Proven Social Media Strategies to Grow Your Business
Michael Stelzner founded Social Media Examiner in 2009 and since that time, he has developed the site into the Web’s leading social media magazine, attracting over 530,000 monthly readers and 125,000 email subscribers.
It’s clear that Stelzner knows more than just a thing or two about social media marketing, so we were thrilled to be able to see him speak at this year’s Online Marketing Summit, where he shared his insights and provided proven and perceptive strategies that can help drive business.
One of Stelzner’s points, in particular, struck us as profound. He stated that modern social media suffers from two problems: channel overload and customer distrust. In an increasingly crowded market, companies must distinguish and broadcast their brands without turning off potential customers with overzealous promises and marketing gimmicks.
It’s a tough balance to strike and can seem easier said than done, but Stelzner provided some tips for making it work:
-Great content is a gift to your customers
If businesses invest in content, and avoid spending all of their marketing money on ad space, they can develop engaged customers who are grateful for the experience and often express that gratitude on social media sites. That content can come in many forms, but comprehensive “how-to” articles, expert interviews and reports based on surveys are frequently shared by social media users.
“Treat people like people, not fish,” Stelzner said. “Keep focused on people and their desires and half of your mission is complete.”
-Marketing is not about exchange
When creating and sharing content with customers, keep in mind that true gifts—meaning those that are given without the expectation of receiving something in return—are the most valuable. Give customers great, no-strings-attached content because you think they would enjoy it, not simply because you want them to buy something from your company. Successful social media marketers focus on people and solve their problems for free.
“Rethink the rule of reciprocity,” said Stelzner. “When you help people with small problems, they will look to you for their bigger issues.”
For those who are more technically-minded and prefer to tackle problems with equations, make a note of this simple formula: Great Content + Other People – Marketing Messages = Growth
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”