Social Media Marketing Ideas to Get You Out of Your Rut
September 17, 2013 Leave a comment
Limitations are an inevitable hurdle that businesses will face, however they don’t have to prevent you from using social media as a marketing avenue. In fact, Forrester Research indicates that 38% of marketers are struggling the most with garnering a return on investment, whereas less than 25% are struggling because of a limited budget or lack of time. The metrics of social media and the ability to measure the ROI from multiple platforms can be complicated. A good social media marketing campaign has to start somewhere, though, whether it’s complex, technical or expensive. The following social media marketing ideas will make the process more simple and attainable.
Adapt New & Unique Hashtags
Verizon is a good example of how this can be done effectively. One of their 2013 commercials included the hashtag #RealityCheck in the footer as it played. #RealityCheck refers to the wakeup call that customers get before they make the switch to Verizon. The integration of a hashtag like this expands their reach exponentially because it takes the conversation about Verizon’s services from the television screen to computers and mobile devices. Because Verizon has an established and recognizable brand, it gives them some advantages that small and micro businesses may not necessarily have, but size should not be a factor stopping anyone from making custom hashtags work for their social media marketing.
Digital Strategist and Social Media Expert Alexis Grant adapted the hashtag #alexiswebinar in much the same way that Verizon did theirs. She claims that the hashtag has been useful for creating interest around her services, growing her Twitter following, reinforcing her brand, helping attendees connect to one another in a social chat room and establishing herself as a thought leader in the internet marketing industry.
A unique hashtag will not work in the same capacity that broader ones like #socialmedia or #marketingideas will, although those types of hashtags indeed have their place. Interlace conventional hashtags into your Twitter, Google+ and Facebook posts carefully. If you want to develop your own hashtag, you can start by thinking about your brand and its strong suits. Begin at the end marketing goal and work your way backwards to the starting point to figure out what it will take to get others to use this hashtag. The term doesn’t necessarily have to go viral to be effective and useful to your brand. It just has to reflect an intentional and carefully executed social media strategy.
Find Fresh Ways to Say Things – Even if They’ve Been Said Before
Finding the right social media marketing ideas begins with knowing what to say. Writer’s block isn’t just something that authors and freelance writers struggle with–content marketers also get stuck occasionally. These tips will help to ward off the block:
- Think (and talk) like a consumer: Pay close attention to what your consumers do and say. You don’t have unlimited access to their minds, but you can figure out what they think, how they feel and what they struggle with by reading what they are sharing. Note what slang, colloquialisms and foreshortened terms they do or don’t use. Before you yourself hit the share button, also think about the culture of the social media platform that this content would be published on. Using inappropriate jargon in a professional atmosphere like LinkedIn would be like showing up to a business networking event in ripped jeans and a flannel top: it wouldn’t end well.
- Get off the self-promotion pulpit: It’s one thing to pose questions and statements to a general audience of followers. It’s another thing to make nearly every message into a sales pitch or a chance to create a backlink. You can promote without ever having to promote, in a sense. Some of your best brand ambassadors will be those with whom you interact with directly. One simple thing you can do to increase your user engagement is to categorize followers into private lists. Anyone on these lists would stand apart from those who you are already following publicly. Having your followers in lists will make it easy to monitor the conversations among different types of customers, namely potential and current customers.
- Answer questions: InboxQ is a helpful browser plugin for answering questions. It installs onto the Google Chrome web browser. The device provides a great way to research what your potential consumers are struggling with so that you can mold your business to better suit their needs. Clicking the icon opens up a menu and reveals a stream of questions being asked all around Twitter based on keywords that you have selected to follow. For example, if you create a campaign around “social media marketing ideas,” you will see questions that include that specific key term. The users asking those questions will probably be looking for social media marketing ideas (as you probably are doing, granted that you’re reading this now). If you’re an internet marketing or social media management firm, these are the types of questions you will want to have answers for.
Add More Social Sharing Options
Simply placing social icons on your website doesn’t suffice anymore. As long as you want to build your brand, you will need to put a little more effort into your social media marketing than that. Get users to connect with you or, better yet, invite them to share your content with their own friends and followers. If you use WordPress to manage your website’s content, there are several plugins you can install for an additional helping hand:
- ShareBar: a customizable, hovering button that scrolls with the page and gives users the option to post your content to the social media platforms which you specify in advance.
- ShareThis: a social sharing bar that appears at the bottom of blog posts. It supports email forwarding, as well as Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
- Social Media Counters: sharing buttons for multiple social media accounts that also indicate the amount of times the content on a particular page has been shared. Higher numbers paint a picture of popularity in the minds of users, and this entices them to share even more!
- Swipp: a social media metrics tool that provides insights that serve to increase social media marketing effectiveness.
- Disqus: a commenting system that is hosted by various social media platforms. Instead of using a standard commenting form or logging into your website, visitors can log in to Disqus with their social profiles to give you their feedback. This tool also helps build engagement because Disqus notifies their users whenever someone replies to a comment they made.
All of these social media marketing ideas should help build your own brand or that of your company. Social media offers many learning and networking opportunities that will inevitably support you and your business if you allow it; but be sure to take off your business hat from time to time, too. Along the way, you may find yourself having a bit of fun being both the consumer and the marketer.
Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.