Using social media for marketing can enable small business looking to widen their reach to more customers. Your customers are interacting with brands through social media, therefore, having a strong social media marketing plan and presence on the web is the key to tap into their interest. If implemented correctly, marketing with social media can bring remarkable success to your business.
Once you have defined the starting points you can proceed and implement the following:
â˘ Planning â Building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience.
â˘ Start with a clear strategy: Why do you want to increase your contacts? Is it to find new customers or drive traffic to your site? Different channels require different approaches. For example, increasing your contacts on Facebook will have different benefits then when your recommendations on LinkedIn are growing. You need to ask yourself these questions; What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing? Who is your target audience? Which social media website is your target audience using? How would they use social media? What message do you want to send to your audience with the online marketing campaign?
â˘ Get blogging - Use a blog platform such as Wordpress to update clients and suppliers with news from your business. Comment on other peopleâs blogs or start a discussion thread in an online networking forum.
â˘ Follow the one- in- seven rule: This is a rule that you can use with promotional posts on your social networks. The rule is, that one in the seven posts can be a promotion that advertising your company. The remaining six should be focused on sharing valuable content, including posts from the community.
â˘ Provide value: While including posts that are fun, it is important that you make sure that your posts reflect your personality. It is also important that your campaigns have a content that fit your target audience.
â˘ Share news about your company: Social network marketing keeps your customers informed about what is going on in your office, for example , share the news about a launch of new products.
â˘ Connect with your customers - You may already have a Facebook or Twitter profile for your personal use; create a social networking profile for your business to connect directly with your customers.
â˘ Sign up for accounts at social networking communities such as LinkedIn and Facebook: Choose social networking communities that best reflect your target group demographics. For example, LinkedIn is focused on building business connections, while Facebook is a fun way for people of all ages and backgrounds to share news about their lives, preferences of products and activities.
â˘ Sign up existing customers: Take advantage of your clients and their potential followings. When people visit your website or online store, ask them to join your mailing list and social network, request their social media accounts and email addresses to send them an exclusive promotional incentives as a thank you, along with the request to âlikeâ and âfollowâ your company. Include action buttons (for example, âLike this pageâ and âlearn moreâ) in your posts to gain more interest, clicks and views to your page. Provide a link to a sign up page on your website to make it easier for them.
â˘ Encourage feedback - Encouraging and acting on feedback allows you to tailor your product or service to your customersâ needs. Use www.twtpoll.com to create a poll for your Twitter followers, or ask friends, followers and customers to offer feedback on your product or service.
â˘ Links - While using social media for marketing relies primarily on your business sharing its own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, itâs also great to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, donât be shy about linking to them. Linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
â˘ Note what your customers want - If similar queries come up regularly, look at how they can be avoided by changing your processes. If this is not possible, add an FAQ section to your website to answer regular queries.
â˘ Watch what customers are saying about your products, campaigns and other activity: By measuring the activities of your customers on your post, you can get a clear overview about what they think of the campaign or product.
â˘ Consistent Brand Image - Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your businessâ core identity should stay consistent.
â˘ Measure Success with Analytics -You canât determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them.
More in detail:
Facebook -> With online campaigns you can increase your brand awareness with a bigger target group.
â˘ Strengthen your Facebook network. If you find that you aren't getting the response you are from your company's Facebook page, create some groups to spark more connections and conversations around your product and brand. Your customers can also choose to get updates from you this way.
â˘ Build a community on Facebook. This is where your existing fans and customers meet, so you should engage differently. However, it is a good place to start word-of-mouth campaigns to attract more people, maybe their friends, to become fans. Your pagesâ main message should be that this is a place for social contacts, not just your brand or business.
Twitter -> Updates about what the company is doing and other relevant information. You reach another target group then with Facebook.
â˘ Make your tweets stand out. If you don't want your posts to get lost in the Twitter stream, make sure to include an image, related link or even an emoji to separate your missives from the torrent of other tweets.
â˘ Express yourself with longer posts. If you feel limited by Twitter's 140 character count, feel free to expand on a point with posts on platforms like Tumblr, Google+ and LinkedIn.
â˘ Let them tweet. Many of your existing offline contacts will probably already be on Twitter, so start by sending them an email asking them to follow you and follow them back. But most importantly, ensure your tweets are relevant, interesting and friendly. Donât concentrate on sales messages or product pushes, but vary tweets with broader topics and updates from your sector.
LinkedIn ->You can expand and increase your relationship with your network with key contacts.
â˘ Boost connections on LinkedIn. Increase the contacts in your network by browsing your contactsâ connections. LinkedIn will calculate your âdegrees of separationâ and you can use common connections as a starting point for making new contacts. New contacts expose you to an even wider range of people through their friends and business partners.
Pinterest -> You can share pictures that are connected to your website.
â˘ Create a Pinterest board. Make sure the board has eye-catching visuals and run a contest through it that will inspire and reward customers for their participation. Be sure to encourage them to re-pin and create their own boards that reflect the initial contest for additional social amplification of your campaign.