Is social media marketing dead? Not only are some social networking platforms shedding users and losing efficacy as advertising channels, but the bad press surrounding issues of privacy alone is enough to demoralize even the biggest champions of social networking.
Looking ahead, however, it’s clear that social media isn’t going anywhere. Businesses that fail to embrace what’s great about Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and the other significant platforms will lose out on opportunities to engage with customers and make a valuable buzz.
The truth is–as mentioned in Fundera’s “The 30 Most Influential Companies on Social Media in 2019” report–plenty of meaningful conversations and important issues are not only being raised, but addressed, by influential businesses on social. The medium is still quite effective for businesses seeking to become leaders in their field, and even plays a significant role in helping boost profits and market share for some industry-leading companies.
Business owners, entrepreneurs, and social networking professionals everywhere would be wise to take notes from some of the most influential companies on social networking today.
By taking note of the seven lessons below, you’ll know how to use social media to positively impact your company:
1. Vary your presence across platforms
There are a small number of important social networking platforms which almost certainly require your presence as a company: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Depending upon your organization, industry, and market, you might also wish to post on Snapchat, or Pinterest, for example.
If you are familiar with these platforms, you know how different they could be when it comes to content, demographics, and efficacy for driving engagement or traffic. That’therefore why it’s important to have accounts with each, and also to post tailored content to every one as needed.
Having accounts on every significant platform not only increases total reach across social networking, but hedges the risk in case one site changes their algorithm and decreases your ability to affect followers.
2. It’s okay to concentrate your efforts on a single platform
Yes, it’s important to be present on all significant social media platforms. That being said, if you’ve identified one or two platforms in particular where your content most resonates–maybe you’ve tapped to the ideal demographic game on Snapchat, or discovered that posting your very best content on LinkedIn gets the maximum engagement–then by all means, lean into it.
Uber, by way of example, tops the list of businesses from the “Transportation, Logistics, and Warehousing” industry with 24 million followers. Of that number, an incredible 21 million are on Facebook alone.
On the other hand, fellow sector-topper Tesla has just a few hundred thousand Facebook followers, with countless more on Instagram and Twitter. These imbalances aren’t accidental–obviously, both companies see greater involvement on these respective platforms, and perhaps see greater customer acquisition, retention, and involvement consequently.
3. Every kind of company should be on social
Lots of companies, including B2B companies, think that what they do doesn’t translate well to social media. There’s no way to make selling a service hot or fun, many think, so they make social media handles but do nothing with them, or ignore the entire practice altogether.
But any kind of company can have a strong and buzzy social media presence. From UPS to UnitedHealth Group to Rio Tinto (a London-based mineral and metallic mining company), companies throughout the spectrum can and do have hundreds of thousands of social networking followers.
“Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology. ” – Brian Solis
4. Make the impersonal personal
It’s easy to say that each and every kind of business should be using social media. The question is, how? Among the greatest ways that more “impersonal” businesses–namely, service companies, rather than product-based businesses–can make an impact on social is to find ways to make themselvesand their tales, more private.
What exactly does that mean? For UPS it means highlighting the stories of their drivers and other employees. For Lyft, it means celebrating rides as “connections” rather than, well, rides. For BHP, that means showcasing how the business fights climate change and winners social responsibility.
Bear in mind, no matter what your company is, does, or produces, it can be much more than that. It’s also a place where people–your employees–come together to really make a difference. Demonstrating that will go a long way towards making your impersonal service feel like a personal mission.
5. Massive followings don’t equal Huge engagement
It’s easy to get caught up in the race to collect as many social networking followers as possible. That’therefore why some brands resort to purchasing followers, even if they are bots or ghost accounts. The problem with this system is that in the event you accrue followers who don’t participate with your content or account, it kind of defeats the purpose of getting social networking accounts in the first location. Plus, platforms such as Instagram will rank your content lower on people’s feeds in the event that you’ve got a low engagement-to-follower ratio.
Comparing the follower counts and participation levels of Barrick Gold to BHP, you’ll find that although Barrick Gold has more followers, BHP gets more involvement on their posts. You should aim to become more like BHP–because, to paraphrase the old saying, if a tree falls in the forest, and none of your social networking followers comment on it, does it make a sound?
“Content Doesn’t Win. Optimized Content Wins” – Liana Evans
6. Interweave individual accounts with your company accounts
Your company ’s social networking accounts don’t need to operate in isolation. Part of what makes the accounts of Tesla and The Boring Company so popular is that they are tied, in more ways than one, to the accounts of their CEO, Elon Musk.
Use your personal account to foster the content posted on your company account, and vice versa. Ask employees, influencers, and friends to participate with your content. The bottom line is that your organization account doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. Let your personal brand lead to the impact your organization account makes.
Many business owners think of social media as a fun, if not particularly effective, marketing channel. And while that might be true for many companies, that doesn’t have to be true for yours.
Take Domino’therefore, for example. For years, Domino’s played second-fiddle to Pizza Hut in the fast food pizza business. As it turns out, social played a significant role in helping Domino’s supplant their rival.
Domino’s blew past Pizza Hut by developing a successful electronic marketing strategy, which included giving customers the ability to order pizza through social networking. Did you know that you can order Domino’s through Facebook’s Messenger program, or via Twitter with a hashtag and emoji?
Not only did these ordering methods increase engagement and build buzz, but it helped boost Domino’s electronic sales. Social media can simply be a way to attract and entertain customers, or it can drive a significant new revenue stream for your company. As Domino’s demonstrates, you’re only limited by what you’re willing to try on those platforms.
Making an impact on social media is difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort. We can see just how important each social networking platform has become to some of the world’s most powerful businesses –and how those exact platforms can change the way your company appears to customers, engages with different brands, and even functions. Take these lessons to heart when constructing your social media presence and you’ll see the difference.
How can you use social media for your business? Do you take part in social selling? Share your ideas and thoughts below!
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