Social media is an exciting opportunity to reach customers in ways never before possible. Word of mouth can travel almost instantly, giving you a chance to share sales, news and updates with nearly immediate results. This also means greater responsibility in the content you post; negative word of mouth moves as quickly as positive word of mouth. Approached from the stance of offering the greatest value to your customers, social media can be a very important asset for your business.
How to Get Started
The four major social media outlets are Facebook, Google+, LinkedIN and Twitter. While there is some overlap, each tends to appeal to a certain subset of users. This gives you the opportunity to reach a broad customer base, but success depends on catering the content for each website to its unique users.
If your business is primarily business to consumer, Facebook is an excellent medium. Begin by creating a page for your business, then spread the word on your personal page and be sure to add a link from your website to your Facebook page.
The more likes and shares your posts receive, the more visibility you will get. The typical Facebook user scrolls through a lot of entries in their news feed, so aim for catchy titles, big, interesting images and short snippets of information.
Google+ is a blend of business and consumer networking. You will find a wide array of users on this network, which means you should have a clear goal of what you want to accomplish and carefully target your posts. Similar to Facebook, keep posts short, sweet and eye catching. Try to include topics of interest to your industry. If you sell brewing supplies, post links to recipes and DIY topics that help home brewers expand their craft.
LinkedIN is the business world of social media. If your marketing is primarily business to business, or you want to rub elbows with the elites of your industry, LinkedIN is an excellent place to be. You can also find quality employees and contractors here. The key to success at LinkedIN is participation. Join groups where you can offer your expertise and position your company as an expert in your industry.
The network of short attention spans, Twitter is great for short bursts of information. Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters – less if you include a link – and must compete amongst many other posts in a user’s feed. Make each post relevant, interesting and preferably with an invitation to get involved, such as a question posed to your followers, a link to valuable information or a link to sales and contests. Here, again, participation is key. Respond to your followers, take an interest in their tweets and enjoy the back and forth interaction that makes Twitter so popular.
If you approach social media from the position of how much it will benefit you, you will probably be less successful. By focusing on the value you can provide your followers and fans, you will increase their loyalty and satisfaction with your company.
Additionally, the following tips will help your social media campaigns see greater success:
Social media can be an important tool in your marketing toolbox, helping you grow leads, sales and bigger business. When you find the mix of networks that give you the best results, you can streamline the process and employ social media marketing as a small part of a successful marketing campaign.