Social Media Marketing: 5 Tips to Get It Right

Things change in a fast and furious manner online, and in social media. What worked for you two, three, or four years ago, may not work at all in 2016. If you want to make more of an impact, and connect with more people in the coming year, employ these strategies.

1) Engage with social media influencers and bloggers

Perhaps you have heard of brands that are actively partnering with people with influence on social media. They are doing it for a very good reason — it's proven to work. Businesses who went this route recently saw as much as a 6-to-1 return in their marketing investment. Consumers today trust recommendations from family, friends, and social media influencers more than any type of paid marketing.

This is a type of advertising, if you see someone that has the ability to influence people, you can get in touch with them and ask them to 'promote' your business. For example, if you sell cosmetic products you can get in touch with makeup artists that are famous on Facebook or YouTube (based on likes etc.) and ask them to tell people that they use 'your' products. This works just like celebrity endorsement!

2) Live streaming

Whether you are marketing to consumers, or to other businesses, live streaming is something you should try in 2016. It is a great opportunity to show the faces behind your brand, or give a behind the scenes perspective. You can use it to put a human face on your business and inspire loyalty and help form new connections. If you operate a non-profit business, you can use live streaming to show potential investors and contributors the hard work and dedication of your team behind the scenes.

You can make this easy by getting an iPhone or Android app. This way users will be able to see what's happening with just a click of a button.

3) Social media advertising

If you have only been engaging in making posts to your social media channels, and engaging people in online conversations, you can do more in terms of advertising. You can also use paid social media efforts through Facebook and Twitter. These can co-exist, and benefit each other in a number of ways.

Seeing ads on social media is one of the top ways users of social media find out about new products, new brands, and new services. This has a huge impact since the majority of adults in the United States are on social media. If you are targeting a younger audience, the vast majority of them are on social media.

eMarketer, a world leader in research in the digital world, reports that between 20 and 25% of people who see a social media ad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, will then respond by visiting the store or website on the ad. In addition, they reported that between 14 and 17% went ahead and bought a product or service. If you do not have a comprehensive social media campaign, 2016 is the time to do it.

4) Offer special deals and promotions

If you give your social media followers exclusive deals and promotions, you can develop a larger audience, gain more customers, and take a close measure of conversions. You can also inspire loyalty from these important customers.

5) Start an employee advocacy campaign

It is common for a business to try and get external audiences to generate a buzz about their products and services. But are you doing anything about getting that response from your internal audience, also known as your employees? You will find it is much cheaper and much easier to do than getting an external audience to generate product publicity. Plus who is better at promoting your product or services than your own team?

More people trust this type of marketing, and brands including IBM have used this technique with great success.

Social media marketing can be one of your best tools--if you do it the right way. Use these proven tips to make it work for you in 2016.

Read the original article on Inc.

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