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2013: The road to an efficient social media year

Written on Feb 21 2013

It’s not surprising that 2013 will be another BIG year for social media. Social media is continuing to grow rapidly and earn its place as a daily activity for billions of people. It has become the fastest growing marketing medium around the world. In this article we will address how your business can be a social media success in 2013. After all, social networking accounts for 1 of every 6 minutes spent online.

Social media growth continues even as habits shift (increased use of mobile devices) and brands must take some factors into consideration if they plan to be successful. Below, a comScore Report details the usage stats that highlight the continued rise and importance of social networking online.

As Facebook reaches market capacity (reaching 157.2 million visitors and 73% of the total U.S. Internet population each month), its growth has not been limited. Facebook has increased average U.S. visitor engagement from 4.6 hours to 6.3 hours per month over the past year.

YouTube is local in 43 countries and uses 60 languages. Some 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute with more than 4 billion hours of video watched each month.

Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are on LinkedIn. With 12 million unique visitors per day, 80% of companies are using this site as a recruitment tool.

Twitter gets more than 300,000 new users every day, and there are more than 600 million searches performed daily.

Are you fully prepared at leveraging these powerful tools to maximize profits and awareness for your business?

Before handing out some advice, let us address the general purpose behind social media. A word for this would be engagement; a genuine two-way conversation between a brand and its online community. If you aspire to have a great social media year, take into consideration the following tips and apply them toward your social media engagement strategy:

Connect with consumers directly.

Remember it’s all about engagement. These connections can take your brand to higher-levels of interaction which lead to loyalty.

Respond to your audience, reach out, and ask questions.

Listen before you speak.

Assess your community’s needs and when preparing your message, make it about them.

Social engagement is not about broadcast advertising. It is about building genuine relationships with your audience and sharing information that is important to them.

Identify and understand specific goals.

Your published content must align with and support your business-related goals.

If you want to share a breaking news story that is outside of your industry, post a message along with the news article that is relevant to your own business and audience.

Example: Cable/Satellite Company. “The meteor may have broken through our atmosphere but at least our satellites are still intact.” (Link to meteor hitting Russia news article.)

Be Original. Think outside the box.

There is simply too much being thrown at people to do what the guy next to you is doing and expect results.

Be creative and post original content. By doing this you will stand out among the noise of the social crowds.

Stay informed.

Social media evolves and transforms on a daily basis.

Follow the news around social media and consider how emerging trends can be applied toward your business. If you want to make a lasting impact, be open with trying new things and flexible to change.

Pay attention to the analytics.

Analyze your brand’s engagement and reach on a monthly basis.

By doing this, you can identify new opportunities that otherwise would be overlooked.

Content is key.

Keep in mind that content must be tailored and optimized for each social media platform.

Twitter = “I need to eat lunch.”

Facebook = “I ate lunch.”

YouTube = “Watch me eat lunch.”

LinkedIn = “I’m good at eating lunch.”

Know your competitors.

Be aware of your competition and observe how they are engaging online.

Learn from their successes/failures.

Be patient.

Social media strategies are not made for the short-term.

Set specific objectives, apply them daily, review weekly. These will bring results in the long-term.

Now it’s time to take action and apply these strategies…Build stories, Build relationships, Build trust, and have a great social media year!

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