In part six of our six part Digital Marketing Webinar Series our attendees learned how to keep up in 2015 by amplifying social media content.
What’s driving the appetite for social? Customers are tired of being “sold.” They’re tuning out television, tossing direct mail and saying “no” to telemarketing. 91% of users are opting out of email they previously subscribed to.
Despite the 100 Billion+ spent on traditional paid advertising to drive traffic, ROI is on the decline. That leaves the door wide open for social media. While customers don’t like to be sold, they do appreciate being engaged. Entertaining, informative social posts, tweets and shares are filling that important role in the marketing mix. Paid and owned media are giving way to “shared” media, which is overtaking its old-school counterparts.
This shift demonstrates how social media has matured and why it’s now essential to a complete a marketing campaign. The rules explored in our New Social Media Rules for 2015 webinar take a look at five key implications for marketers.
Social Media is Important for Business
Rule #1: Get Social
It’s the perfect time of year to look at key facts based on user behavior. According to the Social Media Examiner the top marketing initiatives for 2015 are:
- Increasing Brand Recognition
- Increasing Brand Authority
- Improved Customer Insights
- Improved Conversion Rates
In fact, 92 percent of marketers say social media is important for business. The time you spend managing your social media is a great investment. As little as six hours on social media per week can result in an increase in leads. For companies of any size this seems like a palatable number.
Rule #2: Set a Social Strategy
This is an action item for you to start today, if you haven’t already. Having a written social strategy is the key to success. Once everyone in an organization understands and agrees on that strategy it is much easier to stay on track. The point in building a social media strategy is to:
- Increase Brand Recognition
- Promote Sharing
- Build trust
As an organization you want to make sure you are putting out social messages that reinforce your core values. Setting a social strategy does not have to be overwhelming. All you need to do is be clear in what you want to achieve, be clear in how you plan to get there, identify who will help make it happen and be strategic. There are a lot of different uses for each social channel, but it’s important to remember to keep a consistent brand image (this is where your social media strategy comes into play.)
Rule #3: Blur the Lines
Don’t be afraid to blur the lines! Social media, content marketing and search engine optimization all work together. You can do this by publishing content that supports your social media strategy and optimizing that content for organic and paid search. It’s important to recognize that nothing happens in a vacuum. For instance, recently google changed how earned media is treated in search rankings. This makes content marketing, search engine optimization and social media more linked now than ever before. Make sure all parts of your plan are working together.
Rule #4: Create Visual Content
When it comes to what type of content is shared most across social media, images come out on top. Your customers have attention scarcity, with this in mind you have to compete with what’s vying for their attention. According to the Content Marketing Institute, Infographics are the tactic that has had the greatest increase in usage. Create content that stands out! Other great channels to promote visual content sharing are Instagram and Pinterest. In fact, it’s predicted that 42 percent of marketers plan to increase the use of Instagram in 2015.
Rule #5: Social = Sales (long term)
Social media is working so well that companies are looking to spend more on social media in the future.
“53 percent of marketers plan to increase their social media marketing spend in 2015,” (Forrester Research, 2015).
In addition to implementing effective mobile and omni-channel strategies, smart retailers will use social networks to customize product and service offerings. As customers turn to their peers on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for recommendations, social selling must be a part of any ecommerce company strategy in 2015.
To stand out, companies will have to “socialize” more in order to stand out from their competitors and protect their brands.
About AIS Media, Inc.
Founded in 1997, AIS Media, Inc. (www.aismedia.com) is a strategic digital marketing and creative agency proud to serve some of the world’s top brands, organizations and Fortune 500 companies. AIS Media helps clients propel growth through innovative digital strategy and performance-driven SEO services.