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CEOs, 7 Steps to Boost Revenue through Social Media

You’re a CEO, and you’ve been told social media marketing is a matter of colossal importance and will boost your KPIs in some shimmering but nonspecific manner. Yet, you’re skeptical and a little unsure of how to unlock whatever potential social media might have.


You’re right to be skeptical, and you’re not alone.


Recent research reveals that most CEOs are underwhelmed by social media marketing results, whether undertaken by their in-house staff or outsourced to Fancy Pants Marketing Agency. And their marketing department is left frustrated trying to prove its value with metrics like followers, impressions, and public sentiment.


So, is social media marketing a sound investment?


The answer: Yes, it can be, but not on its own. To be truly effective, brands need to hone and refine their core message and integrate social media as a complementary tool to amplify it. Otherwise, your social media efforts—no matter how fancy or belabored—will be a waste of time and money.


The path toward social media effectiveness, therefore, involves these seven steps. Take these steps, and you’ll be headed toward elevated KPIs. A modest investment that will yield compound interest for years to come.


1. Approach the social media space like a cocktail party, not a used car lot.


When invited to a cocktail party, you don’t rush up to people you don’t know and try to close a sale. Instead, you treat it as a low-pressure place to mingle, engage with people, and perhaps exchange contact information if both parties are interested. Social media is similar; it is a place where you can pique curiosity or nurture a relationship that will eventuate in a sale. In other words, it is an excellent venue for brand marketing. But it’s generally not an effective place for direct marketing or closing the deal. So, focus most of your efforts on being as clear about your brand as possible, as often as possible. In doing so, you’ll build trust and nudge people toward commitment.


2. Create a narrative arc with your customer as the hero.


The biggest enemy of your brand is noise; thus, your strategy must enable you to cut through the noise so your customers can hear you. Do this by crafting your core message so that the customer is the hero and your brand is the guide who can help them achieve what they want to get what they need. (Storybrand offers the best proprietary marketing model for doing so.) Most of your posts should communicate that you see the customer for who they are, understand what they want or need, and are a credible guide to help them achieve their goals concerning your brand. Only a tiny minority of your posts should aim at closing the sale.


3. Divide your posts evenly between original and curated content.


Remember to devote the majority of your posts to brand marketing, leaving a small minority of posts for direct marketing, and publish both original and curated content. When curating, find quality content (e.g., testimonials, quotes, statistics, images, videos) from other sources and share it with your followers by resharing or reposting it. When creating original content (e.g., blog posts, images, videos, podcast episodes), always offer value and generally stay on the script with your customer-centered narrative arc.


4. View social media calendaring as a marathon, not a sprint.


You don’t need to be everywhere, all the time, on social media. You don’t even need to be in most places most of the time. Just pick one or two platforms best suited to your customers. Draw upon publicly available research and your in-house observations of follower engagement to refine your posting days and times. Post regularly but not obsessively. Limiting yourself to one or two channels allows you to post with excellence and engage with comments and replies.


5. Establish empathy and credibility, but mainly empathy.


With your customer as the hero of your brand story, foreground your role as a trusted guide who helps them get what they want. The customer wants to know that you understand them, so let them see your empathy by focusing on their needs, solving their problems, answering their questions, and even asking them questions. Along the way, supplement your steady flow of empathy with a dose of credibility—testimonials about your company, statistics showing how many people you’ve helped, and similar.


6. Show more love to your current followers than the “new” ones you hope to reach.


Going viral is not a strategy. You probably won’t ever go viral; if you do, it will likely happen when you’re not trying. So, take the pressure off. Stop trying to reach large amounts of new followers instantaneously. The best way to get new followers is, counterintuitively, by cultivating your relationship with current followers. When you nurture the relationship with current followers, they become more loyal to your brand and engage with your posts more often. In turn, you’ll receive a boost in the algorithms, and your current followers will become ambassadors who draw their friends and associates to your brand.


7. Supplement your organic social media strategy with paid advertising.


Now, you’ve begun cultivating a loyal following on one or two channels. Your followers are moving up the engagement ladder. The process often looks like this: follow on SM, engage on SM, click a link to the website, subscribe to the email newsletter, open a sales newsletter, make the first purchase, become a regular customer and a brand ambassador. This type of process is a sign of an effective organic social media strategy. Now, you can supplement it with paid advertising that yields new followers who can begin to climb the engagement ladder you’ve built.


So, there you have it. Social media marketing is a sound investment when undertaken with proper aims and realistic expectations. Once you’ve honed and refined your brand’s core message, social media is a nice complementary tool to amplify it. By taking the steps above, you make a sound investment that will elevate key performance indicators now and into the future.


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