media you are going to use to carry out this strategy: on which professional social networks should your company be established? You will have to choose them according to several factors, among which :
Your target's preferences: which social networks are your customers and prospects used to using? Your targeting must be precise to select the right media.
Your industry: are your products/services aimed at professionals or individuals? Some social networks, such as LinkedIn or Viadeo, are particularly adapted to a B2B marketing strategy. Other media, such as Facebook or Instagram, are traditionally associated with recreational use.
Your financial and human resources: are you ready to invest in an effective SMO strategy?
Finally, the last question to ask is about measuring performance and return on investment (ROI). How do you ensure that your SMO strategy is working? Each of your objectives should be measurable and have one or more key performance indicators. There is no need to multiply them: quality must prevail over quantity. If your main objective on social networks is to increase your company's visibility and awareness, your KPIs could be the number of subscribers or followers, but also the number of social shares. If your objective is to increase your digital sales, the conversion rate recorded by your social publications will be an excellent indicator.
Whatever your web strategy is, you should always be able to measure your return on investment to monitor your marketing efforts in real time. Don't deprive yourself of the precious indicators that digital KPIs represent!
5 essential tools to optimize your social referencing
The editorial calendar. This dashboard summarizes all your publications on each of your digital media: website, professional blog, social networks... All your digital interventions must appear in this key document. It will serve as a reminder and a guideline for your social media strategy.
The SMO guideline. This summary sheet should list the objectives pursued on social networks and the editorial line chosen (the tone, the voice of your company when it addresses its customers). It can also include a response protocol, which will provide you with standard answers to simplify interactions with your community.
A good social sharing plugin. It's always good to remember that in order for your content to be shared, you need to give people the means to do so. Invest in a social sharing plugin to give your website more visibility.
An automated management tool, like Hootsuite or Buffer. These tools will save you time, as long as you have defined your SMO strategy beforehand.
A tracking and monitoring tool, like Agorapulse. Your KPIs must be measured regularly to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Most social network management tools also offer complete reports on the performance of your publications.
WHAT STRATEGY TO ADOPT ON SOCIAL NETWORKS FOR YOUR COMPANY?
Depending on your social media objectives, you can develop different marketing strategies on your digital media.
Here are a few ideas that you can freely use as inspiration, while adapting them to your business sector.
How to use content creation and social media to generate traffic?
If you already have a content marketing strategy in place, social networks will be your best allies for the promotion (or virality) of your content. They can even become your first source of traffic, as long as you optimize them properly and target the right users.
Of course, you should post each of your articles, videos and infographics on your company's social media, but not only. You should also encourage your community members to share this content, while moderating their comments and various reactions.
Remember to vary the pleasures (and the formats), by sharing articles from third-party sites as well.
The only rule when it comes to publishing on social networks: do the user a favor.
Finally, highlight your "star" content by offering paid advertising. Most social networks now allow you to highlight certain publications, for a predetermined budget. If your SMO strategy should not be based solely on this type of paid offers, you can use them from time to time to give visibility to the contents that are most likely to engage your audience or to obtain a more precise targeting of your community.
How can web traffic analysis help us improve the user experience from search engines?
To engage your customers on social media, the basic principle is simple: you need to interact with them. And the advantage of SMO is that it offers you a thousand ways to interact with your audience.
Here are 3 of them:
Organize a contest, to introduce your brand's universe or launch a new product.
Launch an online survey to adjust your marketing strategy, your pricing policy or encourage co-creation with your community.
Book private sales for your circle of subscribers on social networks. This way, they will have the feeling of belonging to an exclusive community that also gives them clearly identified advantages.