Social media is everywhere. You can’t watch a TV show without being told to tweet about the episode using the official hashtag. Business owners are facing the need to adopt social media into their marketing strategies before they get left behind.
When you find the right balance of online and traditional means of advertising, you’ll be able to maximize your company’s reach, build up a positive brand name and reputation, and have as many satisfied customers as possible. Here are four strategies for getting your business into social media marketing.
1. Acknowledge the importance of social media and the amount of work it requires
The sooner you can recognize the importance of social media and find a way to integrate it into your marketing plan, the sooner you’ll be getting ahead of your competitors. The social media universe is constantly expanding, and the demand of customers for businesses to have an online presence is growing with it.
Building and maintaining such a presence takes quite a bit of work, and coming up with online campaigns and marketing strategies should be a group effort (not just the job of an intern who has no idea what he or she is doing).
2. Engage with your audience
This is the most important part of social media: the social part. You’ll hear it time and time again, but if you want your followers to stick with you and attract even more people to your firm, you have to produce interesting content that represents your company and its products … and then respond to your following.
People want to have a relationship with their favorite companies. More and more, customers are turning to social media as a medium for praise and complaints, and if you don’t monitor them, you run the risk of unsatisfied customers feeling ignored or ruining your company’s reputation without you even knowing it.
3. Respect your followers and stress the responsibility of social media
What your company posts online matters. Don’t just let any employee manage your social media accounts; he, she, or they should be able to represent your company in an appropriate way, treat customers with respect (even the trolls), and stay positive.
It’s easy to get caught up in emotions, especially when you’re not face-to-face with someone, but a business’s social media presence is always a function of customer service as well as marketing. Overall, treat your customers as well as your competitors with dignity and respect.
You never know what kind of partnerships and opportunities may come out of an online friendship, and you’ll receive the same kind of positive content that you put out there.
4. Don’t just look for your audience in the usual places
There’s a place in social media for any business; you just have to find the right audience (and you don’t want to corner yourself with cliches). For example, woodwork and power tools will readily appeal to a male crowd because that’s who they’re always marketed at.
But that doesn’t mean you should ignore all online marketing toward the ladies. There are tons of craft and cosplay websites with a large female user base who are clearly knowledgeable about tools and use them on a regular basis. You might just be surprised by your ultimate target audience online.
The way your company’s online presence manifests — in voice, social networking sites, followers, and connections — should be completely unique. However, there are certain ways any business can approach social media, where it’s used as a tool to build relationships with people and show customers respect and appreciation.
Succeeding in social media takes time and consistency as well as the right attitude and ideas.