You know it’s true, and here are the facts to back up your sense that social media matters more than ever: The Aberdeen Group reports that 84% of b2b marketers use social media. Also, nearly 60% of marketers spend four to six hours a week on social media.
By spending as little as 6 hours per week, 61% of marketers see lead-generation benefits with social media, which represents a significant increase over leag-gen results via social in the 2011 survey (52%).
Still, many ag marketers struggle with seeing the value of social media and figuring out how to put it to work for them. So here are five tips for jumping into social media and getting it working for you:
1.Â Educate your audience via YouTube.Â Not everyone thinks of YouTube as social media, but it’s a large generator of engagement and the second-largest search engine on the web. So YouTube offers the triple benefit of engaging the audience via social media, enhancing a website’s search ranking, and educating the audience via video. (As a side note, don’t stop once the videos are posted to YouTube — embed them on your blogs and other social networks to increase reach.)
2.Â Content is the key to attracting new social media followers.Â Anything you post on your social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, etc.) will travel beyond your followers. Great content will be shared and will help you grow your users and, potentially, your business. Don’t launch your social media sites without a clear plan for what content will go on them and when that content will go up. Social plans without attention to content are unlikely to go anywhere.
3.Â Write for the audience. Otherwise they may stop following you. But if you can educate and make the content worth their while they may be willing to check out your products and services. By giving generously and gaining a reader’s trust, you earn a reputation of being a reliable resource. And that doesn’t mean you always have to sell — engagement alone can increase the trustworthiness of your business, and that can lead to sales.
4.Â Be consistent.Â As mentioned above, you should have an social media editorial schedule. And you should be consistent. Don’t disappear for weeks at a time. If your tweets taper off, so will your followers. If your blog hasn’t been posted on in six months, then the readers will disappear. You don’t want to make anyone think you’ve closed up shop or gave up on helping them. Keep it active and keep to a schedule.
5.Â Finally, track your links.Â Are you just posting content with a link to your website? What about tracking those links? If you use Google Analytics to track your website traffic then you should also use campaign codes to track what individuals do once they click those links otherwise you’ll never know the ROI of your social media efforts.