digital marketing
By Carrie-ann | Jan 27, 2014 | Social Media

How to Succeed in Social Media in 2014?

Social media is evolving quickly and becoming more sophisticated all the time.  In 2014 there will be plenty of small businesses refining their approach. Even if your business has previously given up or is yet to start, my insights should give you the confidence to take the plunge. Social media shouldn’t take over your life, but it’s important your business is a regular contributor in the social media space it occupies.
Businesses worry that they will have nothing to say. That’s not a bad thing because the quickest way to alienate your audience is to just “push stuff out”.  This is what self-conscious Page Admins invariably do.  Relax, ask questions, and interact with your audience. Play nice.

Spend Money Where it Matters

The rapid growth of social media marketing can be attributable to a number of causes: One of which is the cost. Compared to traditional media, and other online marketing strategies, social media has been very cheap to get up and running. But with Facebook now having shareholders to please, you can bet there will be fewer ways to have a big impact for free.  In 2012 Facebook Advertising was relatively uncommon. Now I encourage small businesses new to Facebook to use advertising to get up and running.  Facebook Advertising is relatively cheap, and incorporates unique features. You may need professional help to get going and to maximise your budget. Look at it another way.  A Facebook page with 54 likes creates a poor impression especially when visitors see you’ve not updated the page in 8 months. So, this coming year, don’t be afraid to invest some cash up front.

Social Mobile

In 2014 websites, blogs and content must be optimised for mobiles and tablets. It follows then that social content should be optimised for mobile.  Google is penalising sites not optimising for mobile so they slip down the mobile rankings.  How does your blog or home page look when viewed on a mobile? If it doesn’t look right chances are you’re not using a responsive WordPress theme.  Linking in with this I would also say visually orientated media are now more popular than ever thanks in part to mobile devices. You should check that any images, videos and the like are optimised for mobile and tablet devices.  Going forwards you should then incorporate visual media regularly into your output. Images and video really grab the attention of people on the go and get a higher share rate than straight copy (all things being equal).

Be Real

I can’t overstate the importance of giving your social media content the right “voice” and attitude.  Page Admins often worry about being vulnerable to making errors or coming under attack, possibly from an upset customer. Rather turn off comments you need to take it all on the chin. Develop a sense of humour (laugh at yourself when appropriate) and above all else, admit your mistakes. Savvy business people have always known that while mistakes can be embarrassing, it’s how you recover from the error that counts. Fessing up and going above and beyond what you need to do, boosts loyalty in the real world and has the same impact on Facebook or Twitter.  If you deal with mistakes with aplomb it generates better word of mouth (shares) than when you get things right.

Join Things Up

So perhaps you’re established on Facebook. Can you extend your activity in 2014? Integration is an over-used word in marketing. However, to get the most out of the effort you put into social media, in 2014 you should link it to other online efforts and events in the real world. For example, if you have a decent number of Likes on Facebook you should be thinking of adding your social feeds to your website or blog. Social media can send traffic to your website but it also works the other way. If your business is having a sale, save exclusive offers for your Facebook fans.  Need testers for a new product? Ask your most loyal customers –including  those on Facebook and Twitter. This kind of linking also gives your Facebook fans a reason to keep coming back to your page.
Read more about how social media marketing can help you!