At Indispensable Marketing we think a lot about how we can help midsize companies address marketing and the realities of the new marketplace. We continually listen and keep up-to-date with sources that connect with midmarket business leaders about their needs and preferences. Every Wednesday we publish a post called #midsizewednesday to help midsize businesses take advantage of these changes to evolve and ultimately grow.
The Fortune 500 are using social media at a growing rate according to research by the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth. Historically the Fortune 500 have been slow to adopt social media while high growth firms represented by the Inc 500 leveraged social media platforms to cost effectively build their businesses.
The fact that the Fortune 500 are slowly using a variety of social media channels, should act as beacon signals charting out general directions that your midsize business should be incorporating social media into your marketing plans.
Here are 7 Social Media Marketing Tips For Midsize Businesses Based on the Fortune 500:
#1. Use a combination of social media platforms. Social platforms are like soapboxes; they allow you to establish your expertise and credibility, but provide a method for feedback and discussion. Examples include blogging, YouTube, podcasting and SlideShare.
Whether your business is B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer), it’s beneficial to choose one platform to focus on initially, and really develop a deep engagement level with your ideal customers there. As you master those channels, you can then start to expand into other realms. You must offer your target audience contextually relevant messages based on their needs.
#2. Q&A. Find out what information and questions your customers and the public at large have and are looking for. Then provide those answers with non-promotional content. Deliver independent value with information before you attempt to make the sale. Your midsize business must adapt to the information-empowered prospect in a fashion that more resembles courting than it does selling.
#3. Integrate your social media and content marketing plans. The Fortune 500 use a combination of different types of content across social media channels including text, images and video. The name of the game is to extend your customers or prospects interaction and communication with your midsize business.
#4. Determine what your competitors are doing on social media. Check out how your competitors, both large and small, use different social media platforms. Use social media to monitor competitors and gather intelligence.
Where do they appear to be gaining traction? More information makes for better decisions.
#5. Celebrate your prospects and customers on social media. Leverage the power of social media to engage with your community and co-create content, products and services. Create a launch team for raving fans give them the backstage pass and encourage input.
#6. Include a call-to-action. Encourage your audience to do something after they’ve consumed your content. There’s a huge difference between action and awareness. Also, don’t expect to convert a large percentage of social media engagement into quick sales. Most prospects are in the information gathering process and aren’t yet ready to pull the trigger.
#7. Measure your results. Incorporate metrics aligned with your business goals. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
Like the Fortune 500, it’s time to get your midsize business established on social media and to integrate social media into your marketing plans.
Question: What other social media marketing tips do you recommend?