Social Media Marketing – Taking Your Business To A New Level
Social media marketing (SMM) refers to marketing done on the internet to create/boost product branding. It is not all that different from conventional forms of marketing-publications, advertisements and posters-and yet it is of a different nature. SMM places a special value on creation of relationships with customers as well the convergence of these customers to create the essence of a community under the banner of a business. This is meant to boost branding even as businesses appear to be more conscious of consumers.
Some may wonder if social media marketing is really all that important and necessary to a business. Afterall, some of us would much rather stick to tried and tested methods of doing things than flirt with newer territories. New territory like social media can be pretty complex and at times it is hard to tell if the results will commensurate with the efforts put into deal with this complexity. However, it is undeniable that social media platforms are very effective marketing outlets given that a significant portion of the population today is present on these sites. For example, 20 million people join fan pages on Facebook every day. Therefore, social media marketing translates to increased accessibility to existing and potential customers and sometimes you do not even have to pay to make your business known to these individuals. Also, research shows that 93% of social media users believe businesses should have an online presence.
If businesses – especially small scaled ones are to remain competitive in the corporate world, the following may be useful to note.
Know your niche, know your goals:
While many businesses understand the need for social media marketing they embark on it simply because everybody else is doing it. If that is the case, it will be hard to reap the fullest benefits of this pursuit. It isimportant to decide on the number one metric that is to be achieved. Goals could range from greater reach, customer happiness to more mentions. Whatever the goal may be the business needs to be certain of it from the very beginning.
Avoid neglecting your SMM sites:
Getting on the social media marketing bandwagon is easy however being consistently active on these SMM platforms is the harder task. How often do we go from joy to disappointment when we find out that the Facebook page or blog of a small business that we have been hoping to find out more about has not been updated in years? During these times we cannot even tell if said business is still around. You definitely do not want to give that impression about your business to existing and potential customers. In order to avoid such situations, first, determine how many people you will need to manage your social media sites. Oftentimes, small businesses only need one person to be in charge while larger businesses might want to consider assembling a group for this purpose. Beyond that, you should create a schedule for weekly or fortnightly updates. This schedule will create anticipation among customers even as they become used to your updating patterns.
Design your content with care:
You may be wondering, “How am I suppose to know what to post on my sites?” This is a valid question and requires much thought. What you say on your site says a lot about your business. Remember, when you post something on sites like Facebook, Twitter and blogging sites there is room for consumers and detractors, even, to respond immediately. These responses will have a huge impact on your image for other consumers are very receptive to their counterparts. So, always start off by tracking what your customers are talking about. Next, acquaint yourself to the sites your competitors have and the nature of the content they post, and customers’ response to such content. This should set the stage for your own venture even as you come to better understand your consumers. Then craft your site in a way that shows that you are concerned about your customers and not all about pushing sales and making profits. Another point to note is that if you are a business with multiple sites online, your content should not always be the same across all sites. Ensure that you post differentiated content on different sites and when that is not possible, at least make an attempt to present this content in different ways.
Incentivise consumers to spread the word:
Essentially, virality is imporant in SMM. The reason most businesses get on SMM sites is that they want to tap on the 300 billion social media and internet users for their own advantage. In order to achieve this, you need to go beyond your network of consumers and tap on your consumers’ network. Create incentives such as the presentation of discount coupons to individuals who click the like button on your business fan page. When their friends see that they have liked your page they will be curious to find out more. Sometimes, you can even export your content to their pages by getting them to share your site on their own site. This is certain to make your business viral and create exposure for it.
Social media marketing can be largely beneficial to both large and small businesses and it places a lot of emphasis on business-client relationship. At least for that reason, businesses should consider getting on SMM sites and put in reasonable effort into maintaining a good presence on these sites!