Social media marketing is something a lot of businesses do but not all get right. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest are just a few of the free platforms businesses can use to engage their target market, but a successful social marketing campaign does not come for free. Creating a following and generating real results takes time, but with improved brand recognition and loyalty, increased traffic and the ability to improve the customer’s experience, ultimately, it’s well worth it. Here are a few more of the potential benefits.
Such is its reach and power to engage that some businesses have been built purely on the back of a successful social media marketing campaign. So, if you’re ready to give social media marketing a try, here are a few things you can do to make sure you get it right…
1. Choose the right social networks
Some social media platforms will be a better fit for particular businesses. For example, a lifestyle business is likely to be better suited to Instagram than a professional services provider. Here are a few questions to ask to help determine the right platform for you:
- Where does your audience spend most of its time? If you’re not sure, do some research to find out;
- Does your business lend itself to visual marketing? It may not seem immediately obvious but most businesses do if you think creatively;
- What does your target audience want from you?
- What’s your preferred way of creating content?
Once you have an idea of where your customers spend their time and what sort of help they need, you can then decide where to focus your efforts. As a quick example, if you’re a consultant, LinkedIn might be the best option for you. If you own a restaurant then you may generate the best results from Facebook and Instagram.
2. Develop a positive presence
Interaction is the key to developing a social media presence people want to be a part of. We all know you’re on social media to promote your business, but simply pelting the consumer with brand messages will not win you any friends (or followers or likes). Instead, your social media platforms should become a forum people can contribute to. Inviting discussion, joining conversations and sharing content from third parties that resonates with your brand and your target market is central to this.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing, but developing the sort of social media presence you’d like to interact with is an excellent way to start. You can then use social analytics to see what approach has the best response rates and start to fine tune your campaign.
3. Give your customers a voice
The thought of giving your customers free rein on your social media platforms can strike fear in the heart of some small business owners. But, if you’re proud of the product or service you offer, giving the people that matter the most a direct line to your business will only strengthen your brand.
Becoming a multi-channel business and allowing your customers to contact you via phone, email and social platforms makes it easy for customers to express themselves. They also feel more connected and valued, helping to build their trust in your brand. Answering customer queries by creating specific resource pages that answer their questions can also give your business a boost in the search engines.
4. Build relationships with influencers
Rather than simply using social media channels to bring customers to you, you should also build relationships with other influencers and authorities in your sector. By reading, liking, commenting on and sharing their posts, you can start to build a relationship that could be beneficial further down the line. Connecting with influencers now will make them more receptive to approaches in the future, helping to build your following and spread the word about your business. Social media marketing is not fast or
Social media marketing is not fast or free
Many business owners mistakenly think social media is a fast, cheap way of building a brand and engaging their target market. The truth is, social media marketing does take time, but, if you develop a following successfully, it can prove to be an extremely cost effective form of marketing over the longer term.
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