Effective social-media marketing helps build successful businesses. Arecent study by Shareaholic, which tracked 300,000 websites over four months, suggested that social-media referrals now lead to 30 percent of websites’ overall traffic.
If your business website falls below this benchmark, you may want to consider if your social-media strategy is working. Then again, if your site receives more visits from social media than that rate, you might still want to know what more can you do.
Here are a few strategies to boost social-media marketing to positively impact business growth and sales:
1. Create custom-formatted tweets. Most tweets can become lost in live feeds that seem to stream on with no end, but custom formatting tweets is sure to catch a reader’s attention. Line breaks or a unique font color add welcome change to the monotony of short-form messaging. To have a tweet from your business stand out even more, include arefreshing emoji or a fun symbol, which you can copy and paste from services such as iEmoji.com.
2. Write longer posts. Though Twitter won’t budge on its 140-character limit, Google Plus is a platform that encourages conversation that can begin with a longer post. For example, a July 7 post by Mike Alton, a St. Louis., Mo., consultant received dozens of comments and more than a hundred +1s.
3. Build Facebook Groups. As organic reach for the Facebook pages of companies continues to diminish, entrepreneurs, marketers and publishers should instead consider creating and managing Facebook Groups. The advantage is that members can opt in to receive direct notifications about updates.
4. Insert embedded call to actions. Add a bit of spice to common Facebook posts and generate even more customer leads. To add call-to-action buttons that drive clicks and traffic, follow Econsultancy’s super simple tutorial.
5. Market across many social platforms. Convert Facebook fans into Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections into contacts that circle your profile on Google Plus. Then by regularly sharing on every social network, you (and your company) will forever be top of mind among your followers.
6. Facilitate meaningful connections. Your clients, customers and users are incredible people, and when you identify like-minded folk, encourage them to interact with one another, over and over again. You will birth relationships that will always reference you as a common interest, reinforcing their love for your company's brand.
7. Crowdsource user-generated content and showcase powerful visuals. Leverage platforms such as Pixlee to surface and distribute moments that demonstrate the true meaning of your company's brand to customers.
8. Be a little weird. Playing it safe guarantees nothing. Instead, take afew calculated risks that may prompt your audience (and their friends, fans and followers) to admire your company's authenticity and laugh, smile and share.
9. Stand behind your actions. The best entrepreneurs know when to fire a bad customer and can do so without regret. Last year Liberty Bottleworks boldly responded to a wildly upset customer with whatAdweek described as a “polite but eviscerating reply.” Because the company was forward, honest and entirely reasonable, it won massive support from social-media users and gained many new paying clients.
10. Put a positive spin on things. Rather than joining angry mobs, say something positive and uplifting about important issues that your audience cares about. Social-media users are more likely to follow you if you share happier updates. Emotions are contagious and people enjoy optimism.
11. Provide a bit of structure. When requesting replies, nudge your followers into a certain mind-set. An open-ended question without any guidance on your part may result in only a handful of canned replies. By suggesting a certain format for responses, you'll see how creative the responses from your followers will become, and if you’re lucky, they’ll also be thinking about you and your company.
Bonus tip: A celebrity takeover. For those businesses that have the networking capabilities (or the necessary financial resources) to recruit a celebrity for the task, a social-media account takeover can build up a lot of buzz for a company. Just be sure to be careful about the talent selected for the job and clear about posting guidelines.