Four Tips to Follow For an Effective Social Media Strategy

Back when social media first hit the Internet, hardly anyone thought of it as a tool to help build business and increase customer sales.  It was used primarily for social interaction and connecting with friends from your past. These days, this platform is extremely powerful in business for staying in communication with existing customers and attracting new ones.  However, the key to being successful on social sites is to have a well-planned social media strategy in place. Below are four tips that will help you organize your own strategy.

Determine your Social Media Goals and Objectives

You need to have well defined goals and objectives for your social marketing campaign. Your goals are generally what you are looking to achieve in the long-term while your objectives are the short-term actions you implement daily to help you reach those long-term goals. Your objectives need to be aligned with your goals.

Define your Theme

If you have read the book, The Now Revolution, by authors Amber Naslund and Jay Baer, you will understand why defining your theme is so important. Your theme will determine what you want your audience to do.  This is typically three things:

1. Sales

2. Awareness

3. Loyalty

Both awareness and loyalty naturally lead to more sales, however, each campaign in your social media strategy should focus on just one. Simplicity and consistency are essential here.

Build Relationships – Stop to Listen

Social media is centered on maintaining relationships and building new ones.  Your social marketing efforts should be focused around these two aspects.  It should not be all about you. You need to be listening to your potential customers and not just talking to them. If all you are doing is talking to them, they will get tired of simply being “talked to” and your campaign will not be a success. You build relationships with your customers by genuinely listening to them.

Be a Power User

A “power user” is an individual who is extraordinarily active in the social media community and has more of a significant effect on the members than the average user. Power users have more influence because they build honest and strong relationships with their followers, share valuable content and do not self-promote excessively.  They actively build up a prominent social status in the social community.

In the end, not everyone’s social media strategy is going to look the same and results will always be different.  Just remember, it takes time and consistency to start reaping the rewards. Please contact us to learn more information on building a strong social media campaign to build relationships and increase sales.

Optimizing Pinterest for Social Media Marketing

In just a few months, jewelry brand Swarovski increased its followers from 20,000 to 500,000 by using Pinterest, reports Rosie Baker.  Recognizing Pinterest’s ability to offer “freedom unlike any social media platform,” Swarovski utilized its uniqueness to provide “an inspirational window-shopping experience, one click away from the online store.”

This is not an anomaly.  According to Robin Goad, head of digital analytics at Experian Marketing Services, 10 percent of those leaving Pinterest go directly to a retail site, reports Baker.  In other words, it offers premium appeal for online retailers of all types.

For social media marketing, it is clear that Pinterest is a major player in the field.  It certainly has the power to account for plenty of unique visitors and customers, ones that thrive off of the uniqueness of Pinterest in their free time.

How can brands use Pinterest optimally?  As opposed to simply giving similar content that can be found on Facebook, Baker advocates a fresh approach to Pinterest.  As it is clearly worth the time, brands should dedicate unique and fresh content to Pinterest.  In other words, Pinterest demands its own strategy – one set apart from Facebook, Twitter, and other types of social media mainstays.

Social media marketing is and should be an important focus for brands and businesses of all kinds.  Naturally, Pinterest commands its own spot in that conversation.  Businesses that invest in Pinterest can see healthy returns.

Looking for more help with social media marketing?  Contact us to learn more about Pinterest and other avenues to grow a business.

Thriving in the Wake of the Great Recession: Part 3 – What is Possible

This is the 3rd part of a 3 part series blog on companies emerging from a brutal recession that the Harvard Business Review tagged as beginning in 2007.  Many businesses have failed, were acquired, or merely limped along…while a handful of businesses have emerged stronger than ever.

While the economy is still experiencing slower than usual growth, high unemployment rates, a struggling global economy, and strapped financial options, many organizations and businesses are setting their sights on the future. They are seeking to maximize their labor pool, position themselves for organizational change championed by employees, beef up their training and communication programs, and bring sales and profits back to pre-recession growth rates.

Instead of emerging from this recession looking at the “glass half-empty,” progressive companies have realized the old way of doing business has become extinct and that their glass is actually still “half full.” Forward-thinking organizations are reinventing themselves, redefining their business cultures, and rebuilding collaborative relationships and alliances with employees as well as partners, investors, and vendors.

To wrap this blog series up, let’s take a look at “what is possible” after a recession delivers a devastating reality check to organizations. Here are five “must-have” components to be addressed by organizations and businesses looking to thrive beyond the current recession.

Build Collaborative Relationships and Engagement

Build strong business relationships and they will come….this includes customers, vendors, business alliances, partners, and employees. Collaborative, cooperative relationships create:

  • repeat investment in your business and products
  • business loyalty for life
  • empowered work environments that engage, attract, and retain talented employees.
  • Improved employee productivity, morale, and customer satisfaction

Encourage Positive Communications

Establish productive meetings – it’s possible…really! Open the communication lines so they filter down to all employees to avoid confusion regarding projects and company purpose. Defeat incivility in the workplace. A recent report found that 96% of people in the United States have experienced incivility in the workplace and 75% of them were dissatisfied with the way their companies handled the situation, yet only 9% of them reported the incident. By encouraging positive and open communications in the workplace organizations stand to:

  • solve problems, make decisions, gain participation, establish effective training development, develop new products and services, improve processes and procedures – all through effective meeting and communication strategies.
  • improve the organization’s bottom line and build respect for its leaders
  • reduce harmful judging by employees, lack of trust, and lack of respect
  • reduce office gossip, back-stabbing, and rumors that take employees off task

Capitalize on Human Performances

Here we’re talking about hiring the best candidates for organizations and retaining top employees. When organizations place a higher importance on individual performance and behavior, they stand to:

  • improve personal performance and  team performance
  • easily identify individuals with greater performance potential
  • have a better understanding of a company’s culture, the profile of the ideal candidate, and of successful on-boarding of candidates.
  • combat high turnover among employees
  • widen their employment net and attract the right potential leadership team
  • improve productivity, experience less absenteeism, and less chaos

Improve Performance through Training

Training was sorely lacking in this current recession and many managers were left to manage “on the fly.” Employees also did not have the skills to effectively “sell” their company branding by handling customer fears and objections. Increase training programs and organizations give leaders and employees the tools to:

  • effectively sell.  Most people, no matter the job title, have trouble handling their potential client/prospects’ fears, questions, or objections. The ability to learn the art of handling objections can literally double or triple a company’s profits within a year.
  • A study of fortune 1000 companies have assessed a huge leadership preparation gap occurred during the recent recession when no training was conducted. Provide leadership training tools and an organization increases collaboration, productivity, and profits among all employees.

Thrive with Employee Embraced Change

Organizations that are transparent have employees that champion change and help the company thrive. Change includes everything from “life happens” events to the proper handling of social media. Having a strategic plan to cope with change gives an organization the agility to:

  • harness the power of social media to elevate the company, employees, and executives to new levels of engagement
  • create a social media policy that increases retention and attracts more highly qualified job candidates
  • focus on an organization’s purpose to engage employees as life happens to them and the company itself.
  • capitalize on unexpected changes to promote possibilities, desired changes, and growth in the company
  • engage employees who drive the results. Change doesn’t have to take years of hide-stripping effort when employees are catalyzed, empowered, engaged, and accountable.
  • ignite the human drive to achieve and champion change at all levels of operation. It creates a robust and engaged work environment where trust and cooperation thrive.

Finding a way through a recession is wrought with perils and dismal survival statistics for most businesses. However, companies equipped with the knowledge and tools to quickly and efficiently regroup are posed to charge out of the recession gates.

Join Dianne, Debra and other industry thought leaders for a break-through conference-based training telesummit coming December 2012Engagement, Retention & Growth: 10 Strategic Solutions for Sustainable Corporate Expansion and Retention.” We expand on and provide the steps to overcome the challenges, find a way through the recession storm, and the possibilities that await each organization as they go from surviving to thriving. Register now for this information-packed summit and save 30%.

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