The buzz around social media is loud, but you want to understand the paths to success before you jump in to avoid making mistakes. Using social media tools and networks is about people connecting, interacting, and sharing online.
Hardly a day goes by without hearing about remarkable success stories from businesses getting active on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The days of considering social networks as merely an optional marketing strategy for your business are over. In the past handful of years, social media has become as powerful a tool to businesses as employees or the products themselves. Social networks like Facebook are not only where people interact with people they know personally, but it’s how they get information about products and businesses as well.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Simply put, social media marketing is the process by which your business gains attention and/or traffic through social media sites.
Why Should I have a Social Media Marketing Strategy?
The definition above sounds easy, right? However, anyone that has attempted social media marketing knows that it’s not as simple as creating a Facebook page or Twitter account and posting random updates that you deem important. Like all good marketing, there’s a strategy that must be built and executed to achieve the goals you set forth. Here are 4 things to consider when building your social media marketing strategy:
- Build word of mouth: On the Internet, information travels at the speed of light. You can get your message out to hundreds or even thousands of your most loyal customers and interested prospects, who in turn are connected via social media sites to hundreds or thousands of prospects. They extend your marketing messages and drive your website traffic. Let your customers do your selling for you.
- Listen to your customers: What are people saying about your products or services? Social media gives you the opportunity to hear, good or otherwise, what people think of your product. You can use that information to promote your product more effectively by emphasizing the aspects of your product that people like the most. You can also engage directly with consumers to help them solve problems, and create a strategy for changing how you make or market your product.
- Engage prospects: Interact with customers in the process of making a buying decision. Answer their questions, or watch other consumers answer for you.
- Build trust and loyalty: Once you’ve built a base level following in your social networks, and as you spend time interacting with them, they will trust you more than before¦and they will know more about you and your business. What does this mean? More customers, more repeat customers, and more customer referrals. Consumers with more intimate involvement are more likely to refer friends and family to your business, and to talk positively about your brand.
For more tips on using social media to drive sales for your business, download our free whitepaper: Managing Your Company’s Social Media Presence To Increase Sales.