Here at QueryClick, we believe that search optimisation and social media go together like bangers and mash (with a beautiful gravy, obviously).
Your social strategy should work in harmony with your SEO and content strategy, communicating with and engaging customers in line with a clear brand message, following a comprehensive strategy with clear KPIs.
The guts of the benefit of a great social strategy is a more engaged audience which leads to a better brand experience and increased customer loyalty.
QueryClick provide bespoke support, insight and no-nonsense advice to businesses that use social media. Be you maven or newbie, we will be able to audit where you're at and what we can do better, together.
OK, First Principles: What Actually Is Social Media?
Broadly speaking, social media are sites or mobile applications that allow anyone to easily create public profiles and post content. Profiles allow the user to build a community and engage via the site platform in various ways.
So yes: the simplest and most prolific social media on the internet right now are your good old-fashined forums. Think of the more popular forums right now - the likes of Mumsnet, or Reddit - and you'll see that the idea of social media is far from new.
What is new is the dramatic increase in popularity of these sites. Your social circle offline, is now online. And that's true for everybody.
Typically the major social platforms will have a particular media or concept around which communities form. For example, uploaded images on Flickr or Pinterest, video on YouTube, immediate commentary or conversations on Twitter, friend & family groups on Facebook, and business profiles on LinkedIn.
The USP of a particular site will define the demographic that uses it. At a very simple level, think about your business's products or services: are they B2B or B2C? Answering that question allows you to work out if you should focus on LinkedIn over Twitter or vice versa.
Think about your own customer demographic. Where are they active right now? Is that your core target or do you have an ambition to change the perception of your brand to a different demographic?
Your social strategy should reflect all of these nuances and more when defining its KPIs from the outset.
Social media is about connecting and engaging with people. And with 90% of all internet users admitting to having an account on a social site, businesses need to define & execute a social media strategy that suits their business objectives.
How Can Social Media Help My Business?
Social media can be very helpful for any business that wants to improve its brand visibility. It's also naturally suited to reaching out to both new or existing customers and even other businesses.
This is because social media is about communication. About creating and adding to conversations, answering questions and also - quite importantly! - helping solve complaints.
Companies around the world have been quick to set up profiles on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. In fact, some of the world's leading Fortune 500 companies are responsible for the most popular accounts on social networks.
Social networking has changed significantly now that companies have started adopting social media strategies. By having a social media presence, they have made themselves so much more visible to consumers.
At the moment:
- 58% of the Fortune 500 have an active Facebook account
- 62% have a corporate Twitter account and have tweeted in the past 30 days
- Recent global revenue figures from social media are projected to hit $16.9 billion in 2012, which is an increase of 43.1% compared to 2011. [Gartner]
So these days it's not a question of if you should develop a social media strategy, it's a question of how can you improve your social media right now.
Because your community is already out there and engaging with you whether you know it or not.
Here are just a few ways social media can help your business:
- By engaging customers and encouraging them to recommend your products or services to others
- Through monitoring and responding to positive and negative posts
- Through monitoring conversation around relevant topics and identify opportunities to engage users
- By improving your visibility within channels that your potential customers are using
- By supporting customer services via social media channels
- The positive impact on your SEO project from relevant links and social quality signals
- By creating an easily identifiable and approachable platform that allows users to contact your company quickly, efficiently and for free.
How We Do Social Media at QueryClick
The first step in our social media marketing strategy is getting to know you, your brand, your message, and most importantly, your customers.
We need to have a solid understanding of your market before we can develop a tailored approach.
It's in our interest to explain clearly what we're doing to improve your social media presence and transparently report on our successes. We want to help you understand and engage with your customers effectively, with the aim of developing lasting and meaningful relationships with fans and followers.
Step 1: Analyse
We analyse your current activity on social media sites, assessing the relevancy, tone, quality and reach of your updates and social pages. We also research how you engage and speak to your customers.
We then provide feedback and solutions on your current social media output in the form of a social media audit document.
Check out our Social Media White Paper for more information on the basics of social media.
Step 2: Monitor
Following the audit, we need to develop an understanding of your market. Social media monitoring tools help us research and understand:
- Who is talking about your brand, products and services
- What is being discussed, if it's positive or negative, if it's accurate
- Where is the conversation, which social media channels / communities are the most active
- Competitor activity
Step 3: Measure
Before defining your strategy it's important to set objectives and goals in order to produce a benchmark of your current traffic and exposure as a starting point to judge the success of future social media campaigns.
While social media can help drive sales and customers to your business, we believe setting small and achievable goals for social media work is more beneficial for business. Again, these goals are bespoke.
Step 4: Social Media Strategy
Once we have a solid understanding of your business, your customers and how you engage users, we develop a social media strategy that complements your SEO and content strategy.
Included in this strategy is advice on:
- How to communicate campaigns, incentives and seasonal offers
- How to engage with different communities from different social sites
- How to address negative comments and embrace positive mentions
- How to deal with complaints made on social media
- How to support customers and provide a positive experience
Kicking off with a benchmark report, we highlight actionable insights prioritised by impact for social media goals. We feedback via regular communication and reports identifying trends, opportunities, and further actionable items.
A report that doesn't follow up on actionable items isn't worth the paper it's written on. We insist on walking you through your report to discuss progress and agree on actions and activities for the following months. We then chase up on all actions until they are completed
We believe an effective social campaign needs clear goals and thorough execution to make a difference to the bottom line. If that sounds like an approach you can get behind, we're here to help.