Word-of-mouth referrals have historically been the most effective and desired marketing tool, as their occurrence within trusted relationships of families and friends lend credibility and esteem to brands. However, social media has launched referral marketing to a new level of opportunity.
Social Media: Changing the Way We Communicate
Social media has irrevocably changed the landscape of communication. People are connected in real-time via online communities where they can share thoughts, personal information, experiences, and referrals with a wide network of their peers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and more. Not only are we seeing an increase in word-of-mouth referrals, but we’re also seeing a surge in influencer marketing. Users with a high following are partnering with brands to help promote their products to impressionable followers. This provides significant influence to individual voices in the marketplace – and has a major effect on how businesses should market, communicate with prospects and customers, manage their public images, and improve their products and services.
Companies must adopt the peer-to-peer communication style of social media and focus on the needs and interests of their customers (rather than their own) to be successful marketers in this medium. By delivering regular content of customer interest and special benefits – as well as being an active ‘listener’ of fans and followers – businesses will enjoy a growing social media following that will deliver positive commentary, increased web traffic, and both on and offline referrals.
Build a Social Media Strategy
Sporadic postings to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts seem disjointed and disorganized. The most effective social media marketing approach is to carefully outline communications with a social media marketing plan. A well-designed strategy includes goals, budget guidelines, competitive research, strategy, and a content calendar. Having a social media marketing plan in place is also essential for measurement. With regular monitoring of the number of followers and quality of interactions, periodic reevaluations of strategies outlined in the plan can be adjusted accordingly.
Using a comprehensive social media marketing plan as a blueprint, increasing leads, referrals, and web site traffic can be accomplished by strategically participating in a variety of social media networks. There are thousands of them out there, but it is critical to select a handful that best reach your customers and target market(s). Typically, the most popular sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok – are great starting points.
Communicate with Consumers
Be sure to communicate with customers and prospects via each social media account in a conversational, value-added fashion that isn’t always about your business. Include calls to action in your postings and web links to increase the probability they’ll be reposted – and answer customer questions and complaints in a timely fashion. Try to flex your creative muscle and design mini-campaigns that offer incentives, like rewards or contests for new ideas, customer-produced videos about your brand, and survey participation. The ultimate goal is consistent engagement with your brand followers.
In addition, a social media policy should be developed to define acceptable online communication practices for staff members who create content. This will ensure compliance with branding guidelines and will serve to prevent conflicts.
If you need assistance in creating a meaningful social media strategy that can directly boost web traffic and generate leads, contact Millennium’s social media team.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a national, award-winning, digital, creative, content/PR, and video marketing firm. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, our team unites creative branding and data analytics to accelerate our clients’ growth, while combining our clients’ vision with our marketing expertise to increase sales opportunities and drive brand success. From video advertising and web design to social media and PR, Millennium can guide your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact the professionals at Millennium Agency to learn more!