P.L.A.Y. for Effective Social Media Marketing

01 / June 2016,

P.L.A.Y. for Effective Social Media Marketing

Your Social Media Marketing presence should complement your SEO efforts in your overall Internet marketing plan. They may feel like two channels that operate independently, and in some ways they even are. But when you build your campaign out well, they feed off each other and work together to not only attract more customers to your website, but to engage them as ambassadors of your brand.

The key difference comes with how people generally interact with social media. The rich content you develop on your website has a tighter and lighter counterpart on Facebook,Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. You want to attract and interest people with brevity, and lead them to your site for more in-depth material. So when you create your plan, remember to PLAY:

1. Be Pithy

Brevity is the order of the day for your social media campaign. When you look at a Twitter or Facebook feed, you see entries from your entire network: friends, acquaintances, and pages of interests or companies you follow. Long entries tend to get lost in the shuffle; only a portion appears on the feed, so you need to ensure that you provide a complete thought that is enough to attract interest.

A pithy statement is one that is brief but meaningful and forceful. Generally speaking, a short statement that leads someone to click on a link is best. The link should sometimes lead to your site, and other times to related sites that will be relevant for your audience. Importantly, you do not want to mislead. The information provided when someone clicks on a social media post needs to be what one would expect to find based on the link itself. The short-term gain you might receive from clickbait is not worth the long-term damage to your reputation, or the traffic you will lose when people stop clicking or stop following you altogether.

social-media-puzzle-shows-online-communities
Social Media Puzzle Shows Online Communities And Communication

SEO Marketing succeeds when you generate traffic and build a strong reputation of providing reliable, relevant information to your audience of potential customers. Your social media presence operates best when you generate traffic that promises and delivers on these factors.

2. Keep It Light

You take your business and your industry seriously—and you should. You have worked to reach the point of owning and running a company that generates profits for you. And you should provide serious, in-depth content that reflects this. Social media, however, often does not provide the best medium for that kind of content. The typical user browses rather than studies.

You are competing for their attention with cat videos, kids being adorable, and memes that provide a quick laugh. None of these require long, focused attention. While your content does need to be relevant to what you do, then, it should not require more initial depth from your audience than many are willing to provide.

At times, serious content does make sense on social media. If important world events or moments are capturing the attention of your community or the world, content that capitalizes on those moments may help you attract readers to your site. Further, critical junctures in your industry or developments for your company should enter your social media marketing. Still, those kinds of entries should provide a change of pace rather than the primary focus of your accounts.

3. Know Your Audience

The core of any kind of marketing has always been understanding the audience you seek to attract.This truth intensifies in social media marketing, where options for your followers’ focus extends not only to competitors in your industry but also to limitless other kinds of social media accounts. You thus need to identify the things they care about. You need to understand what your customers are looking for, not only in regard to your own product or service but in a more general sense. And you then need to use your social media marketing to deliver it to them.

Facebook and Twitter provide excellent analytics that you can use to better understand common threads of interest among your followers. These can involve music, community concerns, political positions, or myriad other pieces of data. If you study and implement these in your approach, you can begin to create social media content that feeds off of these interests and gives your potential customers what they want.

In addition, you should still use traditional market research to get a sense of where your customers are coming from. The more you do to see the world from their perspective, the more you can do not only to attract customers, but to help them want to learn more—and to become more satisfied repeat customers after they first go to you.

4. Be True to Yourself

Through all of this, the mantra that you cannot please all the people all the time remains as true as ever. Deliver what customers want, and do so with a tone appropriate for social media, but do not go so far as to pretend to be something you are not. Your company succeeds not because you shift with the winds, but because you deliver with passion something in which you believe. Your personality and your brand should come through with every post. You want to understand those who purchase your products or services, but they ultimately come to you because they, too, believe in what you are. Social media marketing capitalizes not on gimmicks,but on helping you connect to people who will want to find you.

Build Connections that Last

Social media marketing works for you by creating and building on your own network of customers, and then capitalizing on your customers’ networks through shares and comments.Your success stems from the interactions you have with customers and potential customers alike; every comment provides you a means of connecting personally with customers, and every share allows you to reach someone new. Using the PLAY principles can help you in both regards, and bolster your SEO efforts to give you powerful marketing growth.

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