Winter is Coming.… Maybe you’re not a fan of the mega HBO hit “Game of Thrones,” but if you’re mildly familiar with the show, you know what that phrase means. Hardship is on the way. You’d better start preparing. Things are going to get rough and you don’t want to be left out in the cold. But winter can be a GOOD thing, especially if you’re a business.
Mashable’s Kristin Kovner has predicted that e-commerce will explode with a 16.6% increase in sales up from $61 billion in 2013. It’s no secret that marketers everywhere are trying to make the most of the holiday season. When the weather is getting colder, the sales will be getting hotter.
Now is not the time to get behind on your holiday marketing campaign. The world of social media is a kingdom in and of itself. And to climb your way to the top, it’s important to know the rules. As you craft your own social media marketing strategy, here are the five social media marketing commandments.
1. Thou Shalt Not Go On Social Media Without a Strategy
Social Media expert Heather Smith explains that not many businesses actually have a social media strategy to begin with: “Less than 20 percent of businesses say that their social media strategy is mature.”
Social media users are flooded with information every second of every single day. Businesses that don’t have a clear and concise social media marketing strategy won’t ever cut through the clutter and deliver an effective message to their target audience.
Don’t commit the sin of aimless social media marketing. Without a strategy, you will lack the engagement you’re craving.
2. Thou Shalt Use Images
Research Company Roost conducted a study that found that photos get 50% more impressions than any other post type on Facebook, while also gathering more likes and comments.
People are more visual than ever. Utilizing visual social media like Vine and Instagram can make a huge impact in your social media strategy.
3. Thou Shalt Remain Human
In an age where buyers are constantly bombarded with deals, promos and ‘lowest price’ taglines, your brand’s personality is crucial to stand out from the pack. Corporate jargon and automated replies will send your audience running in the other direction, while brands that aren’t afraid to let loose will be welcomed with open arms. This Twitter conversation between Pizza Hut and one of its followers is a great example of a brand having fun with its personality.
4. Thou Shalt Think Before You Tweet
Recently, Digiorno pizza really goofed up on Twitter. They used the hashtag “#whyistayed” without knowing that the hashtag was what Tim Herrera at the Washington Post called “a resonant, emotive campaign to show support for women who stay in abusive relationships.“
Last year, AT&T earned serious social backlash for a failed 9/11 tribute, and, Gap crossed the line when it took to Twitter to promote discounts during Hurricane Sandy. It’s true that marketing today is time-sensitive, but you’d rather be late to the game than be perceived as offensive.
Committing the sin of impulse social media sharing can prove costly. What’s even more difficult is the fact that people remember your mistakes much more than they remember your pretty cool post that got hundreds of likes.
5. Thou Shalt Not Assume All Social Platforms Are Created Equal
Your social strategy shouldn’t be one size fits all. For example, B2B audiences spend most of their time on LinkedIn, while B2C buyers can be found on Facebook, according to Social Media Examiner.
The kingdom of social media can be a cold and complex place from time to time, but learn the ins and outs and you can reach the crown of engagement and business sales. Get an inside look on how to win the game of social media while developing great relationships and building sales this holiday season.
Author: Russel Cooke is a business writer and consultant who lives in Los Angeles, CA. You can follow him on Twitter @RusselCooke2.
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