A MSP Marketer's Guide to Social Media Success
Social Media is an important part of any marketing strategy. Whether you choose to blog, post upcoming events, ideas, company related stories or pay for advertising through these social media outlets, you’re doing your company a favor. Social media is EVERYWHERE and the people that use it are checking it a lot! But how do you know if you are utilizing the different platforms to their full potential? And with so many platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, how do you know how to keep track of them all to make sure they’re working for you?
Let’s start with Facebook. Having 1.55 billion members worldwide with 1.39 billion of them being mobile active users (MAU) is not a stat to laugh at, actually we think it’s so incredible we’ve made a guide just to show you how Facebook can help your marketing. Facebook itself is easy to maintain, but takes time. You should be checking your business page multiple times a day, and we don’t mean just looking at your notifications. If someone gives you feedback about your company or a post, let them know you’re thankful for their time and answer questions. Your followers want to feel important. If someone comments on a post be sure to respond - even if it’s just a “hello, awesome person, thanks for checking out our page/liking our post.”
Speaking of posts, people LOVE pictures! Research done by Buzzsumo.com found that “Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.“ Post images with your blog entries that are relevant to the topic. Post images or videos of company functions like picnics, visits to the office from employees’ pets, fundraisers or community service to help humanize your company. Using charts or infographics to further demonstrate the topic of your blog posts can also increase engagement, and your return on investment (ROI).
While these are all ways to utilize Facebook, costing you little more than your time and effort, there are also paid options to enhance your business account and increase your ROI. Let’s face it, B2B Sales is no longer just about cold calls and a hard-warn outbound marketing strategy. In fact, most prospects are 70% of the way through their buying cycle before they will fill out a form or give their information. This means you need to give them more educational value and make sure they know who you are, early on in their search. Since people are constantly checking their accounts it only makes sense to advertise where they are, but how do you measure whether it’s successful or not? You can use Facebook’s boosting option and boost specific posts to increase its’ views and your audience. The Ads Manager on Facebook is not only easy to manage, it’s also easy to understand, with graphs and charts allowing you to track every ad you run and track the metrics, even allowing you to toggle between specifics such as Performance, Demographics, and Placement. To get more details about measuring the performance of your Facebook advertising check out Part 5 of our guide here.
Twitter is another social media platform that can be a great asset to your marketing toolbox. Twitter is structured differently than Facebook, currently only allowing you to “tweet” your posts with 140 characters. However, this allows you, as a company, to be short, sweet and to the point and you can still use images to make your point. In fact, “Buffer reported that for its user base, tweets with images received 150% more retweets than tweets without images.” In the coming weeks, Twitter will no longer cut the character limit to 117 characters for tweets that include links or images. What this means is that once this character count limit is lifted, Twitter users will be able to tweet photos and links in addition to a 140 character tweet, freely. The ultimate goal of a tweet is to engage your audience through replies, retweets, and shares. Following other businesses, including clients and prospects, is a great way to tune into the local SMB community.
Like with Facebook, you should be checking your Twitter account multiple times throughout the day. By replying to anyone who tweets you, retweeting posts that are relevant to your company or that show your personality, or even just liking tweets from your followers, you can make Twitter work for your company. The conciseness of tweets makes regular posting to Twitter easier to fit into an MSP’s hectic schedule. Quick pictures of a sweet new project or mentioning your company’s next community volunteering event are both strong marketing tactics and they only take a few seconds out of your day.
You can boost your Twitter marketing by going the paid route. There are over 500 million tweets being sent each day, why not make sure your business is being seen here? Twitter offers assistance on what to tweet and how to tweet and manage your business account. The analytics program Twitter offers is great for every MSP. They have easy ways to promote your tweets, a campaign dashboard allowing you to track your impressions, results, and cost-per-results, conversion tracking that goes beyond Twitter and helps you get customers from Twitter, and they utilize outside official partners that measure ads and their success.
LinkedIn is another social media marketing tool, combining Facebook and Twitter concepts but directing them more towards businesses. Like we’ve previously mentioned, it’s incredibly important to be monitoring your account throughout the day, every day. Followers can comment, like and share your posts very similar to Facebook. The bonus? LinkedIn tends to be curated by the business owners, CEOs, CFOs that you as a business are targeting. You will want to make sure you are giving them something of value: education. The best way to gain a customer is to build a relationship, why not start that today? While building these relationships, make sure that your images are relevant, “content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.” You should also mix up your posts - blogging is great but showing your clients and potential clients that you’re human is even better for your marketing, so have fun with it.
Like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn has the option to take your marketing to the paid level. Dynamic ads, display ads, text ads, sponsored inmail and sponsored content are just a few of the resources LinkedIn offers to their marketing accounts. With their certified page partners you can easily manage your pages and other social properties from a single dashboard. Business accounts are also given access to showcase pages, career pages and customization for their audiences.
Instagram for businesses is on the rise and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. By posting a quick image and a clever hashtag you can get your point across to your audience. Hashtags allow, not only for a clever way to engage your audience, but an easy way to see and search things that are related. Using #puppytuesdays or #crockpotthursday will link back to all of the other posts with the same hashtags. Using instagram for your business, like all the other social media platforms we’ve discussed, will take some work. You have to check your account and you have to be present on it for it to work. Making Instagram work for your business will take work. You can’t just post a picture of you making a bagel in the morning and expect it to resonate with your customers, again there needs to be value in what your followers are seeing.
Engage your followers by posting snippets of your Talking Head Videos, or a part of a business trip or meeting. Instagram is visual - so give your followers a view into the inside of your company. Unsure of how to use a hashtag or what hashtags to use? The Instagram business page has a section of “hashtags to watch” to see what’s trending at the moment. They also suggest “brands to follow” to help their business users see what bigger brands are doing. Instagram also has tracking and monitoring options as well, accessible in both the app and on the site.
Your social media presence will take work. You can not expect to grow giant pumpkins if you just plant the seeds and walk away. You need to check back, and weed out anything that will overpower your pumpkins, really cultivating your crop. The same goes for social media marketing. You must maintain a presence and you must make sure that what you are using as a strategy is working for you. You should be aware of what works on each platform, and be posting at the very least on the Big 3. The trick to being successful on social media is to be more than just blog posts, give your company a personality and allow people to feel like you’re friends. Social Media is a great marketing tool, when utilized correctly. It allows you to relate to your clients and humanize your company. However, there is a lot of work that goes into making social media really work for your marketing. Need help? Reach out to us.