Winter is just around the corner – always a good time to think about some new directions for your marketing.
Social media marketing is one marketing tool that’s arguably more talked about than used. Some business owners don’t feel they have the time; others simply don’t know what social media could possibly do for their businesses.
Here’s a quick perspective: If your customers are mainly over the age of 40, social media may be less important for your business. If your customers are under 40, then social media can be important. If they are mainly under 25, social media becomes very important.
The younger generation have grown up immersed in social media; their smartphones are their primary source of information. Their buying decisions are influenced by social media. If they are interested in a restaurant, they can use Twitter first to access quick reviews of the food and service.
It’s likely they will check out your products, prices and services first in a similar way before buying from you. They prefer to do business with the people or businesses their friends like or trust. These recommendations override conventional advertising. In other words, the future is social media.
If you don’t have a social media presence, you are completely cut off from this world.
Finding out about your reputation on social networks is just one good reason to take more interest in it.
Some quick tips if you’re interested in social media:
Define your purpose, just as you would for any marketing campaign. Forexample: deliver useful information, generate goodwill, drive people to your website, build conversations with customers, answer their questions and respond to any issues they have about your business.
Learn about social media protocols first. It’s called ‘social’ for a reason, so don’t intrude on social interactions with clumsy selling messages.
Avoid spreading yourself too thinly. Choose one social media platform first such as Facebook Twitter or LinkedIn and build a presence.
Commit to the effort. Social media is inexpensive, but can be time-hungry.
There’s no point in entering it if you won’t sustain the effort. If you want to be taken seriously, you’ll need to respond promptly to enquiries and keep updating your contributions.
Study how your competitors are using social media. If they aren’t, you may have an opportunity to steal a march on them.
Keep track of what people are saying about your business. Numerous metrics programs such as Klout or Google Analytics will help you measure the impact you’re making.
Take this simple step now: add social media icons to your website and email signatures so people can instantly share your useful information.