You aren’t alone in the struggle to grow and monetize your social presence. Social media connects your brand and customers, attracts new prospects, and lets you listen in on your audience’s thoughts and concerns, but social media feels like a moving target. It can be overwhelming to keep up with changing trends and best practices. To help, we updated a previous social media post on five tactics to monetize and boost your social media presence!
1. Think omni channel
Customers think about your brand as one entity. That’s why it makes no sense for marketers to engage customers differently on each channel. Brands don’t take this approach on purpose, of course. They just fail to effectively connect the dots across the many channels, timeframes, locations (in-store and online), and reasons customers experience their brand.
An omni channel marketing approach is the key to engaging customers across the board – your social networks, website, blog, paid ads, email marketing, and mobile apps work together to deliver a cohesive brand experience.
Omni channel is the future of business, but data drives your ability to identify consumers as a single identity. Unless marketers use data to understand their multi-touch point customers, they have no choice but to rely on tired siloed tactics. Luckily, there are a ton of tools at our disposal to help.
For example, a partnership between IBM and Facebook is personalizing Facebook ads to reach a targeted, receptive audience. Companies using IBM Commerce tools leverage behavioral data, like email opens, order history, and website browsing data, in concert with a wealth of Facebook user data. Companies can better target ads and other digital experiences across channels to the right segment based on all of their previous interactions, not just their Facebook history. Meanwhile, that Facebook data can be used to personalize email messaging. Pretty cool, right?
We’ve got to start thinking omni channel. When you consider your social media strategy as just one piece of the bigger picture, there are a myriad of ways to leverage the other channels to grow your following.
2. Leverage email
You already maintain an email list of customers and prospects, right? Email your list directly to advertise your social media networks and entice them to follow you. You can include a call to action to Follow Us on Facebook in your company newsletter, drop a line to Connect on LinkedIn at the bottom of your welcome emails, or devote an entire email to inviting customers to connect with you on all of your social networks. We could go on and on about the limitless possibilities for using email to drive recipients to your social pages, but instead, let’s see it in action:
3. Be a trendsetter – curate + share your audience’s posts on social media
Pottery Barn encourages shoppers to share real-life product pics on Instagram using the hashtag #mypotterybarn and then posts some of these social shares on their website. Clicking any of the images on the page opens up the original social share. Consumers can also “Add Your Photo” directly, in case they aren’t active on social networks.
Both of these options give consumers the opportunity to see their picture on Pottery Barn’s website, while Pottery Barn benefits from their page always being fresh and new, and the implied brand recommendation inherent to a social share.
Pier 1 Imports takes a similar route incorporating trending Pinterest Posts in their email campaigns.
4. Buy It buttons (Instagram + Pinterest)
Wish you could sell directly from social? Good news! Both Instagram and Pinterest are rolling out “buy buttons” to allow consumers to buy products they browse on the apps. In upcoming months, you’ll see a Shop Now button on Instagram and a Buy It button added to Pinterest, like:
By making it easier to shop, brands will both boost their social activity and increase sales!
5. Encourage interaction with contests, games, or bragging rights
Pei Wei, Canva, and The Limited make it easy and fun to interact with their brand over social. Consumers enjoy entering contests for the chance to win freebies, and who doesn’t love to brag about themselves on social networks?
Whereoware held a New Year’s Scavenger Hunt to boost our social following. We hid geeky winter characters all over our website and social sites, and invited our email list to “find them all” for the chance to win $250 for charity.
There are many ways to leverage one channel to influence another. Pick one or two social networks to start with and once you’re comfortable and successful, branch out! You’ll find your customers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or the many other niche networks. Just remember, let your data connect the dots across each customers’ omni channel journey to become a brand customers’ want to friend, follow, email, and share.