In the ever changing global market, businesses cannot afford to ignore Social Media Marketing as part of their marketing master plan. Social media has grown and established a reach that extends to millions of prospects worldwide and now has a proven track record of connecting brands and businesses with people and gaining them loyal customers.
The major social sites in the industry have captured the attention of a majority of internet users with Facebook currently catering to 500 Millions users, YouTube with approximately 400 Million and Twitter currently at 190 Million; and with Twitter about to launch its new interface, we should see more interaction within the community and brand new innovations.
To help you get started with building your business or brand through social media, I will be discussing 7 simple yet very effective methods for taking full advantage of social media and what it means for your product or service.
Establish Common Branding Across Platforms
Its very important to start maintaining your presence on the social scene. Create a solid logo, color scheme, tag line and a unique style that can be readily identified when users start interacting with your site and social profiles. Therefore, whether its twitter, Facebook or any other social profile, ensure that graphics and various styles used are common across all your profiles.
Some examples of well-branded profiles include:
- VisitJamaica.com | twitter.com/visitjamaicanow
- Popeye’s Chicken | twitter.com/popeyeschicken
- Mashable | twitter.com/mashable
- Digicel | facebook.com/digiceljamaicafan
You will find that these brands remain very consistent with their design on all their social profiles.
Although traditional methods of advertising are not quite as effective as they used to be due to advancements in technology and the web, there are instances where traditional methods such as newspaper and television ads are relevant. Within these opportunities, be sure to include dialogue that mentions links to your social profiles and website. Most of the information that users will research about your company and its services will be done through your social profiles and website; this is where you need to close the deal and capture the heart of the customer.
Also, include links to your profiles via business cards, promotional flyers and other printed promotional material.
Create Added Value Not Gained Elsewhere
If you’re in business and offering products and/or services, then you NEED to be catering to your prospects’ wants and needs; and an innate need for virtually every customer is to find value for their money. There are users who spend every waking moment browsing social sites and chatting with their friends; some are searching for deals and information while others just want to chat.
Use your profile to publish special deals not found offline, engage your audience and customers by tying in prizes, coupons and discounts with user interaction. So prospects will know that they need to interact and share their ideas with you to gain certain benefits. This interaction will expose you to what customers really want which would not be as easily accessible through traditional methods of advertising.
The dialogue between you and your audience can only strengthen the relationship.
Social Media Is Not Only About Self Promotion
Maintaining a social profile is not solely about promoting new products and services or offering discounts, but should rather be a combination of support and advice for existing customers, getting to know your customers and prospects and sharing experiences of which users can relate.
Profiles that are only about self promotion at some point are ignored and oftentimes appear “spammy” since relationship building activities and a truly human presence are absent.
Spend A Little To Gain A Lot
Make provisions in your budget for paid advertising, approaching it from the point of view as an investment and not an expense. Facebook advertising is particularly very effective because its platform gives you the ability to define the demographics of the audience you wish to advertise to, thus giving you more control of your ads and their ability to target specific niches.
A client of mine spent US $100 for a Facebook ad that ran for 5 days and due to the nature of the services and deals being advertised, they gained approximately 4,000 clickthroughs (CTR) which in turn gave their service great exposure in a short period of time and on a light budget.
Facebook “Like Box” Widget
Though I do not usually recommend the use of too many promotional widgets on websites, the Facebook fan widget is particularly quite effective when attracting your site’s visitors to your Facebook fan profile.
Similar to the widget on the lower end of my sidebar, visitors will have the option of immediately “Liking” your page and in another version, view your wall posts. A visitor “Like” is very important since that action creates a constant link between you and those users allowing for continuous contact.
Click here to get started with creating your own Facebook Like Box Widget.
Link From Everywhere
Take advantage of every linking opportunity to link back to your social profiles as this will provide more exposure for your activities and promotions on your social profiles.
There are many other simple techniques that can be practiced to gain exposure and sales through social media. The methods mentioned above have worked wonders for my clients, so what do you have to lose?
What other techniques have worked for you and what did you learn? Please share your ideas and experiences with us in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.Photo credit: Anne Helmond