As we start a new year, we arrive at a vantage point for the state of online and social media marketing. With predictions and trends abounding for 2013, we’re starting the new year with some resolutions that take advantage of the changing social media landscape. Here are 5 social media resolutions for 2013 that you’ll want accomplish this year.
Be Genuine: Relying on cheap SEO tactics will no longer be a viable option in a world where content continues to rule. There’s nothing worse than reading a blog post or landing page devoid of meaning but crammed with keywords–a company’s obvious attempt to trick Google into thinking the site is relevant to the search. You’re better than that! On your blog, web page, and social media accounts, provide useful and engaging content; followers will recognize your efforts and trust your brand. This principle extends to Twitter and Facebook as well: make sure each post or Tweet sounds like it’s coming from a human being, not a marketing robot. It’s okay to use emoticons and make jokes; it’s not okay to be a cheesy salesperson all the time.
Explore Social Commerce: Talk of social commerce is finally coming to a head in 2013, which means that now is the time to explore how to sell on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Each social outlet provides a unique opportunity to engage your extant fans and followers. A recent study finds that 50% of web sales will occur through social media by 2015, meaning that consumers increasingly view social media as portals into retail experiences. Social media marketing has the added advantage of targeting your brand audience: direct your energy towards consumers who “opt-in” for deals, news, and exclusive information.
Offer Incentives: Consumers who receive news of said promotions and updates become bullhorns for your brand as they “Like,” share, or Retweet your content. Energize your social media campaign through gamification. On Facebook, host giveaways with each interaction equaling another sweepstakes entry; ask your Twitter followers to enter a contest with a designated hashtag; solicit Instagram photos that showcase your product and award the winning photographer. Users become your de-facto street team, and marketing is much more of a two-way street, declares this infographic on social media trends.
Amp Up Customer Service: An emerging practice is to use social media as a customer service tool. In a recent article called 4 Ways Social Media Has Changed Customer Service Forever, Greg Kihlstrom points out that “customers are now sharing their problems, product defects, and other complaints in a completely public forum, and this is a challenge for brands that are pushing out marketing messaging alongside customers’ comments.” We don’t know about you, but Soldsie loves a challenge. Social media gives your company the opportunity to start a wider conversation instead of simply responding, say, through Desk.com. Customer service becomes part of your marketing campaign. Remember: the very fact that Jane Smith posts on your wall indicates that she expects social media to be a support channel.
Designate Social Media Support: Social media brands are expected to interact in real time. It’s crucial to respond to mentions, comments, and Retweets around the clock. While you may have all employees already pitching in on social media accounts, it’s a better use of your resources to designate a social media virtual assistant or social media manager who can syndicate information across all platforms and coordinate with the marketing team. If there’s no one to shoulder the responsibility, consider hiring a specialist, or–if budget doesn’t allow–a social media intern.
2013 promises some exciting developments in the world of social media marketing. Entering the new year, what resolutions are you making to stay ahead of the online marketing curve?
About the author: Jenny Xie is a content marketing and social media strategist for Soldsie Social Commerce.