Social media is for everyone. Whether you’re part of a large conglomerate, a small business or a local service provider, you will find that integrating social media into your overall marketing plan will almost always yield surprisingly positive results.
Skeptical about what social media marketing SMM can do for your business?
Twitter and LinkedIn have a combined user count of over a billion people that’s more than a tenth of the world population! A Nielsen study indicates 25% of internet usage, in the US alone, is devoted to social media. Forrester Research reports that 75% Americans and 45% of internet users visit social networking platforms.
Face it. The world is in love with networking and the sheer amount of potential exposure to be garnered from social media platforms is staggering! Given the over-saturation prevalent in most traditional marketing avenues, it’d be well worth your time to go the social media route – especially since it costs next to nothing.
Some of things to keep in mind while you’re trying to bring your SMM efforts to fruition are,
CONCRETIZE YOUR OBJECTIVE
This seemingly basic step acquires heightened significance with respect to SMM. Think about what you want to achieve by promoting your brand through social media – different platforms cater to different audiences and will require different marketing techniques. Take the time to thoroughly understand multiple platforms and consider which particular sites will best serve your marketing ambitions.
INTEGRATE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY
The information you provide and the overall user experience should be consistent across every marketing channel you employ. Ensure that your SMM strategy fits in with and compliments your other marketing endeavors without altering your brand positioning; else you run the risk of sending mixed messages and not fully capitalizing on your efforts. Email marketing in particular becomes exponentially more successful when used in conjunction SMM and vice-versa.
ESTABLISH TWO WAY COMMUNICATION
The great thing about social media is that offers you a simple and efficient way to connect with scores of potential clients without the need for endless red tape. And what most companies miss is the need to LISTEN as well as talk. Unlike other marketing channels, one way communication is redundant on a social media platform. Consider tweaking your organizational structure so that customer service personnel are more actively involved in the online marketing process. This is not only fulfills a trust-building function but also helps your employees to better market your brand. Plus, users stay happy and a happy user network translates into excellent publicity. Win-win.
HAVE A LITTLE €HONEST’ FUN
SMM isn’t about blatant promotion. It’s about trying to build the trust of users in your establishment by presenting the ‘social’ face of your company. This can be accomplished by avoiding a stiff, overly-corporate attitude and adopting a softer, informal approach while building an interactive forum. Run contests, start discussions, post useful information and focus on having a good time while promoting your brand. You want to achieve credibility, not directly sell products. Focus on brand exposure and not sales transactions. This is a social media platform, not Amazon.
CONTENT – PERSONALIZE AND INNOVATE
Content is perhaps the most important feature of social media. While building a dialogue, add lots of personality and make sure you’re highly responsive without being too talkative. Creating engaging content that will get users interested in your site is of prime importance, but don’t be too gimmicky. Also, keep the page as interactive as possible. This puts control of the content in the users’ hands and allows them to feel like they are actively participating in a dialogue with your company.
LEVERAGE THE POWER OF THE NETWORK
SMM success is achieved by attracting core users that frequently disseminate information along large social networks. In order to entice them to your page, adopt an aggressive marketing policy by frequently updating and adding fresh content. Generating trust and confidence between these users and your brand is one of the fastest and most efficient methods of achieving growth through SSM.
Remember that SMM doesn’t necessarily replace traditional advertising (not yet anyway), but rather, it augments them by dramatically increasing the potential reach of your campaign. However, in an increasingly digitized marketing arena, success hinges on factors like accessibility and the level of collaborative interaction you can provide users on your network portal. Building a transparent and interactive persona online is just the first step in a long line of network marketing ventures that lie below the digital horizon.
By John Benson