Industries Best Suited to Social Media Channels
June 12, 2013
tags: insurance, Pinterest, pinterest for business, social media for insurance, social media tips, socialmediatips, tips
Okay so this is a tricky topic. The truth is, every industry is able to benefit from social media. Let me dispel the idea that certain industries are boring and aren’t suited to social media. Here’s an age-old marketing question. If you’re in the business of selling beauty products, is that what you do? No, you’re not just selling beauty products, you’re selling self-esteem in a bottle. You’re selling being beautiful, you’re selling staying young.
Think about the idea of your product (or service) and everything around your product, not just your product! This will guide you on your social media journey and help you steer clear of being solely self-promotional. As we’ve mentioned many times in the past one of the biggest mistakes companies make with social media is being too self-promotional. There are enough advertisements in our day-to-day lives, especially online. Provide your fans and followers with relevant, useful and valuable information and content. After all, that’s why they’re following you!
There are a number of different goals a company can have that will give them direction and guide them to success on social media channels. Yes, in the end your main goal is likely to grow your business and increase profits by selling more products or services but there are many smaller goals to help you obtain this final goal.
Education – Educate your customers and potential customers about your products and services, what they do, how they are used and any other tips and tricks. This is extremely important for products or services that involve a longer decision process and require more research. Make sure your fans and followers clearly understand what it is your offering and what benefits they can (and will) experience. Providing tips and tricks for shortcuts or solutions for problems that your customers and potential customers are facing related to your products and services is a great way to show your expertise and build trust.
Brand Awareness – Get your brand out there! Increase brand recognition and make it easy for your customers to share your products and services with their friends and family via social media channels.
Reputation Management – Even if you don’t have social media accounts set up where customers can vent, it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. Take control of your online reputation via social media channels and monitor what is said about your company online. It could be as simple as setting up Google Alerts to track your company name and other keywords online.
Communication – Share important and timely information about your company and/or products. For example: A recent recall, an exciting interview, a change in office or store hours, etc. Show the personal side to your business. Increase the exposure, reach, and engagement of all of your messages with social media. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take polls. This is not a one-way communication tool, start a conversation!
Support – Provide customer support for any questions or issues they may be having. If there are multiple fans and followers with the same problem and/or question you could save your call centre lots of time and money by only having to answer it once publicly on your website and social media accounts.
Voice – Allow your brand advocates to have a soapbox to talk about your product. There will be good and bad comments. Learn from the bad and aim to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Learn – Keep track of comments and questions. Use any feedback you receive for product and service development. It’s like having a free focus group. Also, don’t forget to monitor your competitors too! Learn from the conversations that are happening on the social media channels of your competitors. This allows you to learn from their mistakes and save yourself the trouble.
Traffic Driver – Drive traffic to your website, blog, app or anywhere else you can get to with a link. Be sure to use shortened URLs in order to track which methods are most successful for getting the client or potential client from point A to B. Using the proper keywords when setting up accounts is essential to improve search engine positioning and presence for your company. If you are driving traffic to your website to make a sale, be sure that your website is able to make the sale. You can have the best looking and best managed social media accounts in the world, but if your website is dated or difficult to navigate then you won’t make a sale.
Retention – Make sure you don’t forget about your current regular customers. Be sure to focus your social media channels on retaining customers too, rather than just attracting new ones. Your social media channels are for existing customers too!
A great example of making what has been labeled as a “boring industry” exciting is what Petplan has done with their Pinterest page. Did you ever think you would follow an insurance company on Pinterest? If you’re an animal lover, we’ve got one for you! Follow Petplan to get tips on how to keep you pets healthy, learn about your breed of choice, how to care for your furry family member, and much more. Petplan knows how to make use of valuable and useful content that is related to their products and services, rather than posting only self-promotional pins. Here is the Pinterest Petplan Pet Insurance account http://bit.ly/ZNrNqj.
Where do you start to discover your purpose online? A social media strategy, of course! Be clear and document what you want to accomplish with your social media channels and how this will be done.
What industry are you in, and what do you feel is holding you back from taking the leap into social media? If you have any questions, please ask away in the comments below!
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Unit next time,