WhatsApp, that cool and unusual mobile app recently released some new revisions geared toward small businesses. The Facebook-owned app-now with business tools is trying to get Millennials and other professional app users to see WhatsApp benefits for business.
WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for nearly $20 million in Feb. 2014 and currently boasts a global user base of 1.3 billion. In a media promo blog post promoting the WhatsApp For Business ahead of a wider global rollout in the coming weeks, the company notes that people can continue using WhatsApp as usual —” there’s no need to download anything new.” This means while they fine-tune the business version, you can continue to use the app you have now.
The benefits according to the media posting states that SMBs can derive from WhatsApp new platform suggests a good deal of overlap with what Google, Yelp, Facebook and Instagram already provide. Still, given that its free, the idea of “being wherever the consumer might be” suggests that there few drawbacks to at least trying WhatsApp for customer interaction via texting and other content driven branding. Stats show that over 1.82 billion people will use messaging apps this year This is a 15.5 percent year-over-year increase that underscores the crucial role messaging platforms and chatbots can play in brand/consumer interactions.
Certainly, being accurately listed in an important and growing social messaging app does have some clear positive aspects aside from WhatsApp’s For Business’s highlighted tools: (Via WhatsApp media release)
· Business Profiles: Help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website.
· Messaging Tools: Save time with smart messaging tools — quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you’re busy.
· Messaging Statistics: Review simple metrics like the number of messages read to see what’s working.
· WhatsApp Web: Send and receive messages with WhatsApp Business on your desktop.
· Account Type: People will know that they’re talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number.
WhatsApp has 1.3 billion users. It’s safe to say that if you’re an SMB owner or a marketer considering this, and you’re worried about needing to manage a ton of new communications channels, very few will gross the billion-user mark. Yes, there’s little downside. We at FDMC to be honest have WhatsApp but have not ventured into the business side of the mobile app but this information means we will take another look at the app. Obviously, there are so many apps out there and it is hard to deep dive into all of them. As we explore the business side of WhatsApp, we will let you know.
(some content from this article from WhatsApp blog, emarketer, and other sources)
Snapchat had signed up more US users for its app than its rival Instagram has since the beginning of the year, but new data shows those figures are quickly disappearing.
Before you can create any kind of a great Facebook advertising campaign, you need to know what your goals are and how to read those goals. (analytics) You’ll need to measure to determine how successful the campaign is. Avoiding these steps can really take a toll on your ROI. Take advantage and use Facebook Insights.Generating sales: Your approach will vary depending on whether you’re in the B2C or B2B sector. When in the B2C, your best bet is to use page post ads to promote in the news feed, where you can use larger images to promote your products and services. When in the B2B sector, you should use both page post ads and right-hand column ads to focus on acquiring more leads you can nurture through the sales funnel to convert to sales. Your goal is to send more traffic to your website or landing page, and you should target based on interests, age range, and gender keeping in mid that is appropriate to do so.
Building more brand awareness: Use page like ads to get more likes for your page. You should aim for likes only from highly targeted people, so it means using targeting competitors, similar interests, and custom audiences to get newsletter subscribers to like your Facebook page. Exclude people who are already fans of your page to avoid wasting your hard earned advertising bucks.
Getting more engagement on your posts: Use link ads, photo ads, and video ads to get more engagement for your posts. Your ad creatives should be extremely visual with stellar photos. If you’ve built a relevant audience, start by advertising to them. If not, target people who fit your ideal customer persona based on interests, age, gender, and purchasing behaviors.
Getting installs of your mobile app: Use the mobile app ads for install ad type. Once your app is published in the app store, you should implement Facebook event tracking. Use app screenshots in your creative, and target based on the audience you believe to be most interested. Thought check. Mobile apps although a bit costly if you are a small business owner, are great to have but also it is for more on lines sales or retail type businesses-e-commerce. If you are a consultant or in the service type of industry, having a app for smart phones may not work for you.
Keep Desktop and Mobile Ads Separate
Facebook gives you the option to run various advertising in different locations. You can run on mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, right column, and Instagram. It’s a good idea to keep your desktop and mobile ad campaigns completely separate, even if you’re aiming to achieve the same goal. Again, your budget needs to come into consideration.
Keeping them separate allows you to optimize your ads, bids, and conversions based on device. Your ads and calls to action are likely to perform differently on desktop than they would on mobile, so your ad setup needs to fact that in. If you’re using the Power Editor to design and build your ads, then you can choose the device targeting on the ad set menu.
Test Different ImagesImages will draw attention to your ads, but no two images will perform the same way. That’s why you should test the same ad copy with different images, to see which ones your audience responds to better. Then, stop running ad campaigns that use the images with the lower click through rates and conversions, so you can maximize your ROI.
Use Lookalike AudiencesA Facebook Lookalike Audience is a list of users who have similar characteristics to your website custom audience. You can use it to find other people who are already like your customers, or to find people like the ones who are already like your page.
If you want to create a lookalike audience, login to the Facebook ads manager and click audiences. From there, click “Create audience” and choose “Lookalike audience” from the dropdown menu.
Then, choose the source of your look alike audience, such as the people who already like your page, or the people who’ve visited the thank you page on your website. Choose your target company, and select your audience size. The smaller audience size you choose, the more targeted it will be.
Use the Remarketing PixelAny potential customers who’ve visited your website from any traffic source, but didn’t convert, are likely comparing prices and providers. They’re in the research phase and are trying to get the best possible deal. So, by the time they’re ready to actually make a purchase, chances are high they’ve forgotten about you.
The Facebook remarketing pixel allows you to target people who’ve visited your website in the past on Facebook with ads. This is an excellent way to make the most of traffic that originally came to you from AdWords. All you have to do to setup a remarketing pixel is login to your Facebook advertising manager, click on Audiences, then click “Custom Audience and Website Traffic.” From there, you’ll be able to start the process of creating a remarketing pixel.
You’ll need to install the code in the footer of your website. It may take a day or so to start pulling in data, but you can then go back to your website traffic menu and choose “people who visit specific web pages.” From there, you’ll be able to create lists of people who are visiting a certain page on your website, and target them or exclude them from your campaigns. One of the best ways to make use of this is to exclude anyone who has visited your thank you page, since they have already converted. You’re not wasting time or money advertising to them.
Target Your Email ListFacebook lets you create a custom audience based on your email list. Create a .CSV or .TXT file with a single email address per row. Remove any other data your email marketing platform includes in your exported file.
Click “Audiences” and click “Create Audience.” Then choose “Custom Audience” and “Customer List”. From there, you’ll be able to upload your list.
You can also upload a list of phone numbers and target those people on Facebook ads, but it only works if their phone number is listed in their account. You can create a lookalike audience based off of these targeted lists, too.
Schedule Your AdsOn Facebook, you can segment your ads by days and hours, if you have a lifetime budget, rather than a daily budget option. This issue is why many businesses aren’t using this feature. If you use this approach, you’ll need to think of the total budget of your ad set. If you don’t have a successful performance pattern over time, then don’t use this setting. It’s not a good option for the first run of an ad for testing purposes.
If you have an ad you know works, you can set up the days and times you want it o run in the budget and schedule section of your ad set.
Use Carousel AdsIf your audience seems to respond well to a series of product images, you can combine those images into a single ad with the carousel ad. This is a newer ad type that allows you to show more than one image at once within a single ad. Ecommerce brands can use dynamic product ads that allow them to cross-sell complementary products, or even retarget customers who click through to their websites, but don’t make a purchase.
Ecommerce brands can also improve their Facebook marketing strategy using multi-product ads. This allows you to show multiple products in a single ad, giving customers more to choose from. You can also use these ads to show different benefits of a single product. An Adobe study showed these ads are more cost efficient per acquisition, saving you up to 35 percent in cost per click because of higher engagement. And, they can boost your click through rate as much as 50 percent to 300 percent.
Advertise on Instagram, TooSince Facebook owns Instagram, you can create the same ads on Instagram that you can run on Facebook. You can choose to run your campaigns solely on Facebook, or duplicate them on Instagram. If you know your audience can be found there too, then it’s a good way to build more traction.
The key with Facebook is to segment, and run multiple ads on a small scale to see what works before spending more money. Always be testing, and paying attention to your conversions.
Some portions of this article from "Small Business Trends"
Brands and video marketers who want to step up their live content game don’t need to look any farther than Facebook Live. The broadcasting platform, which was officially introduced in April 2016 to all Facebook users, has become a favorite destination for the site’s users when they’re looking for live content to entertain and inform them. However, the same type of content that works on YouTube Live, Instagram Live, or even Snapchat or Twitter won’t necessarily be what works best on Facebook Live. Depending on your particular brand, you’ll want to tailor a strategy specifically to the streaming platform to maximize your reach and marketing potential, and make the most out of your Facebook Live video content.
Fortunately, there are at least eight types of content which perform well on Facebook Live. Consider these options when you’re looking for ways to launch or improve your live video strategy:
Ask Me Anything (AMA) and Question & Answer (Q&A) content is a shoe-in for Facebook Live, as many brands boast audiences which use Facebook on a daily basis. AMAs and Q&As are a direct way to communicate with your fans, but make sure they don’t become stagnant. Set a new theme or topic for each session you conduct, or bring on a collaborator or person of interest to answer your fans’ most burning questions.
Nine times out of ten, consumers only see the forward-facing side of your brand, the side that markets to them and wants to impress them enough to purchase your products or services. But if you use Facebook Live to take them behind-the-scenes, you’ll find brand loyalty and interest will grow. You can do this by showing them preparations for a red carpet event, revealing the process of how their favorite product is made, or by letting them follow along with a particular employee’s daily duties.
Live streaming is digital media’s answer to traditional live television. As such, it’s only natural for many consumers and social media users to default to platforms like Facebook Live for their news, instead of turning on the TV set. In fact, Pew Research discovered 66% of adults regularly use Facebook to get their news. Use this to your advantage, especially if news is a big part of what your brand covers. Do your best to start broadcasting as soon as a story hits, and talk about the facts as well as your brand’s thoughts or reactions to the news.
Everyone loves a good challenge! If your brand has an idea for a competition or challenge which can be broadcast live, don’t hesitate to do so on Facebook. You’ll attract your fair share of viewers, but you’ll also reap the benefits of views on the archived live stream, too. Encourage your audience to share in the challenge at home (if they’re safely able to) and report on their experiences in real-time using the chat feature.
While how-tos might be one of YouTube’s most-searched video types, they’ve become incredibly popular on Facebook Live, as well. You can use the live streaming platform to not only demonstrate how your own product or services work, but also to show how to perform tasks related to your industry. Doing so builds your reputation as a helpful, trustful brand.
Events or Appearances
The biggest problem with events and appearances used to be their localized nature. But now brands can use Facebook Live to stream such events to viewers around the world. Bringing a big event or celebrity appearance to your Facebook page means you’re reaching consumers who might otherwise not be able to attend the event in person.
Interviews are an easy win for brands who want to connect with their fans, and Facebook Live is the perfect platform to stream them. You can keep things internal and interview executives and employees within your brand, or bring in persons of interest, celebrities, or influencers whom you know your audience will tune in to watch.
Product & Service Announcements
Much in the way live streaming events and appearances allows viewers to tune in regardless of their location in the world, product and service announcements can also be made via Facebook Live to immediately inform consumers of your newest offering. You’ll get to see fans’ reactions in real time, and answer any of their questions within chat to help them better understand the new product or service.
Try using these tips on your next Facebook Live broadcast. And remember, you can use Facebook Live both from your mobile app and your desktop.
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC
Social listening is an important strategy that brands need to consider if they’re to stay up to speed with Millennials and rapid speed conversations.
But does social listening contribute to delivering a great customer experience? Can it help your brand in proactively meeting customer needs?
Yes, it does! And here are 5 ways in which Social Listening can take your customer relationships to the next level.
1. Engage with a large audience (larger than you could ever imagine!)
With a proper social listening software, you can effortlessly listen to those who are talking about your brand, your product or service and also about your competitors on social platforms. Furthermore, Nielsen has found that 33% of customers even prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone.
When that is the case, listening can be a definite first step to understanding what the customer wants. It’s necessary to stay in-sync with the latest customer expectations else you run the risk of losing out to competition. And social listening is the ideal way to stay ahead in this race!
2. You get the ‘real’ scoop on social
Have you wondered why customers are sometimes too nice while filling feedback forms? One of the reasons is that they don’t have the time (hey, you might be asking too many questions!) nor the patience to explicitly express what they think.
How can social listening be of value here? It helps your brand filter out negative comments and get tangible insights from these comments. Let’s say a majority of your audience is criticizing the lack of information on your website. An intelligent social listening software will filter out these comments and deliver an actionable insight like “Working on availability of information on website can help boost website experience”
3. It’s where real-time customer service happens
The need for businesses to go real time would have been written in stone by now – It’s been repeated that often. Well, there isn’t any better place you can hope to achieve this than on social platforms.
You’d have come across the incident where Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, made sure to respond back to a valuable feedback on Twitter. If you haven’t yet, check out the story here. Customers want to be heard and they treat social media as a platform to engage with your brand and get instant remedies for their issues.
4. Make marketing personalized. Let social content drive engagement!
Personalization is the key to unlocking great experiences and social customer relationships.
Social listening tools can help you identify the way your target personas converse, the words they use, its tonality and unravels their specific needs and expectations from your brand. The insights you gather here can in turn be leveraged to run personalized marketing campaigns!
Moreover, a powerful and dynamic social listening platform can help you segregate your social audience into different categories which also helps in creating relevant content and offers for specific customer groups.
5. Staying proactive
Exceeding customer expectations can be a sure shot way to deliver customer delight. But unless your brand is well equipped with the necessary information and insights, going past expectations isn’t a cakewalk. By constantly monitoring what your customers, as well as other prospects, are talking about and engaging with them regularly, you can come up with a proactive and futuristic customer experience strategy for the long run. And social listening can help you monitor rapidly changing customer needs, anticipate trends and most importantly, deliver actionable insights on how to go about executing these changes.
Social listening is one of the most reliable means to make sense of the myriad conversations and comments on social platforms. Not just that, it provides a platform to learn more about your customers, their changing preferences, and expectations, and connect with them on a personal level no matter how far they are. Social media is already a huge repository of information. Now, converting that information into insights that can build customer experience is the advantage you have with social listening.
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC
When Snapchat first took the mobile world by storm, most people assumed it was just another teenage fad. Six years and a $16 billion valuation later, one of the most talked-about IPOs to date has since made it clear that Snapchat’s influence goes far beyond silly pictures.
According to Snap Inc.’s recently updated Form S-1 SEC registration statement, the app boasts 158 million active users each day, and those users spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app each day. Clearly, Snapchat has ingrained itself as the king of a social media niche that Facebook and Twitter never knew existed.
For businesses that use social media to interact with consumers, Snapchat presents opportunities no other platforms can replicate. Whether your company's goal is recruiting new talent, engaging current employees or marketing to the masses, Snapchat has something for everyone.
The many faces of Snapchat
Snapchat users become princesses, cowboys, aliens and puppies all the time. Why shouldn’t the app be just as versatile for business?
Direct consumer marketing is the obvious first step, but Snapchat works for internal communications and recruitment, as well. Certainly, a 10-second snap isn’t the best way to notify employees that their bonuses have been delayed. But, for small recognitions, company events, birth announcements, new hires and goals achieved, Snapchat provides bite-sized slices of company life that employees will actually look at A Snapchat channel of employee posts, such as the one Cisco uses, can also be a great tool to show potential candidates what life at the company is really like!
Cisco, for example, allows its employees to post on the channel themselves, giving viewers a live look into the company’s different roles, office locations and special events. The channel has been a great success: Cisco found that 70 percent of its viewers had watched its stories all the way through, and more than five million minutes of its content had been consumed.
What's more, the oversaturation issue doesn't apply here: Just because everyone else uses Snapchat for direct marketing doesn’t mean it isn’t worth looking into, yourself.
10 seconds to better business
With a platform as versatile as Snapchat, most businesses have trouble figuring out where to begin. The following five strategies will help businesses get the most from their Snapchat experience.
1.Keep your content candid. Creating custom-designed snaps is expensive and inefficient. Users of Snapchat want to see slices of real life, not heavily designed ads. So, let your employees post directly to a feed, or put a personable social media expert in charge of capturing moments to share. With brands now posting an average 13 stories per month and 11 snaps per story.
2. Bring in well-known guests. Social media influencers and niche celebrities provide excellent brand exposure. Let someone else take over the Snapchat story for a while, and see what develops. Not only will brand loyalists appreciate the shakeup, but fans of the talent that was previously unaffiliated with the brand might become new customers themselves.
3. Call users to action. Attention is great, but action is better. According to Sumpto, 67 percent of college age students want to receive more discounts and promotions from brands on Snapchat. Encourage followers to visit a website or share on other social media platforms. Incentivize engagement with special Snapchat filters or contests for prizes.
4. Build a following through consistency. Twitter followers may rally around hashtags, but how can brands create a following on an app that relies on transience? Simple -- by making Snapchat a bigger part of the branding outside the app.
5. Track snap data. Even though Snapchat lacks the more advanced analytic tools other platforms use, it still provides some interesting insights. Total views are useful, but story completion (how many people watched all the way through) and screenshots (how many thought it was worthy of sharing) pinpoint the most engaged users.
Don’t be fooled by its often-silly exterior -- when it comes to marketing, Snapchat is the real deal. Follow these strategies to start building better stories and engaging with more users.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
If 2015 was the year that brands and advertisers embraced online video, then 2016 will see the medium take the next step as live streaming takes off.
Live streaming video refers to broadcasts in real time to an audience over the internet. While the concept of live streaming has been around for years, mobile-first video platforms with user-generated content have just recently begun to make serious waves thanks to improved video quality, faster broadband speeds, and enhanced mobile technology.
Online video has become a key part of the strategic business model for both brands and marketers as they seek more innovative ways to capture consumer attention. Creative live streaming video initiatives and campaigns are a way for companies to cut through the digital clutter and have emerged as the medium of choice not only for person-to-person sharing, but also for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) communication.
Brands are increasingly using live streaming to reach audiences. Its importance has grown significantly thanks to substantial investments by social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter to build and enhance their live-streaming platforms.
Advertising dollars are likely to follow. 88% of agency respondents stated that they “might” or “definitely will” invest in live stream video advertising over the next six months, according to a recent Trusted Media Brands survey.
Live streaming video will further accelerate streaming videos overall share of internet traffic. Streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic, and this share is expected to jump to 82% by 2020, according to Cisco’s June 2016 Visual Networking Index report.
Live video’s value comes from its unique ability to add an authentic human element to digital communications. As a result, brands are leveraging three main streaming methods to connect with their viewers: tutorials, product launches, and exclusive and behind-the-scene footage.
Advertisers will continue to invest heavily in online video, especially as live streaming video gains traction. Already in the US, digital video ad revenue reached $7.8 billion in 2015, up 55% from 2014, according to figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau.
While live streaming is still in its early stages, brands are leveraging micro- payments, mid-roll video ads and direct payments from social platforms, to monetize their live streaming videos.
The success of live streaming video hinges on brands overcoming a lack of measurement standards in the space, as well as changes in social media sites' algorithms that affect what content users see. I encourage small businesses to seriously look into live streaming the next time you want to generate traffic to your next event!
Social is easy – if you great content and the means to distribute it. As a marketer, however, your attention is split between various tasks at hand. It isn’t easy to give social media marketing the undivided attention it needs to get your approach to it right. Sometimes you overlook a tactic that is clearly working, or fail to optimize one that you are working with. Here is a list of six ignored tactics to increase your social media reach.
1. Create a social media sharing contest
You could use social media contests to engage and reward people who have been following you for a while. They also work in acquiring new interest for your pages, and increasing reach for the content you include as part of the contests. By powerfully branding your contest you can also increase your brand awareness on social media. One easy way to increase reach for a new product or service is by involving it in a social media sharing contest.The ideal goal here would be to get people to participate and share/bring in other participants. To do that, you have to ensure that the reward is exciting, and that the contest involves something that your audience is likely to do. The simpler you make it, the more likely your audience is to participate. Ensure that the platform or app you use to conduct the contest is user-friendly and prompts your audience to share something that furthers the reach of your contest.You could begin with the simplest contest idea you have in mind – like, share or comment to participate. Analyze the participation on that contest and slowly work your way up to more demanding activities with subsequent contests. Fully make use of the data you pull from contests, because they tell you important things about your content, your audience and your brand’s presence on social media.
2. Build a targeted social media following
If you want better engagement on your social media pages, you need a targeted social media following. Followers on your page who don’t add value to your brand or business are simply a number. While large numbers are indicative of popularity, low engagement numbers affect your brand’s search engine efforts. Irrelevant followers can also damage your brand’s identity if they decide to include you in less than desirable content.To build a targeted social media following, you first need clarity on your target audience persona(s). Define your demographic, identify what makes them tick and what their concerns are. Go to where they are located on the internet/social media and bring them to your social media pages – with the right content and follow-back links.A good way to do this is through the influencers in your niche. Follow their followers, who are highly likely to be part of your target audience. While following these people, scan through their social media descriptions and match their interests to your ideal target personas. Also judge by their following/followers ratio to see if they are likely to follow you back. Another method of building a targeted following is by sharing content specific to your industry.
3. Leverage keywords that are likely to drive traffic to your social pages
You can optimize your search for social media, just as your do for other search engines. If people are searching for something on Google, the same trends are likely to follow on social media.When was the last time you analyzed the performance of your content you put out there on your social platforms? If you have noticed, some keywords may work for you better than others, on different social media platforms. Monitor them and apply them to every post that you share on your social media pages. Here are a few words that generally perform betteron different social media platforms.
Twitter: free, top, how to, blog, 10, great, media, follow
Facebook: comment, post, discount, when, where, take, deals, amuses
LinkedIn: researched, developed, created, won, improved, under budget
Search trends generally don’t undergo drastic changes, but subtler ones that are also observable in your audience’s language. By optimizing your content to reflect the subtle changes, you can consistently build and grow the traffic moving to your social pages. One of the easiest ways to do this is by referring to what is working for your competition, on a regular basis. By using this tactic you can avoid doing the leg-work yourself and feed off what your competition is doing. The only catch is the choice you make for the topic mining. Choose one of the giants, a company that you know does its research before implementing a content strategy. You could of course go by the popularity of any post that you see is working. But when committing to a strategy in advance, follow only the best in your niche, or a large company targeting the same audience as you are, but with a slightly different product/service.
4. Build a peer/employee advocate network
Why add shares when you can multiply them? By building relationships with peers and advocates on social media, you can increase your reach up to 300X times (where X is the number of advocates you create and 300 is an approximate average follower count each of them has on all social media platforms). Imagine what would happen if your employees fill the variable X. The larger an organization is, the more they have to benefit from employee advocacy. When building a peer/employee advocate network, you have to be considerate. This relationship works like any other, there has to be give and take. You could reciprocate your peers’ sharing efforts by helping them promote some of their content. With employees, you could help them build their authority on social media while helping you push out your content. You can also create an advocacy program and reward your best advocates.
5. Post more often and on a calculated schedule
At any given time, your social media reach is limited to your audience’s real-time activity and the position of your content in their feeds. Sometimes, your audience may not even get to see the content you have created, stunting your content performance. You may have to schedule your content multiple times to reach most of your social media followers. A good frequency of posting is clearly necessary to engage and grow your social media following.
It is a good idea to focus your posting to fit the period when your followers are most active on each social media platform. People generally use Facebook and Twitter in the afternoons while LinkedIn usage happens in the mornings. But is isn’t enough to rely on generic research. You should optimize posting times to fit your social media followers’ activity. You could do this by setting up a simple experiment. Take one piece of content and schedule it to be posted on different days and at different times on each day. You could choose four-time intervals to test (early morning, mid-morning, afternoon and evening) and see the exact time when your content performs the best. You should do this on each social media platform you intend to be active on. Once you have your results, you can plan a content posting schedule to make the best of high engagement time intervals.
6. Interact with your social media audience
There is no point building a social media audience if you don’t interact with them. To build strong and lasting relationships you’re your audience, you have to care. You have to pay attention to the people who make your social media audience. People appreciate if you take the time to respond to them or to initiate conversations with them, it makes them feel special and gives them the impression that they will be cared for by your brand. How do you expect to turn your social media audience into customers without engagement and conversation? It is easier to manage your social media mentions when you have an app to help. Social media listening apps can monitor certain keywords, related to your brand, and give you real-time alerts when a mention has been made. Some of them also let you delegate tasks to a team to make your response streamlined and efficient.
The key to succeeding on social media is a good content strategy and effective reach. To optimize both for your brand, it is important to be observant of everything you put on social media and how it is received. Focus on the tactics that work better than the others, and ignore the ones that don’t.
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC
Social selling, or selling your products and services through social media, can be a tricky balancing act for B2B concepts. Sales and marketing teams must toe the line between persuasiveness and pushiness, and a little bit of social media know-how can facilitate enhanced positive interactions with potential clients.
After all, statistics point to social selling as one of the most effective tools in sales and marketing. Nearly 75% of buyers consult social media before making a purchase decision, and 77% of buyers don’t talk to a salesperson until performing independent research. Here are four ways to master B2B social selling for your company.
Develop a strategy and choose your network
Before heading to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, take some time to develop a strategy. What are your goals? Which social media channels does your brand perform best with, and which channels are your customers using?
In general, avoid Facebook and Twitter for B2B selling; users on these social networks are likely entertaining themselves, catching up on news or interacting with friends and family. They are more likely to view a sales pitch as an invasion of privacy and an annoyance than on LinkedIn, where the audience is much more professional. However, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google+ and other platforms can still serve a purpose: They are important components to creating a comprehensive brand identity. And while Facebook, Twitter and other platforms certainly have more users, LinkedIn’s more targeted audience is more engaged with professional products and services, which serves sales and marketing teams well. Once you have a plan in place, you’re ready to proceed.
Use existing material to build brand equity
Chances are your business already has some valuable collateral that can aid in creating a conversation with a potential buyer. Think blogs, bylines, case studies, trade-show collateral, guest writing opportunities and other industry activities that will be noticed.
This is also a great time to repurpose any press coverage your brand has earned with decision-maker contacts for your targeted prospective customers. The truth is that most buyers do their research beforehand, so presenting your brand as favorably as possible is critical to the due-diligence process.
Be prompt, not pushy with your follow-up
According to Social Times, more than half of consumers expect brands to respond to an inquiry or message within an hour. While this might hold true for consumer-focused brands that do the majority of their customer interactions via social media, B2B brands can afford to show a little more restraint in social media conversations. Certainly, respond in an appropriate amount of time, but don’t be too eager: Your products and services are valuable and should be seen as such.
In all interactions, make sure your messages are clear, friendly, spelled and formatted correctly, and ensure that your tone is personable yet professional. This is the opportunity for a first impression you won’t be able to make again.
Utilize the power of your prospects’ networks
You’ve done all the right things—respectful, timely follow-up, well-crafted messages, supplementary material and more—but the potential client still isn’t biting. There could be many reasons for this—budgetary limitations, corporate hoops to jump through, general bureaucracy—but it’s still important to keep up a good relationship with your potential client because while they might not be looking to buy, someone they know in the industry could be.
Craft a follow-up message to send on to leads when big internal news hits, simply informing them of positive news and gauging their interest, because circumstances change. If at first your prospect doesn’t respond, don’t be afraid to follow up with another note. This is true social networking! Clearly, social media influences B2B sales interactions greatly. However, it does take a practiced hand to close deals, requiring a more nuanced understanding of social selling and the social media channels involved. Use these tips to take your selling to the next level.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
Are you struggling to connect with your audience on social media? Do you feel like social media won’t work for your business? It’s not easy to put every business on social media, but the right approach can help even the most difficult cases reach their customers.
#1: Tell an Outside-the-Box Story
Many marketers create content around topics that relate to their value proposition, but that might be difficult to do if you’re in a “boring” industry. The good news is that even if your industry isn’t inherently exciting, you can still create content that appeals to your audience.
Look to Shoulder Niches
Suppose you’re a widget merchant. You might start with content about widget quality, FAQs about widgets, and suggestions on what to look for when buying widgets. However, these ideas can only go so far. This is where “shoulder niches” come in. Consider niches that are related to your industry. For example, you might create detailed blog posts and videos that show how to build different kinds of widgets. This type of content will attract top-of-funnel traffic and encourage social sharing to boost your reach. To generate content ideas for your business, grab a pen and paper and jot down your industry in the middle of the page. Then add related keywords and topics around your industry keyword until you find an idea you can research further.
#2: Deliver a Quick Call to Action Via Micro-content
People have short attention spans. Studies show that 50% of users stay on a website for less than 10 seconds. Short-form educational and entertaining content, called micro-content, can help appeal to a distracted audience. How do you create micro-content that has a high chance of going viral? Make the content short, keep text to a minimum, and be sure to accompany it with visuals. Always include a call to action as well. The connection you make with your audience should be the first step to tangible business goals. Micro-content should lead to a micro-yes, whether that’s clicking a link or providing an email address. With your calls to action in place, it’s easy to measure performance. Use UTM codes and shorten links to track each campaign. You can do this in Google Analytics under Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns.
#3: Connect in Real Time With Live Video
Live video is a powerful addition to the customer retention toolbox that makes one-to-one connections even stronger. While Periscope is a key player, Facebook Live is becoming increasingly popular. Whenever you go live on Facebook, your existing fan base is notified. What content should you stream live? Hold live Q&As to give customers a platform to post questions and get answers in real time. Broadcast product launches live to give your audience a sneak peek at new releases and features, making them feel part of something exclusive. You can also show customers what your business looks like behind closed doors. Allow employees to express their personalities so they can form connections with customers. This is the foundation for increasing customer loyalty on social media. Measuring live video engagement on platforms like Facebook is easy, and the viewer count is displayed within the content.
Social media marketing requires patience if you’re trying to gain traction organically. That’s why many business owners and marketers supplement those efforts with paid social media advertising. The second approach is to go beyond content and test campaigns that focus on bottom-of-funnel goals. Sharing free trials or discount coupons via Facebook or Twitter can help you generate qualified leads at all stages of the sales cycle. Ad targeting is an area that many small- and medium-sized businesses underestimate. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all offer granular demographic and psycho-graphic targeting information. Put these practices into play and see if your business grows by better usage of social media.
FDMC Social & Digital Media