From Jen: Some of you know that my company, Jen Fong Media LLC, isn’t just me. In addition to the wonderful team at Luce & Associates, with whom I collaborate on a regular basis, the social media marketing and community management aspect of my business is done in collaboration with my husband and better half, John Fong (who was also my partner in running our direct selling company, Learning is an Art, back in the day.) 🙂 John has a gift with nurturing communities online, and he continually delights our clients through hands-on community management, 365 days per year. (You can see all the services we provide here.) I asked him to share a guest post about effective day to day social media marketing, and here it is. Enjoy!
Effective Day-to-Day Social Media Marketing
by John Fong
Now that you’ve established an online community, how do you continue to nurture, build and grow that community?
Many big companies have community managers that maintain the company’s social media marketing and online communities. As this media continues to evolve, businesses are finding that nurturing their online communities regularly is an effective way to increase sales and recruiting, provide more responsive customer service, and increase customer loyalty.
But what if you’re not a big company, and the community manager (along with cook, chief, and dishwasher!) is you?
For the average direct seller or small business owner, you should check in on your social networks three times a day, keeping within your allotted time for social media marketing (you have set aside a specific amount of time each day, right?). However, businesses that are just establishing their social media presence, as well as companies with a large following online, need to be more responsive, and stay engaged on their social networks throughout the day. Here are what successful big businesses are doing on their social networks, and what you can learn from them.
- Good Morning Post – Usually these companies start the day posting a fun, motivational, or heartwarming quote or picture to connect with the community emotionally.
Take away – Having a smaller community benefits you, because you have a more intimate relationship with them. As a result, your “start the day” post can be more personal. For example, if your community does yoga in the morning, you might post a yoga quote or a picture of yourself in a yoga pose.
- Content Marketing – Utilizing content marketing, the big company’s community manager posts useful information and/or branded links to solve problems the community may have. The information often leads to subtle marketing materials that promote a product, the opportunity, or a promotion going on.
Take away – For you, this may be a simple tip, like how drinking tea is healthier or how to save money buying loose leaf tea instead of tea bags. This kind of information will help promote your brand and deepen your online relationships.
- Target Your Segments – The community manager will continue to post useful and helpful information throughout the day to connect with different segments of the online community who are online at different times, and who have different interests. Since a big company’s community is much larger, they are also engaging in customer service and support, generating positive brand image, providing overall brand exposure and attracting new people.
Take away – If you are still establishing your online community, posting content of interest to different segments several times throughout the day can be an effective way to spur faster growth to build your community. (And be sure you’re asking people to pass on the tips so you gain additional exposure!)
- Ask Questions – The community manager will often do a quick poll or ask questions to promote more interaction among the brand’s community and/or analyze feedback from the community.
Take away – You don’t have to do this every day, but if you have a genuine question or would like to stimulate more discussion on a topic, this is a great way to do it.
- Plan Strategic Campaigns – Big brands will often run strategic campaigns that are based on stated business objectives. This can be a free e-book, a contest or giveaway, a live webcast, or any one of a number of tactics used to generate buzz and excitement. They will often tie a Facebook Advertising campaign to this campaign to engage even more people and grow the community.
Take away – Campaigns don’t have to cost an arm and a leg to be effective. Because you know your community and what’s important to them, try to run at least one campaign per quarter to reward their participation, and give them something to talk about. Be sure to tie measurable business goals to your campaign, and analyze your results so that you can run an even more effective campaign the next time.
- Analytics and Community “Pulse-Taking” – Throughout the day, the big company’s community manager will look at analytics and individual post engagement to see if the community is engaged, growing, and responding positively. He or she will adjust her/his post accordingly to gain the results she/he is looking for.
Take away – Nothing is more important than the pulse of your community, if you want it to grow. You MUST have a feel for how engaged people are, and when they need a post from you to keep the momentum going. You will only know this by paying attention to your community, and staying engaged yourself. Respond to any questions that are posted, and thank people for their engagement and feedback. Momentum builds a community. Keep yours going.
Daily community management of your social networks is crucial in nurturing your community, developing authentic relationships and maximizing your business opportunities. Consider this: if you gained one new prospect per week on your site for a year, how would it impact the profitability of your business? How many more loyal customers would you gain? How much would it increase your brand and business exposure? How much would it improve your customer service? For big businesses, the results are exponential, and for you it means a successful long term business.
Has social media helped you gain loyal customers or new members of the salesforce? How many new prospects do you gain per week as a result of your social media efforts? Do you use social media to enhance your customer service? We would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
Do you need a community manager for your direct sales company? Connect with us! We serve as an outsourced social media department for direct sales companies, helping to build engagement and community. Let’s talk about how we can help your company.