Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MySpace etc. have all influenced the buzz of word of mouth marketing. In 1999, Misner said that word-of mouth marketing is, "the world's most effective, yet least understood marketing strategy" (Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels, 2009, p. 3). Through the influence of opinion leaders, the increased online "buzz" of "word-of-mouth" marketing that a product, service or companies are experiencing is due to the rise in use of social media and smartphones. Businesses and marketers have noticed that, "a persons behaviour is influenced by many small groups" (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189). These small groups rotate around social networking accounts that are run by influential people (opinion leaders or "thought leaders") who have followers of groups. The types of groups (followers) are called: reference groups (people who know each other either face-to-face or have an indirect influence on a persons attitude or behaviour); membership groups (a person has a direct influence on a person's attitude or behaviour); and aspirational groups (groups which an individual wishes to belong to).
The nature of each channel and the engagement preferences of its core community will play a major role in deciding whether your content is a good fit. For example, your audience might be open to connecting with your brand in a Twitter chat but prefers to reserve Snapchat for conversations with personal friends. Long-form content might play well on LinkedIn or Medium, while memes and captioned photos on these platforms would be inappropriate. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of each channel and its corresponding community before joining the conversation.
Monitor multiple social media platforms: Publishing on a variety of social media platforms is also possible with SMMS, enabling users to garner more audiences, while being able to compare metrics across social media solutions. Posting across social media platforms is also achievable with a single update, saving managers time and allowing them to focus on other matters. Content success on different platforms can likewise be compared, which can be used to boost social media strategy.
And now we are being exposed to more and more social advertisements. As I complete my morning ritual of sipping coffee and scrolling through my Instagram feed, I now notice sponsored ads appearing in between filtered pictures of scenery and food. It is impossible to visit one’s Facebook news feed without popping into a few compelling ads along the way. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen victim to several of these ads, and been captured and clicked through to their site, sometimes even converting – shameful, I know.
Brand your movement with a unique name and hashtags: Branding your movement will make it memorable and stick out in the mind of your followers. Take time to brainstorm actionable ideas that will get followers involved, whether that be by posting photos and using your hashtag to group them, running a contest, or throwing events run by your company. One actionable social media movement was run by the world-renowned fashion brand, Marc Jacobs, titled #CastMeMarc. Jacobs took to Twitter last Spring to encourage his followers to post pictures of themselves on social platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag to gain the once-in-a-lifetime chance of becoming one of the newest faces of the brand. The result? Thousands upon thousands of photographs were shared across social media. Even today, long after the contest has ended, people are still using the hashtag in hopes that Jacobs won’t be able to resist their photogenic faces (i.e. the tweet below).
Another interesting tool I would like to introduce to you is the Blog2Social plugin. It has powerful options for easily sharing your posts across all popular social media networks in one easy step. You can optionally customize your posts for each network and automatically schedule your posts for the best times to share. The plugin is a big time saver for cross-promoting.
When my mother complains about social media, she references her friends that only post to brag. “Tommy got into Harvard AND Yale! Such a hard choice!” *Insert picture of the son as the homecoming king*. But, being the charmer she is, she will congratulate them (with a “xoxo”) and as a result, they will like and share and comment on her posts as well. Be my mother! What goes around, comes back around: engage with others and they will engage with you. Though this sounds silly, Larry swears by it.
Advertising refers to the amount of ad spend that you’re going to invest in social platforms. This is up to you to determine. If you want to leverage social ads throughout your strategy, then be sure to build that into your budget. If not, then you’ll probably be relying on organic reach, which means more budget spent on labor. Be sure to incorporate that into the budget as well.
IFTTT is a powerful Internet automation site that can save you a lot of time managing social media and other tasks through recipes. You can essentially connect any major network or channel together to automate sharing on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more based on any action you desire. Like sending out a tweet automatically every time you publish a new blog post or getting an email when your favorite magazine has something new to say. Plus best of all, it works well with Buffer and Hootsuite and just enhances those tools even further and is a must use for any serious social media professional.