There is no doubt that the social media landscape is dominated by the Big 3 platforms - Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Facebook alone boasts over 800 million users, 50 percent of whom log in daily. Over 250 million tweets are posted each day on Twitter, and YouTube is now touted as the second largest search engine, serving over 4 billion videos daily. You may think that social media marketing on each of the Big 3 platforms should be done differently, but in fact there are five ways you can approach social marketing across these platforms that will help you get the most out of your efforts.
To be successful across the Big 3, consider the following five killer strategies
Strategy One: Increase your social reach
Social reach is all about engaging with a growing number of fans and followers with the right presence in the right social channels. On Facebook, that means having a killer Timeline image. Follow what the pros do - for example, Jackson Kayak, the innovative maker of kayaks, asked fans to submit action photos as part of a Facebook contest and then encouraged fans to 'Like' their favorite photo submissions. The winning photo was used as their cover Timeline image.
Strategy Two: Increase Fan Engagement with Content
In social media, content is indeed the king. A recent McKinsey Quarterly study revealed that having the ability to engage customers and leverage those relationships is the top digital challenge marketers face today. Engage your fans and followers with funny, emotional, controversial, or empathetic posts- aim for striking a chord with your followers. Above all, be genuine - post that which is in line with your brand voice and relevant to your audience. Learn from those who do this best - for example, Orabrushused funny videos to connect with their fans. The company, who makes tongue cleaners, developed a series of short, highly entertaining videos including one that plays out like a suspenseful thriller preview and others that feature a spokesperson dressed as a tongue. Their YouTube channel boasts nearly 50 million views and is chock full of funny skits. Their success on YouTube helped them secure distribution in Walmarts nationwide.
Strategy Three: Increase Lead Generation
Lead generation on social channels is different from traditional lead generation - it's rarely appropriate to simply push a sales message. Successful lead generation on social media requires marketers to think more like a social customer and less like a marketer or salesperson. Keep leading social psychologist Robert Cialdini's Theory of Reciprocity in mind - be helpful - don't sell to prospects - help them solve a problem, even if it means recommending another solution. Show them you care about what your prospects care about. Monitor social media conversations, respond fairly to criticisms, answer questions and spread accolades.
For instance, 8th Continent Soymilk monitored buzz about a competitor and offered coupons to dissatisfied customers. The online coupons, distributed via social channels including Twitter, earned a 39% redemption rate, compared to a 0.7% redemption rate of physical coupons.
Strategy Four: Identify and Engage Influencers
Influence, both internal and external to a brand, can be leveraged to spread awareness of your brand and fuel word-of-mouth for brand advocacy and sales. Leverage internal influencers by segmenting customers by need, engaging them in targeted campaigns and rewarding them for performing desired actions. Reward your brand advocates for doing what they do best - create marketing campaigns that drive each segment to do more of what they already do for you.
For connecting with influencers external to your brand, you can use a multitude of tools including Traackr, PeekYou, Klout, Kred by peoplebrowsr, mBlast and PeerIndex. Be sure to avoid the popularity pitfall - targeting an influencers based on their number of followers even though their focus is not relevant to your audience.
Strategy Five: Apply Analytics to Know What Works
Use analytics to measure success by social channel and content type. Analytics will help you understand the growth of followers, if your content is engaging, if external influencers and brand advocates are supporting you, and if you are driving leads and sales. It's important to measure each and every campaign to continuously optimize the return on your efforts.
Want to know more about the five killer ways to engage with your fans and followers on the Big 3? Consult with our free e-book Five Killer Strategies to Dominate Social Media's Big 3: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Marketers, now onto you! Which companies do you try to emulate? Where have you seen great return on your social efforts? What are your top strategies for conquering the Big 3? Share your thoughts and best practices with our community on Twitter.