Now, more than ever, a well thought out and innovative social media strategy is essential to your company’s growth and viral awareness. Recent studies have shown that a successful social media campaign can be linked directly to your customer loyalty and corporate profitability.

In a recent study sponsored by a leading university, researchers tracked the 30 brands with the most followers on Facebook for one year while simultaneously tracking the brand’s price per share. An overwhelming and remarkable majority of 99.5% of the stock prices changes correlated with the Facebook “likes” activities each day. Obviously, these “likes” were not the direct cause of the rise and fall of the stock prices. But the power and the importance of social media is undeniable.

The importance of social media is again illustrated by the strategic initiative of the nation’s largest hedge funds and corporate data analysts who spent millions of dollars and countless hours and resources in 2012 to monitor what is happening with the social media platform in those companies with whom they are considering a sizable investment. This once again reinforces the need to be proactive and aggressive with your online presence.

Instant and pertinent feedback from your customer base allows your company to create a user friendly and compelling environment that addresses their concerns and desires. The significance of social networking is truly remarkable. Each Facebook “like”, Twitter “follower”, or LinkedIn “connection” gives your company access to not only potential new customers, but many thousands of additional customers linked to their individual networks. Independent studies have shown that each Facebook “like” is valued at an average of $88 to your company. An aggressive campaign to increase “likes” can help generate substantial new streams of revenue over and over again.

There are many ways to expand and boost your presence and effectiveness on social media sites. Much like the famous real estate motto “location, location, location”, your social media motto must be “content, content, content”. Far too many companies focus on endless facts and figures, blatant self-promotion, and generic content. You need to determine what is compelling to your customer base. Listen to what your customers have to say and give them the proper forum to speak their minds. After all, what is more important than satisfying and exciting your customers?

Aljolynn Sperber, Social Media Manager and Account Executive at Marketing Maven Public Relations provides insight on the importance of engaging fans and customers via multiple social media options, “It is important to generate genuine interest and loyalty in your product or service. This can be achieved in many innovative ways such as dramatic photographs, engaging videos, cutting edge landing pages, customer interactive techniques, overall style and feel, blogs, testimonials, clever promotions, and yes, content! Given the fact that only 18% of your followers will see each post, what you do and what you say gains immeasurable importance to your marketing objectives and financial goals.”

For example, a restaurant should not simply show menus, reviews, and generic food photographs. Remarkably, there are thousands of sites that do exactly this. What can help make a difference and what can create a viral buzz that makes a customer visit your site and visit your establishment often? Again, it is content, creativity, and interaction with your target audience. Why not feature a column that pairs wine with your best dishes and daily specials? Why not produce a weekly video that features your chef preparing and promoting the gourmet daily specials? Why not create a VIP membership that allows special access to content and daily promotions and perks such as giving your members the first chance to claim daily reservation cancellations and prime seating? Why not allow lucky customers to be the recurring guest chef and guest host for the day? This strategy can be easily and successfully applied to your particular product or service. It is the creative application and use of content that is the key to social media success.

These are just a few of the many examples that only scratch the surface of the endless possibilities of a sound social media strategy. Designing and creating your social media platform in an original and trend setting fashion will substantially increase your followers and customer loyalty. The results will be astonishing as you watch your social media presence multiply exponentially. Most importantly, the correlating increase in new customers, a happy and interactive fan base, and new revenue will do wonders to help your company surpass all financial goals and corporate marketing objectives. And to top it all off, it will allow your company to lead your industry in the all-important arena of social media and enjoy a refreshing, informative, and profitable relationship with your customers.

Greg Bankhurst, VP of Branding, Marketing Maven Public Relations

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