How Social Media Can Give You the Edge on Competitors

How Social Media Can Give You the Edge on Competitors

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Last month we asked if your business really needed a social media marketing strategy and briefly touched on the seven golden rules to consider before you sashay down this particular
communications aisle.

The thing to keep in mind, of course, is that not all Social Media platforms are created equal and while you may not be able to reach the right audience through Facebook, Twitter and the like, you could do so through LinkedIn, Google+ and other avenues that are more relevant to your industry and/or product.

Results from the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report (published by Michael A. Stelzner from Social Media Examiner) does highlight some interesting points regarding which platforms are, currently, delivering results and what problems marketers are encountering around the world.

Related: Social Media Blunders that will Make your Business a Social Media Outcast

With South Africa, often, being a little behind mature markets in adopting marketing technologies and methodologies (yes, really) – changing the way you use social media to reach your clients could just deliver the competitive edge you have been looking for.

Social is Here to Stay (Embrace it)

Taking a quick snapshot view of the Industry Report Statistics, it is clear that the growth in Social Media marketing is not only sustainable but growing exponentially in certain respects.

 

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Over 2 800 marketing professionals took part in the survey; below are some of the key findings of its ensuing report:

  • Forget about the notion that Social Media marketing is a passing fad. 92% of Marketers interviewed indicate that social media is important for their business, with B2B and B2C marketers showing equal enthusiasm for the results achieved – albeit on different platforms.
  • Blogging is an essential communications tool, with 68% of marketers increasing their use of blogging over the coming year. Understand though that it’s not a platform on which to make noise, it is a channel you can use to share meaningful, well-constructed content with an audience that is eager to learn more about you, and your business.Blogging can consist of articles, podcasts, videos, whatever really, as long as it’s relevant and as long as you have taken the overall user journey / path a customer or prospect will follow when digesting your content into consideration, you should find success.
  • One size does not fit all. Facebook is #1 for B2C Marketers. LinkedIn rules in B2B and everyone wants to know more about Google+.

While there is healthy debate amongst those in the know about Google+ and its role in the market there are some advantages to making use of the platform, such as: creating unique circles to which you can tailor your marketing / messaging to match specific target criteria.
You can also create ‘hangouts’ which is pretty much Google’s version of Skype or WebEx where you can meet, converse, create regular, ‘Live Q&A sessions’ with clients or prospects.

Most importantly, however, Google loves its own products so you get extra SEO credit thanks to the ever increasing gravitas of ‘Google Authorship’ – good news for where your website appears on Google Search results pages.

  • Podcasting heading for triple growth territory. While the report showed that, currently, only 6% of marketers make use of podcasting in their activity, a staggering 21% are looking to do so over the next year. This, really – along with ‘Vodcasting’ (its video-enabled cousin) is a simple way through which companies can convey key messages to their client base in a concise manner.

People are often too pressed for time, or simply too lazy, to view your written content so a series of 30s videos or sound bites where you get to the crux of the subject matter (rapidly) will be well received by an audience already chasing its tail.

Add a healthy shot of personality to relevant material and you’ve got something people WANT to watch or listen to – and that’s pretty much as “golden” as it gets.

Look Who’s Talking Now

Social Media marketing is an increasingly key component of an integrated digital strategy.

The modern customer is a socially engaged being that requires meaningful interactions and access to relevant information before making a buying decision.

Not only are they connecting with you but they are also interacting online with a multitude of sources, reading reviews, checking ratings and following what others have to say about your product or service.

Being a part of that conversation is good for you, good for your business and (ultimately) great for your clients.

Related: 3 Innovative Ways Startups Are Driving Results Over Social Media

Dennis Armstrong
Dennis Armstrong is the managing director of Interface Media, a full service digital agency with over 2 000 clients and, more recently, contracted service provider to a host of agencies across SA. Dennis’s expertise include marketing and business development, more recently taking on a national sales role before being promoted to MD. Dennis manages over 200 staff and is directly involved in growing some of the biggest digital accounts in South Africa from search, to SEO and display marketing. He is a hands-on individual and available to advise on all digital marketing requirements.