Your Social Media Marketing Approach Needs an Update
Social media has been with us in one form or another for almost twenty years. It doesn't go back quite as far as the dawn of the internet itself, but it isn't far off. We tend to connect the term "social media" with Facebook and Twitter, with Instagram coming along a little later. In reality, MySpace was around for three or four years before Facebook came along in 2006, and the term "social media" was used to describe it even back then. Why are we pointing all of this out? Well, it's because many social media marketing strategists don't appear to have noticed that times have changed.
Just as the same tactics that worked in television marketing ten years ago don't work now, old social media tactics have become equally ineffective. The average customer is more web-savvy and has become immune to certain types of approach. The demographic has changed in that time too. Millennials, who were once the focus of marketing, are now middle-aged and settled down. Generation Z is now the target market for most brands and has to be approached a different way.
If you haven't changed your social media approach for a few years, it's high time you looked at your strategy with fresh eyes and said goodbye to some of the old ways. If you're still using any of the methods we're about to describe below, the time has come to say goodbye to them.
Paying For Followers and Likes
We get why people used to do this. Nobody wants to launch a new business with zero followers on social media. Because of that, a whole industry built up around bot or slave accounts that could be directed to follow a specific Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram account for the right price. An account that was created yesterday could have one hundred thousand followers by the end of the week so long as the right price was paid. The aesthetic might look good for a few seconds, but it doesn't take long for customers to see right through it. It's also increasingly becoming seen as fraud by the platforms themselves. An account with thousands of followers but zero interaction on posts stands out like a sore thumb and tells potential customers that the company isn't legitimate. Building followers the organic way is much harder, but it tells people you're genuine.
Constantly Promoting Your Brand
This sounds counter-intuitive. The purpose of your social media account is to sell your product or transmit your message. Of course you're going to want to talk about yourself a lot - that's only natural. The best social media accounts are those that step outside of those parameters, though. Think about how many times something has happened on the news, and a clever social media manager running a big corporate account has managed to make headlines by commenting on it in a sly way. Brands even engage in "banter" with each other to generate interest. This more personable approach shows potential customers that you're human and you have a sense of humour. People primarily use social media to be entertained by it. At least three out of every ten of your posts should have nothing to do with your products at all.
Using Pristine Pictures
You want your products to look as good as possible. You might even have got a professional photographer in to take pictures of them for you. That's a good thing - images drive interaction on social media, and you need plenty of them if you're going to get noticed. What Generation Z are more likely to be interested in, though, is pictures of your products in their natural environment. Encourage existing customers to take photos of themselves using your products and tag you in their posts, which you can then share or retweet. By all means, use "perfect" pictures occasionally, but give your viewers a healthy dose of reality, too.
Skimping On Video
Text is effective up to a certain point. Pictures are effective up to a certain point, too. The most recent figures available to us say that they're only 25% as effective as a well-put-together video. That even goes for digital products. Take casinos as an example. The best of the casinos do an incredible job with SEO and reach but don't even have a physical product to sell. They attract players with videos of the online slots in action, showing bonus payouts and features. If it wasn't for the guide videos on sistersite.co.uk, the site probably wouldn't be half as popular as it is. You can still use text and image posts but use video posts as well. A good social media manager should be able to come up with a way of turning whatever you're trying to sell into a video, no matter how niche the product is. If you're really stuck, go for customer testimonial videos. Make sure you use real customers, though - people can spot an actor from a mile away.
Sending Automatic Contact
Have you ever followed a social media account and immediately got a DM thanking you for doing so? If so, did you find it reassuring and personable, or did you find it a little bit creepy? Most people find it to be the latter, which makes us wonder why so many people do it. If you receive a message the moment you follow an account, it's obvious that it's been auto-generated. Rather than adding a personal touch, it gives the recipient the feeling that they're being treated as a number. The "welcome message" they just received is the same as the "welcome message" that every other new follower receives, and it comes across as robotic. If it's possible for you to write personal messages to each new follower you get, do so. If it isn't, don't take half-measures by sending them "one size fits all" automated contact. It repels far more people than it will attract.
These five little factors can make the difference between success or failure for a social media account, and if you're new in the world of e-commerce, you can't afford to fail! Fortunately, these small changes aren't difficult to make. Cut out the old, focus on the personal touch, and start having conversations rather than making pitches. You'll soon understand the benefits of doing so.