Learning how to use social media to grow your business is still a relatively new phenomenon for most companies. Many people I talk to say they know they “should” be using social media, but they don’t have time or really know why or how to best gain returns with it. Knowing exactly if social media marketing will work for you and how to get started is a challenging prospect. Here are some ideas that can help.
- Research on your target audience and find out which social sites they frequent because there are lots of different platforms out there and each has different audiences, tones and recommended posting frequencies. In addition to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you now have newer platforms such as Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. So, trying to provide information that is timely and relevant on each one plus monitoring responses can be extremely time consuming. It is doable but, when first starting out, it pays to narrow down your options to make things easier to handle. In phase two of your efforts, you could utilize a social media management app like Hootsuite or outsource this task.
- Learn what makes each of these sites unique to see if they are a good fit for your target market and goals. For instance, according to Zephora Internet Marketing Solutions, on Facebook, ages 25 to 34 make up 29.7% of its users and is the most common age demographic. So, if this is your prime target demographic (B2C), Facebook would be the ideal place for your marketing efforts, allowing you to engage key consumers there. This site also gives statistical information on other social media sites and even include their peak usage times. This type of research is valuable and helps to eliminate and reduce wasted effort.
- Make sure that there is consistency and honesty in your postings. These are the places where people go in “real-time” to find out what’s trending and where they can get the latest information. They want updated responses when they go there and don’t want to interact with a company that hasn’t been online in maybe 2 or 3 weeks. Also by giving them some background information on your company with some behind the scenes pictures thrown in, lends your product or service a human touch and is what separates who will buy from who won’t. These platforms are really a great advertising medium because word-of-mouth spreads like wildfire. And, being perceived as having authentic, reliable brand goes a long way in impressing users who are all about people “sharing”.
- A social media plan needs to be implemented in order to stay current. It will help you stay relevant by breaking down your social media goals into daily or weekly objectives. In order for this strategy to work, postings have to be targeted for the best results. Choose your keywords first – words your ideal customer would use to find your website – then work those into your posting plan. As we all know, it’s easy to get distracted by other matters during a business day, so having some type of reminder of these objectives and sticking to them no matter what, will prove to be a huge factor in its success. By making a total commitment to invest the time, energy and resources it takes to keep your site updated with pertinent information, shows your supporters that you are invested in this 100%.
- Follow the 80/20 Rule of social media posting. Although all posts are indirectly promotional, try to keep 80% of your posts as indirectly promotional. In other words, make 80% of your posts educational, interesting or entertaining. Then just 20% of your posts should be outright promotional. This keeps readers interested in following you because you don’t spend all your time trying to sell them something.
Social media has become an effective way to engage potential customers because people can consume the information they want when and how they want it as well as share it with others. Finding out about tips, trends and interesting topics from their “friends” who have “liked” something provides an open door to your business if you become a resource.
To better engage your customers through social media, please contact us at New Sky Websites where we take the time to learn your business goals and develop strategies that meet today’s standards in social media integration.
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