7 Advanced Social Media Marketing Strategies

This is a guest post by Tim at HostPapa.

Social media gives businesses large and small an unprecedented opportunity to build community around their business. Learn to leverage these tools to maximum effect with these 7 advanced social media marketing strategies. Advanced strategies go a step (or several) beyond simply showing up in the social media sphere to introduce and then reinforce marketing messages that prompt users to take desired actions.

social-media-campaign

Photo Credit: Laurel Papworth and Gary Hayes on Flickr

#1 Defining Your SMM Philosophy

It’s incredible how many SMM managers will leap to advanced strategies before tackling the basics, which is why we’ve placed one of the fundamental and most overlooked basics of SMM first in this list of advanced SMM strategies.

Just as your business operates around a focused, defined mission, so too must your social media marketing revolve around a centralized SMM philosophy. To define this philosophy, take a look first at your market, your audience. Most often, this audience will actually be comprised of many smaller, sometimes overlapping market niches, or segments. Identify these segments and divide your audience accordingly, so that you may tailor your messages to each of these segments individually.

Next place yourself in empathy with each of these market segments, identifying each of their needs, desires, fears, hopes, dreams, etc. And ask yourself how you can add insight and promote action toward fulfilling their desires, abating their fears, and above all prompting action. Finally, make sure that your SMM philosophy authentically represents you and promotes honesty and transparency in all your SMM messages.

#2 Optimizing Platforms

Social media platforms are the different networks where social interaction occurs (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). The audiences for each of these platforms is different, as are the interfaces and the methods or types of interactions taking place on those platforms. This means your Facebook messages and your LinkedIn messages, for example, should not be the same, but rather custom tailored for maximum visibility and positive effect on each respective platform.

Once you post a message in social media, that’s not the end of it; on the contrary, your work on that message is only just beginning. Optimizing platforms means adapting your messages to best suit 1) each market segment, and 2) each social media platform. It also means staying on top of the performance of your messages. To accomplish this, determine your key performance indicators (KPI) for determining this positive effectiveness of your messages and then track each message accordingly. Likewise, track new and evolving platforms to see which ones could benefit you or your market.

#3 Refining Your Voice

You are not your business. And your business is not like every other business in your industry. That means the way that you speak about your business should be unique to your specific business. Your voice should reflect your mission and your SMM philosophy, and build rapport with your audience.

Start by listening to how your audience speaks and listens to each other. Then refine your voice to sound sweetest to their ears. Make sure the words you use, the syntax and cadences, are relevant to their expectations. And be consistent in how you present yourself.

Determine whether your business would best be served by utilizing a single voice or multiple voices. And minimize the amount of automated posting and cross-posting that you do in order to avoid sounding like a robot. Rather than being an evangelist for your business, try being a brand manager instead.

#4 Using Multimedia

When they say “Content is King” they’re not kidding; but don’t fooled into believing that content is purely textual. An original, unique and high-value article based on your observations and analysis of goals and trends that incorporates relevant references is worth its weight in…kilobytes(??) But so is an equally stellar audio podcast, YouTube video, or Powerpoint presentation. Look at the near-instant popularity of the relatively recent arrival on the SMM scene – Pinterest – to see just what we mean. Truly, an image these days is worth 1,000 MB.

What to create multimedia about? Besides your products and services (360 degree images, tutorials, troubleshooters, etc.), you might also benefit from giving your audience insight into your company culture. Give a video tour of your office. Post photos of office events (and if you don’t have any office events, create some for just this purpose).

#5 Integrating Online & Offline Advertising

One of the greatest and most underused assets for online marketing is offline marketing. All too often, marketing managers segregate their online efforts from their offline efforts, and never the ‘twain shall meet. But with social media comes an effortless way to merge these efforts seamlessly. Why? Because social media is all about community. And community building existed LONG before the advent of the Internet.

So how do you do this? Integrating online advertising with your offline advertising is as simple as including the URL for your blog or Facebook page, for example, to your print, radio and cable ads. You can even add incentives for people to visit those sites (see more on Incentivizing below). This provides what’s called “social proof” for your business; that is, it shows people up front that you indeed have a sizable community surrounding your business already. People always want to hop aboard a hot, fast and forward-moving bandwagon, and this presents them with just that opportunity.

Consider that SMM isn’t all about making sales or conversions. Sure, that’s the ultimate goal, but perhaps not always the initial one. Wouldn’t it be even better than making a sale right now to get a new member to join your community first who then later on makes multiple sales?

#6 Incentivizing Messages

We just mentioned incentivizing your SMM efforts, so we might as well get into it next. By incentivizing we mean giving back to your customers as a Thank You for taking some sort of simple (usually free) action. A person may not be so quick to send you money for a product or service, but they may have no aversion to Liking your Facebook page, subscribing to your YouTube channel, Following you on Twitter, etc. Especially if they get a reward for it.

All these actions cost your audience nothing, and unlike in the rest of the consumer world, with incentivized SMM they actually can get something for nothing. What do we mean by incentives? Discounts on products and services or contest/raffle entries, to name just two.

Other actions you can incentivize in this manner include Sharing posts or articles, or even commenting on them. If you can manage to hit on the right incentive rightly presented at the right time, your incentive itself can go viral.

#7 Going Local

The Internet bestows all users with a global reach, but some of your best leads and business opportunities exist right in your own backyard (or front!). And the fact of the matter is, the Internet can help you reach out to those leads closest to you just as easily as it can help you reach across the planet.

What are your geographic demographics? Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar element of your business, that doesn’t mean you don’t still have specific geographic locales where your business is most relevant, most needed. Typically, this area is right where you run your business from: in the same area as your headquarters.

You already know to find groups, communities, forums and other such social networks online that are focused on your specific areas of expertise; now do the same for your specific geographic areas of influence. Join these communities, and if they don’t exist, consider starting your own. Discover the online directories that your competitors use and link yourself up with them too.

And if there is a brick-and-mortar component to your business, then make sure you’re listed as well in Google Maps and other popular mapping/GPS sites. Maximize your visibility on these sites by providing all your contact information and a direct link to your own website (or Facebook page, etc.).

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Tim,

    I previously was using only twitter as my social media marketing platform. Now I am varying the platforms and trying to engage more people.

    Going local is really important as you may be known outside for your work but if you are not known to your local area of fellow bloggers or customers then you may be missing out on big opportunities.
    RaHul Tilloo just posted 15 Useful WordPress Tricks

  2. says

    Incredible strategy ideas!Most of the successful social media campaigns begin with defining the SMM philosophy. That is exactly what caters to the market. I would like to add that being ready for ambiguity and not getting too overwhelmed with new avenues are also important.

  3. says

    Social media marketing though has been proven to generate leads and traffic towards a web business, very fewer webmasters know the correct way of engaging their network to fulfill that. Incentivizing messaging truly has been effective as far as I have seen it in recent months. Readers and traffic love to get responded! I must say very distinguished strategies have been mentioned.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Stephen Strings just posted Three Prominent Entry- Level Jobs that Can be Acquired with an Online Business Degree

  4. says

    Hi Tim, Reading posts like these really help in blog and social planning and with the New Year here, it’s a great time to get to work. I was just reading a post today that goes well with your social tracking point (Optimizing Platforms). It was about tracking social shares using Google Analytics and even included a very helpful form to generate the tracking links.

    I also read a post by Lisa Buben where she’s dropping certain social sites. I think that’s important with time as tight as it is for most of us. Once we’ve determined a social site is no longer useful it’s better to focus on those producing results rather than waste valuable time.

    Going Local is a tough one for many businesses and even those consulting. There are plenty of tactics but it’s hard for local business to understand that it’s a constant effort and takes regular updates and promotion.
    Brian D. Hawkins just posted Promotional Contest – Lap Desk by LapGear Giveaway

    • says

      Yes and starting with the basics like Kikolani stated is so important before running to 100′s of social sites. Learn the basics of one and then move on to another and be sure after a year they are still worth your time as things do change. It’s such a fast paced world in social media today. And consistency is very important for those local businesses. Social media takes time, it can’t be rushed :)
      Lisa just posted Follow Friday Is Back and Newly Redesigned

  5. says

    Sometimes when integrate online and offline advertising, I feel that is so much different instead of making a tweet to drive traffic, use fly to stick around the community is also another way to promote and drive in traffic. When I read it, I can feel the different from it, the way we do things.
    Ferb just posted 7 Ways to Get Twitter Followers on Purpose

  6. says

    I’m a big fan of #2! So many brands have been charging ahead full-steam into blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube but rarely do they take the time to go back and optimize all the content they have created. Just conducting a blog audit for cross-linking opportunities can be worth its weight in gold.

    Great list, thanks for the read :)

    Cheers!

    –Sean
    Sean R. Nicholson just posted Can Social Media Disrupt Your Life Or Career? 5 Tips For Managing The Timesink

  7. says

    Tim, this is a great piece on developing a social media strategy for small and large businesses! I agree with no.2, and yes, tailor-made messages for different social networks will definitely yield a much better response. However this is often beyond the financial scope of small small businesses, which is why they resort to (or have to resort to) sending out the same message across different platforms in one go. It is a better idea to use a social media dashboard to schedule updates for each medium instead. In addition, keeping an eye on stats (such as via Facebook Page Insights) allow you to keep a track on your ROI easily.
    Kevin Ryan just posted SEO and Linkbuilding Tips for 2013

  8. says

    I have to work on #2 for sure. Once I post something on a social media network I tend to forget it pretty easily. Sometimes I will comment on it if I see other people commented on my post, but I don’t seek out my old posts. I guess I should get better at being part of the community and working on my own public relations. :)
    Shaun Rosenberg just posted 15 Strategies To Overcome Gossip At Work