One of the most important phenomena that has emerged in recent years, which can have both leisure and business applications, is social media. Unquestionably, the hundreds of millions of people that use sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram provide a huge and potentially fertile audience of small businesses to exploit. but ensuring that you fully take advantage of this audience is not necessarily a straightforward as you might imagine. So here are some tips regarding social media to help your business really boost its profile.
The first question that you perhaps might want to ask yourself, particularly if you are skeptical about the value of this particular avenue is why use social media in the first place? As a startup or small business owner, you will be only too aware that there’s a lot to accomplish with limited resources. Traditional marketing can be very expensive and a serious drain on your funds. By contrast, social media marketing is extremely low cost, in fact he usually constitutes no expense whatsoever.
While it is tempting to just run head long into social media and logic campaign as quickly as possible, especially as it costs very little to do so, planning ahead a little can pay great dividends. Behind every exceptional social media campaign is a great strategy, so this part of the process should definitely not be neglected.
Social media works best when you connect with your customers on a level that they can appreciate and understand. What is the best way to do this? Quite simple really, make sure that you understand your customers as intimately as possible. You can begin this process by attempting to identify the characteristics of your core customers. These can vary greatly from one business to another, based on characteristics such as age, gender, interests, profession, income level, etc. What you’re looking to achieve by profiling customers is to establish the key demographic that your business will attempt to target.
Every social media campaign has a different audience. It is important to understand yours so that you invest your efforts in the correct way and directed at the right channels.
There are two important points to note here. Firstly, if you’re serious about making a significant impression via social media, you must have multiple social media outlets. The big boys of social media remain Facebook and Twitter, but many other smaller sites are also gaining recognition as well. LinkedIn has established a pretty strong niche as a business-oriented site, while many, Many millions of people all over the world consider Instagram to be the most fun social media site.
The second point to consider is that you should make every effort to coordinate your social media platforms. Treating each social media platform as a stand-alone effort will lead to your success in this avenue being pretty limited. The first thing you should be trying to achieve with your social media campaign is to coordinate your efforts so that people are directed towards your website. Actually, this is where they will purchase your products and/or services, so all social media efforts should be directed towards this primary goal.
Across all of your social media channels, you should attempted to establish a brand identity and unified voice. Blogs can also be a good way to achieve this. Additionally, social media can be an excellent way to engage with customers, and many businesses are even using social media to deal with customer inquiries and issues in real-time.
This is just a small point, but nevertheless an important one. Don’t invest too much time initially in social media, start small and build up as you go along. There is no point in wasting vast amounts of time on social media until you had a significant following, so payment to build this following slowly but surely.
Once you have a decent social media presence, you can begin to plan the way you interact with your audience. Make sure you take advantage of the feature set and functionality held within various social media platforms to make it more convenient for you. For example, Twitter enables you to schedule tweets throughout the day, so be sure to make the most of this feature.
As you become more successful with social media, it is time to consider expanding operations. Big, successful social media sites such as Facebook often paid advertising options. These enable your business to be far more visible to potential customers, and with millions of people using Facebook every day this obviously opens up a massive potential audience to your company.
If Twitter is one of your main platforms, you have two advertising solutions: promoted content and promoted accounts. Promoted content is particularly useful in enabling you to target specific audiences, while promoted accounts will greatly increase the number of Twitter followers that your account receives. LinkedIn also enables you to buy advertising or use the sponsored updates feature to increase your brand’s visibility.
Both Facebook and Twitter also offer you ample opportunities to grow your client base. Both social media programs have recently incorporated features that enable you to grow your e-mail list. Twitter allows you to use a feature called tailored audiences to achieve this, while linking your twitter biography to an opt-in page is also a good way of attracting new clients. Using Twitter Tools Click to Tweet can also pay dividends.
Facebook has also increased functionality enabling you to attract a targeted audience. Many companies are using tools within Facebook such as One Click Actions and Share With Friends to expand their marketing email list, while crowd sharing product ideas within such a vast platform as Facebook an also attract a great deal of attention for a business.
Finally, it is essential to measure your results as you go along in order to develop more effective strategies. All of the major social media platforms feature tools that enable you to track and measure your performance. It is essential that you take advantage of these. Additionally, Google Analytics offers you an intuitive way to monitor traffic and interactions on any website or blog that you set up.
Review what you’re doing on a regular basis, record the results, and formulate plans to improve your performance. Systematically assess the efficacy of different strategies, and then once you find a successful one… stick with it and repeat it relentlessly.