When it comes to marketing these days Social Media is an absolute must for almost all industries but where and when to engage can be a tricky art to master.
Which platform to use?
You would think that this would be pretty straightforward right, wrong. I once had a conversation with someone in which we discussed a social media strategy and the opinions of the top 3 were as follows.
LinkedIn - "Its just for people to steal your staff, its pointless"
Twitter - "No one uses twitter"
Facebook - "might be worth looking but I can't promote my business there can I"
This seems crazy for anyone in marketing but you have to remember this was a discussion with a successful businessman that had built a medium sized business that functioned essentially as a cold call centre, and it had worked. You also need to bear in mind that many CEO's of business are of a generation before social media and have little if any interaction on social media.
LinkedIn is different from any other social media because it's where you can tell everyone exactly what you want them to know about your business.
You can customise anything you put on LinkedIn - whether it's in networking groups, job posts or even promotions.
You have all the tools you need to target any audience, and let them know exactly what your business is about at the click of a button.
As business owners, we all want to establish our credibility, develop a relationship with our clients, and be influential, right?
When it comes to LinkedIn, you have the added capacity to position yourself among the most influential people within your industry.
The sharing power is tremendous - making connections with top industry leaders and networking in groups to gain trust among your peers has never been easier. This enables you to associate yourself, and your business, with a high level of expertise and credibility that you just can't gain from any other social media site.
Keeping connections you recently met warm
The first thing you do at a networking event or when meeting someone is to get his or her business card, right? LinkedIn is basically your social media, online business card.
People can forget they have business cards, not return a phone call or an email that's listed. But when you connect with LinkedIn, you can ensure you're not forgotten. You can connect immediately and reach out to whomever you want.
Go ahead, endorse them, recommend them, and connect with them on a more professional level to build that relationship. It's that easy, and all without having to meet face-to-face - which, let's be honest, is pretty hard to find time to do these days.
Fastest path to your next client
Let's face it, the entire world has gone digital. LinkedIn is the one digital platform that helps you reach your next client quickly.
People are on LinkedIn to look for jobs, post jobs, look for business help, and so much more. With just a little bit of research and promotion, your business can attract top clients, and let you into their world so you know you're recruiting the best.
Connecting with your customers
Sending a potential customer a personal message after they’ve followed you is a great way to increase the trust and appreciation a customer has for your business. One other benefit is that you are able to listen to what your customers are saying.
This feedback is extremely valuable if you have plans to expand your business (or at least, improve the quality of it).
Keeping customers updated
If you’re running a business, you definitely understand the importance of keeping your customers updated. Twitter is a great tool to keep them posted on the latest information, promotion and sales your business is having.
When you use Twitter, you can share valuable information with your customers at times that matter most; weekend sales, black Friday deals etc.
Marketing on Twitter
Yes, Twitter is a great marketing tool. Don’t forget, tweets are indexed by Google and therefore, it’s also useful in terms of search engine optimization.
Twitter marketing allows you to reach your followers from around the world and alleviate the distance barrier. Influencers are great examples when it comes to Twitter marketing done right. They not only use Twitter to promote their products and articles, they also use it to share valuable content from around the web.
Making the Most of Your Facebook Business Page
A Facebook page is a great free marketing tool for businesses. These pages let businesses identify themselves – not just through listing product offerings and services, but also by sharing links, images, and posts on a customizable page to give a better sense of a business’s personality and character.
Your Facebook business page is a great spot to develop your brand identity and show your human side. Facebook is where you can loosen the tie a bit – don’t be afraid to be funny.
Ultimately you should consider what your key audience would want to see. Share social media images, links, videos, anything, as long as it is connected to your business and it seems like something your target audience would enjoy.
In addition to hilarious videos of dogs walking in tiny shoes, a store specialising in footwear might also post an article about how to measure your foot size accurately, what kind of shoe inserts are best for different sore feet woes, etc. A nice mix of humour, educational resources, and posts about your store updates is ideal.
Sponsored StoriesSponsored Stories are a type of Facebook ad that shows a user’s interactions, such as a Facebook like, to the user’s friends.
Sponsored Stories seeks to capitalise on the "word of mouth" concept. If a user sees that three of his friends like a certain page, he is more inclined to pay attention. The goal of Sponsored Stories is to have a user take the same action as their friends. Advertisers can choose to show friends “likes” if they want more page likes, show friends who have “claimed this offer” if a business wants more users to claim offers, etc.
Social Media is as individual as the business itself and every platform can offer something to your business, finding the right approach and platform for you is a mixture of trial and error at the beginning, but its also one of the best ways to seek out the correct audience that works for you. With time and the right team behind you, utilising social media is one for the best marketing tool out there.