When it comes to social media marketing, there are many channels open to business. Some of which you might never have considered as an option. But it's surprising what you can do with the tools at your disposal.
As we all know, people love images and video online. Research shows that Tweets and Facebook posts with images received higher engagement than other types of posts. And the logic behind that fact is quickly and easily obvious. People might be following many businesses on Facebook and/or Twitter – text only messages might get lost in the ether, but an image will stand out from the crowd.
With this knowledge in mind, I've set about finding ways to integrate images into our client's social media campaigns. I came across the idea that using an image and a product link could lead to a user-friendly post that would make it easy for followers to find the product, but also could potentially be a link building gold-mine if the image based Tweet or status update was shared and retweeted by followers.
Where To Start?
Instagram is an extremely popular mobile app for smartphones. So popular in fact that the company behind it was recently acquired by Facebook for $1billion. Images on Instagram can be 'liked' and accounts can be followed, so in effect it has taken off as its own social network.
Although you can add a link to Instagram images, it's much more than a potential link building avenue, it's a useful marketing tool. I was keen to put this to the test. I encouraged one of our social media clients to start taking photos with Instagram on his iPhone. I reasoned that people following his Twitter account and Facebook page would be interested in what goes on 'behind the scenes' at his company as they hand-craft and manufacture custom rubber stamps.
The first Instagram flavoured Tweet was more of a success than I expected. It not only resulted in direct interaction with the company Twitter account, but also ultimately resulted in a sale and an extremely happy customer who then even tweeted positive comments (and a photo) of their new stamp.
You couldn't really get a better testament to success. The account has had more success and interest since adding this technique to the methods employed and it also leads to a nice varied type of posts on the social networks.
Other Social Avenues
What avenues are open to your business will vary depending on the nature of your business, but it's a good idea to explore a variety of potential avenues that social media marketing offers. After all, each is a potential source of new customers and sales.
Taking advantage of the popularity (and engagement levels) of photos, there are other avenues you can explore. For example, if you have high-quality images, Pinterest is a potential place to gain some more interest in your business. Pinterest not only has it's own social community, but can be linked to Twitter and Facebook, so new 'pins' can be added and shared on these other networks. Do it right and use good quality/interesting images and you could have people sharing photos of your company/products/services across a number of networks.
Pinterest itself is also a source of traffic.
Perhaps a perfect example is the Pinterest account we created for Sharps Bedrooms. Sharps has a wealth of high-quality images of their fitted bedroom designs. People using Pinterest and looking at these sort of photos are likely to be looking for ideas for their own bedroom design and they might find inspiration in the Sharps photos. Chances are they might be drawn to the Sharps design and click through to the site to contact Sharps or book a design visit.
Sharps Pinterest account has had quite a bit of interaction. On a daily basis there are a number of re-pins and 'likes' of their various boards and pins. We recently uploaded some new images of a new range they're producing and within five minutes the account had a number of new shares and re-pins. Although Pinterest doesn't seem to pick up 'followers' in the same way as other networks, the images are still out there in the ether. A search for 'fitted bedroom furniture' turns up a number of Sharps designs and photos and they'll generally be found under the relevant topic as well.
Interestingly, analytics data shows that Pinterest is now the 3rd biggest referrer of social traffic to the site behind Twitter and Facebook and those people visiting the site through Pinterest tended to view more pages. Up to as many as 12 pages were viewed by Pinterest users. On average, they view somewhere between 5 and 7 pages per visit and stay on the site for a healty amount of time.
This data shows that not only is Pinterest a good source of 'natural' link building and brand reach, but it's a potential revenue stream when used well.
It's worth considering your available avenues for social media marketing. You'd be surprised how much positive impact social media can have on your marketing, both directly and indirectly. Get in touch to discuss how we can make social media work for you!