Your business can navigate the social media minefield
Social Media! It’s everywhere. It’s everywhere you look. Social media networks are everywhere, and more are being created all the time. While some businesses recognize the importance of social media networks, others fail to see the impact they have on how businesses market themselves.
Marketing is about being able reach as many potential customers as possible. This is the key to effective marketing. What should a company do if traditional marketing methods are ineffective or out of date?
A newspaper was read by most people every day in the past. A business could advertise in the newspaper and most people would see it. Many people keep up to date with current events via news apps and social media, which many don’t even use ads. What does this mean for small businesses?
You will lose your money if your marketing materials aren’t seen by your target audience. This will also result in a significant drop in revenue. No business can sustain this for very long. The only way to get your marketing materials seen by your target audience is via social media.
Social media is increasing in popularity almost daily. People interact with others around the world, find friends, get advice, and even shop on social media networks. People are more knowledgeable about the products and services that they want because of the many options available to them in social networks. How can you make your business heard amongst the millions of voices on social media every day?
These social networks do not have a captive audience. It is important for businesses to learn how to reach and engage potential customers. However, they must approach the issue in the right way. A good reason for people to visit a business’s page on social media is essential. Even better, a reason to return to it again and again!
Learning doesn’t have to be painful. You can learn from the mistakes of others so that you don’t make them again. These are lessons that others have learned the hard-way.
Two main reasons businesses ignore social media are: they either consider it a fad that only teenagers use to chat and share funny photos, or they think there are better ways to market their business than to talk to teenagers.
Social media is here to stay, according to the facts
August 2013, ExportedRamblings.com reported Facebook had clocked up 1.15 BILLION active users
Twitter announced on 21 March 2013 that it has over 200 million users and 400 million tweets per day. This was its 7th birthday.
Semiocast reported that Pinterest had more than 70 million users in July 2013.
The user numbers for these and other social media networks are not declining, either. Social media networks are growing month after month. Every business should ask the hard question, “Can my company afford not to use social media?” (The answer should be NO! )
To win, you must be there.
JUMP ON IN… GET IN…
That’s it! You have decided to jump into social media. You’re going tell people about your vacation, and then BAM! Your sales pitch will be a hit with them! Smooth! It’s not. It would be like jumping in a pool if you don’t know how to swim. You would sink instantly.
Every social media network is unique. Each social media network has its own user profile and a unique way for users interact with one another. They also have their own communities and rules. You can’t know which network is best for your company unless you explore each one. You must market directly to potential customers to increase sales.
Is it THE ONE?
Many people will tell you to be on this or that social networking site. Really? It is essential to be present on every social network. You would need to spend days maintaining each account active, engaged, and functioning, given the number of social media networks available. You would need to make a choice between managing your business and your social media empire unless you have a large staff.
Time is money, as we all know. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, you should start with a small number of social media networks that offer a wider user base. You can start with the most popular social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Businesses can find a lot of advice on how to make the most of these networks. We can help you develop a solid, efficient marketing strategy to promote and grow your business on these networks.
Once you feel comfortable with your weekly tasks, you can look into other social networks to find out if they offer you the opportunity to connect with other segments of your potential customers.
If you don’t know where you are going, social media can be overwhelming. It is important to develop a strong individual marketing strategy and know the best ways to engage users on each platform. This will ensure that you remain focused on your goals and how you plan to achieve them.
BUSINESS IS NOT ALL THAT MATTER…
Imagine that you have met someone you truly clicked with and became friends. Two weeks of talking and building a good friendship are what you do. They disappear without warning. They disappear without speaking for a month, and then they return to contact with their family. Six months later, they get in touch again as if nothing had happened and attempt to pick up from where they left off. What would you think? How would you feel if they tried selling you something during your first conversation? What would you think? Used? Misled? Are you being misled?
This is what social media is different from regular marketing. You must build trust and rapport before you can begin to reap the benefits of the connections you make to others on your network. You must be a regular member of the network community. This is not possible if you only visit once every three to four months. These social connections are just as important to your business as any other customer relationship.
The name SOCIAL media is the clue. These networks are not where people shop. For that, there are offline shopping malls and digital department shops. Social media is a place where people can interact with and socialize with others who share similar interests. Social media allows you to find interesting things to see, people to chat to, amusing stories and videos, as well as a glimpse into the lives and daily activities of other people around the globe. If you’re all business-like and stiff, you will be a stickler for the rules. People will steer clear of you if your business persona is dull, stiff, and business-like.
You need to find a balance between being professional and letting potential clients see the human side. Don’t be afraid of sharing your personal side with others. Let your personality shine and others will be able to relate to your business.
It keeps your business and you visible to other people by posting every day, commenting, and contributing to the social network your company is part of. This builds trust and credibility and makes you more than just another company trying sell them something.
KEEPING It Real… but not too real
Horror stories abound about companies that either pretend to be customers to write glowing reviews or pay people to do so. These deceptive acts can cause customers to lose any trust in a business.
The best advice for small business owners is to be as honest and reliable as possible in all your posts. Talk about your day, but make it entertaining. Or maybe a new product launch. But, you should also include lighter details, such as a vacation or something that occurred while driving.
There is a fine line between too much and too little information, especially when it comes to your business. Avoid sharing details about your personal life (e.g. a messy divorce) or details about your business relationships. This could make you look bad. People may see you as a negative representative of your customers, such as if they perceive you to be rude or bad. This can lead to a poor reputation.
Be honest in your posts, but not too sincere.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING – IT CAN COST!
Businesses think social media networks are a free way to make sales and not have to pay anything. Let me ask you… How will they find your business among the thousands of other businesses?
A well-thought out and focused strategy is essential for any marketing campaign to succeed. It should target who it is targeted at, where they are located, and how to communicate through social media to make them your customers. It is also important to determine how much time and effort it will take to execute the campaign, as well as to monitor and analyze the results.
While social media may seem free at first, it is expensive over time. However, the time and energy required to build and maintain relationships within each network is costly.