Marketing professionals and small business owners are looking to up-skill and stay ahead of online competitors. And when it comes to social marketing, businesses have an ever increasing number of online channels to use to rapidly spread the word about their products and services. In fact, the number of social media communications platforms is growing month by month. Beyond the obvious platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the recently launched Google+, businesses can tap into more than 300 social media sites…all with catchy names like “Buzzzy, Blogger, StumbleUpon and ZingMe.” This wide range of choices can be a trap for small businesses, especially if your company does not have a developed online marketing strategy and a systemized process to ensure your social media channels are levereged to maximum effect.
Creating a social networking existence is crucial in this age of new technology and businesses that don’t engage in some for of social media will struggle to survive in the longer term. It’s vital to get your social media strategy “right” from the outset. The power of social media is phenomenal. We can’t deny that. You should be thinking through your business and marketing objectives and putting robust systems and policies in place so you can get the most out of your online marketing.
At the least invest in a Facebook page dedicated to your business, a Twitter account where followers can see instant news and updates, and a YouTube account (an ideal platform to show how-to tips or product testing videos to potential or current customers.) Building a social media network into your business allows you the opportunity to broaden your branding via the internet to a much bigger audience and to grow your database of customers in a very short time.
5 BUSINESS TIPS ON MAKING SOCIAL MEDIA WORK
1. When possible, always redirect customers to your original site. It’s good practice to link your customers viewing the information to the main business website to maximize potential conversions.
2. Limit your social media marketing to a few platforms (see above for suggestions) and focus hard on them. Have rigid processes in place to ensure regular outbound communication – daily/weekly/monthly.
3. Use social netowrking sites to interact with your customers before, during and after a sale. This is THE chance to communicate with your customers like never before.
4. Twitter can be used effectively as it enables short 140 character news updates and information bulletins.
5. Facebook recently changed its fan page arrangement to give businesses more functionality on the site. Businesses no longer have to link their profile back to a personal profile. It’s also easier to track traffic, control posts and customize settings.
With a bit of effort and planning you can build a robust community of followers and advocates for your business. Why wait?