40 Social Media Marketing Benefit Related Tips [Research]

Social Media Marketing Benefits: Are You Driving Sales?

40 Social Media Marketing Benefit Related Tips-Heidi Cohen Is social media important to your business?

Not sure? Don’t worry you’re not alone. Many marketers have trouble tracking their social media efforts to bottom line results (aka ROI).  

Despite this, marketers have increased social media marketing benefits across 9 categories according to Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

This makes sense since more experience and investment should improve results. The key is what can you learn from them that helps you build your business more effectively?

9 Social media marketing benefits with 40 actionable tips to achieve them 40 Social Media Marketing Benefit Related Tips-Heidi Cohen

Here’s a closer examination of these 9 social media marketing benefits to help you better exploit your social media with these actionable marketing tactics. (As a point of comparison, here are 2013 social media marketing benefits analyzed.)

Social Media Marketing Benefits-2014 Social Media Examiner Report-1

92% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to increase exposure

In part the strength of this benefit is due to the fact that marketers must be present where their potential audience is.

Remember that multiple impressions are needed before prospects act.

Also, it’s an easy answer that doesn’t require hard analytics, the way that lead generation, sales and expenses do.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Tailor the content you share by social media platform. Social media is NOT one-size-fits-all. Your social media efforts will drive better results if they’re adapted by platform.
  2. Use images. Make your content stand out by incorporating attention grabbing visuals. People process images faster than text.
  3. Write attention grabbing headlines. Realize that only 20% of your readers will get past your headline according to Madman David Ogilvy. Make them work harder.
  4. Brand your social media content. Incorporate your 360° brand into every interaction you make on social media to support your image.
  5. Drip out social media shares over time. Where appropriate, chop your content into small bite-size shares. This works well with tips and quotes.
  6. Add social sharing icons to your owned content. Encourage your audience to help distribute your content more broadly.
  7. Involve influencers and fans in your social sharing. This doesn’t mean make a pest of yourself but rather ask others to help you where they’ve been involved in the creation process.

80% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to increase traffic

Given social media’s large and broad usage across demographic and other segments, it’s a must-have for most marketers. Your audience is there, even if you can’t necessarily target them tightly.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Create a marketing persona as well as a social media persona. Appreciate who your target audience is and what type of information they’re seeking from you.
  2. Incorporate links to your website and other owned content in your social media shares. The objective is to peak your prospects’ interest so they visit your site. (Of course, don’t make them register to see the information in the links!)
  3. Use a variety of content formats on social  media. Understand that different elements attract different customer segments. Post images, photographs, videos, presentations and audio.
  4. Share other people’s content. Pay it forward is at the heart of social media. You want to build your thought leadership while getting other people to check out your bona fides.
  5. Optimize your social media profiles. Help prospects to find your owned media from your social media presence.
  6. Participate in social media gatherings. Think Google Hangouts and Twitter Chats. It’s even better if you get known as one of the experts who is interviewed on these events.

72% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to develop loyal fans

Remember that not all fans are created equal.

To support loyal fans, you need to be present and engaged on social media. This means regular interactions.

Fans who have purchased from you in the past provide credibility that’s hard to aquire as a marketer. Marketers are learning that most fans become fans post-purchase, according to research by Synapse.

Many prospects will follow your company just for the special offers or discounts.

Actionable Social Media Tips:

  1. Build your social media fanbase. Make targeted offers and special content only on social media so that your customers will want to be associated with you there.
  2. Leverage your website and other owned media to build your fan base.  Social media fans rarely happen without marketing. You need to leverage each element of your marketing mix to support this goal.
  3. Use your follow up emailings to drive fans. Ask fans in your emailing and other content to like you on Facebook.
  4. Include a call-to-action on your post purchase email to encourage photo sharing and reviews. Go one step beyond the easy fan action. Ask new owners to strut their stuff wearing your stuff. Bear in mind Instagram is starting to hit it’s stride with buyers.
  5. Encourage fans to invite their friends. The logic is that people are friends with other people who share their interests. Of course, you may need to make them a special offer!

71% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to provide marketplace insights

Monitor social media to find out more about your prospects, customers, business partners, employees and competitors.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Check what your competitors are posting on social media. Examine the quantity and quality of their interactions. What can you learn from them?
  2. Find out what your followers want by asking questions. Where possible use open ended inquiries that require more than a yes or no.
  3. Examine social media platforms by categories. This is particularly important to see what information customers are seeking. Look at YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. How are your products and your competitors’ products being shown in context?

66% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to generate leads

Leverage the power of social media to grow both the quantity and quality of your leads. Understand that social media is part of the sales process but not necessarily the entire thing.  (To help you with your lead generation, check out these best lead generation tips ever!!!)

Most of this gets down to offering the 5 basic content formats.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Answer your customers’ purchase related questions. If you don’t, your competitors may! This should be a no-brainer because all of your customer facing employees answer them on a regular basis. Don’t take my word for it, see how Marcus Sheridan generated $2 million by answering 1 key question about his pool company.
  2. Offer ratings and reviews. This is scary for most marketers. Understand that customers trust other customers more than they trust your marketing communications. If you’ve got a problem, fix it and respond to upset customers. Skip the teflon “We’re sorry!”
  3. Use premium social media options to extend your reach. Pay to collect prospect information and be able to continue the conversation. This is particularly useful on social media like SlideShare.

61% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to improve search rankings

This should be a no-brainer for marketers. Every planned piece of content and communication posted on a social media platform should be optimized for search, especially since social media interactions show up on search engine results pages (or SERPs).

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Optimize every piece of content you post on social media for one of your keyword phrases. This is particularly important for non-text information that might not be searchable otherwise.
  2. Create a social media optimization process for your organization. Distribute it to everyone involved in social media marketing and related teams such as your web team.
  3. Incorporate social media optimization into people’s job. This means track how well they’re doing and contributing to your social media rankings.
  4. Track social media contribution to search rankings. Don’t assume that a list is sufficient to get you to the next level. Measure it.

58% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to grow business partnerships

While social media marketing is more likely to yield business partnerships for B2B marketers than B2C marketers based on the research, underestimate this benefit at your peril.

Also, this is more important for small businesses with limited resources since you can make your business appear larger than it is.

Every business works with other businesses in one form or another such as suppliers, and distributors. Assume that the executives and sales team are looking at your presence and your employees’ presence on social media at a minimum to gain insights to help their business relations.

Remember in today’s social media connected world chances are that your business contacts and future employees are following your activity as well as that of your employees on social media.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Set social media guidelines for your entire organization. Don’t limit this to your social media managers. This means all of your employees and customers. Consider what they can do as employees and as private individuals.
  2. Create a business presence on the major social media platforms. At a minimum, consider Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
  3. Leverage social media to build contacts. Use social media engagement to help build your thought leadership and following.
  4. Use social media for hiring purposes. Your current and former employees can be great sources for new employees.
  5. Maintain relationships with former employees. The objective is to continue to nurture relationships with employees since they may become future employees or other business contacts.

51% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to reduce marketing expense

A few short years ago, marketers called social media the free marketing format. The reality is that, while some social media platforms may be free to use, they were NEVER free since they required employee effort and other resources.

Instead marketers should measure improved return on each marketing dollar invested in social media. This requires tracked all resources used including employee time (across departments), special services and outsource support.

This means that marketers must become better at capitalizing on each social media interaction. Think beyond vanity metrics such as likes to engagement and hand raisers.

Change your thinking from increased interaction to more effective interaction, even if this means additional resources are needed for better quality content or supporting social media advertising.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Track your full breadth of social media activities. This means employee time (across disciplines such as marketing, creative and technology), resources and outsourced support.
  2. Create more effective and reliable metrics to track your social media investment. Work with your finance / analytics team.With regard to expenses, this means return on social media investment and sales and leads attributable to social media.
  3. Augment your social media interaction with social media advertising. Many platforms are starting to test and rollout advertising products. As a result, your natural social media traffic and reach will get eroded. Therefore add a small budget to test advertising.

50% of marketers benefit from social media marketing to improve sales

While sales should be higher on this list of benefits, the bottom line is that it’s difficult to attribute revenues back to each piece of marketing touched. Therefore, the last piece of marketing used often gets credit for delivering the sale.

Yet in today’s multi-platform, multi-device world, the reality is that multiple pieces of marketing contribute to a purchase.

Further, since much of the sales process occurs before the marketer is aware that the customer is in purchase mode, it’s unlikely they can track these results.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Incorporate a contextually relevant social media call-to-action. Encourage social media followers to take the next step such as signing up for emails or looking at product on your website. Don’t ask for “personal” information upfront (Note: This includes mobile phone numbers!)
  2. Offer targeted discounts and deals on your social media platforms with care. Be careful since you don’t want to train your followers to show up only for deals. To this end provide other useful content and fan support.
  3. Create tailored landing pages. Encourage social media fans to engage with you on your site. Keep the scent of your marketing consistent.
  4. Take your time romancing your prospects. Don’t expect your social media followers to convert to buyers immediately. They’re on social media to socialize with their family and friends not to get sold to.

 

Appreciate that social media helps drive benefits for your organization across 9 different categories. To maximize your results, apply those actionable social media marketing tips from this list that apply to your specific business, products and brand.

How has your business profited from social media marketing? Which benefits matter most for your organization and why?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Heidi for writing about my report

  • PYS UK

    Thank you so much for sharing great creative resources to follow! I really appreciate it.