Social media, there’s no denying, can be (when done correctly) a very effective method for reaching a wider audience. But how can you ensure you’re taking full advantage and are using the right platforms and methods to drive the best results?
I was recently joined with Ian Moyse, a well-known Sales Leader who has a huge social media presence, being rated 2016 and 15’s #1 social influencer on cloud, and #1 on ITSM , featured in many social selling leaders reports and has even advised many businesses on how to play the social media game. Here, Ian shared his tips on how to expand your social media presence.
- What to consider
- Influencing buyers – With 75% of b2b buyers using social media to research a vendor (IDC) and 57% of the buyers journey being done before a sales rep is contacted (CAB), the power of social really has evolved. Ian even points out that incremental decisions are being made, based on content shared through social media. ‘That wouldn’t have happened even 10 years ago,’.
- Transparency – The buyer and influencer dynamic has evolved. Anyone now has the ability to find out everything about, you, your brand, your products, what others think of you, and from this make a decision. It’s therefore more important than ever to portray yourself in the best way possible, across any mediums where they may find you, to sway their buying decision.
- What are your goals? – It’s not enough to just want to be a part of social media because you’ve heard at an event it’s ‘good’, you need to think about what it is you want to accomplish and where you want to go. As Ian says ‘If you don’t know where you want to go, I can’t tell you which route to take.’ Possible goals could be; to generate leads, to appear more established than you are, to gain a wider regional reach or to be seen as a thought leader.
- Who are your audience?
After you’ve identified your goal, you then need to consider who is your audience. Examples include:
- Customers- End customers
- Channel partners- Spread your message onwards to their customer base.
- Analysts- To become recognized in your field
- Journalists- To create an online buzz and get your brand out there
- Influencers- To improve the reputation of your business
- How do you engage with your audience?
Social media is open 24 hours a day so posting once a day will not be enough to grab your audience’s attention.
What a lot of thought leaders do is they repeat their content. To do this though you need to have a wide content library. As Ian says ‘What are the chances your audience are going to see it 50 times’? Social Media is a transient form, no one is sat watching you all the time. Like a TV advert the same ad runs on different channels at different time again and again! You need to engage the same on social. Have a mix of good content you can re-use and perhaps post a blog, twice a day, each day at different times across 2 week’s! You want to have as many people as possible to; see it, engage with it and share it on to their audiences! Using a social automation tools will allows you to schedule these in advance to go out at varying times.
Social media has the word ‘social’ in the title for a reason. It’s all about communicating with your audience and starting up conversations. By this Ian does not mean, sending them something one off. The relationship needs to be constantly nurtured to keep them interested, whilst encouraging engagement.
More than that though, it’s about sharing content that will be of interest to them.
- How do you grow your audience?
- Focus- Do not be fooled into thinking you need to be on all social networks. If your business does not lend itself to visual display, why have an ‘Instagram’ account? Yes, it’s a huge player in the market, but perhaps not for your industry. Instead focus your efforts on a few social networks suited to your industry. Why not assess your competitors’ efforts and which ones they use?
- Take advantage- Hashtags, keywords, Twitter lists, LinkedIn Groups, are all great ways of attracting your audience’s attention. Spend some time researching these and see how you can take advantage of them. I would highly recommend conducting social listening to see how others are using these effectively. If you can identify a relevant niche not yet served then consider creating a LinkedIn or Facebook group and adding connections/ thought leaders in that space to it. This is a method Ian has found particularly beneficial for starting conversations, engaging his audience and sharing content (Ian’s group now has over 33k members and is continuing to grow consistently!)
- Social Selling- As Ian says ‘people talk to people. They don’t like to feel they’re talking to a bot. To do this you need to take advantage of your sales people and give them training on how to use their social media accounts effectively, for building and engaging with prospects. With 57% of the buyers’ journey occurring before a sales rep is contacted, building your employees online presence is a great way of influencing buying decisions.
- Thought leaders- Do you have influencers, senior level employees or experts in your field that you could be leveraging on social media? This is also another great way of increasing your social media presence, building trust and adding a humanized element to your messaging as well.
- Useful tools- Here are some great tools which Ian Moyse recommends using for improving your social media performance and efficiency:
-Fiverr- Creative marketplace for finding digital services such as creating great profile imagery and social animations cheaply
-Ezgif- Converts videos to GIF’s to make content and is a bit more social media friendly.
-Social media automation tools- To schedule relevant posts to your audience all at once.
-Commun.it- A tool to analyze engagement on Twitter & Facebook and to help you re-engage
The main trick is to constantly look for small gains and try to keep up to date with the advancements. ‘I am constantly looking for ways to make social media that bit easier for myself or ways to make me look a bit more professional. Its’ all about those 1% gains, they all add up.’
Ian shared some extremely useful tips in here, too many in fact for me to mention within this blog post, so here’s the full version of our ‘Expanding your Social Audience’ webinar. Please do follow us @purechannelapps and @imoyse on Twitter and feel free to ask us some questions.