Businesses have definitely realised the power of social media and learnt how they can use social media marketing to get better engagement with the public.
Social media has boomed because it offers instantaneous engagement between users.
It has: real time communication, engagement, marketing and advertising.
Real time communication takes seconds and minutes, not hours or days.
The flow between customers to businesses can be instantaneous and therefore businesses are able to tailor their product and services according to the market.
There is a sense of business culture on social media that relies upon speed and current trends, rather than planning and predicting future trends.
Businesses can immediately be informed on what is going on with their consumers and members by engaging with them on social media and gaining feedback.
Businesses place a very high value on social media marketing as it can increase exposure, sales and increase membership.
They have the ability to reach out and communicate on a personal level with their target audience on a daily basis. Using social media for marketing leads to benefits such as:
- Increased Traffic & Exposure
- Developed Followers & Fans
- Improved search ranking
- Grew business partnerships
- Improved sales
- Provided marketplace insight
It is important for businesses to understand that although it is social networking, this does not mean you present your business as too informal and disorganized manner on social media. Your business should take advantage of social media marketing and advertising by taking a planned, strategic approach.
Social media is meant for interactions with the customers and getting to know them. It’s an opportunity to build trust, rapport and be friendly. Small businesses need to understand that’s social media buyer behaviour is very different to offline advertising and therefore needs to be changed accordingly. People are so use to blatant ads and are more drawn towards businesses adding value to their lives. There are two key elements to social media marketing. They are to:
- Integrate with other Marketing tools
- Consistency across social media platforms
Social media cannot function unless it is completely embedded in your other advertising and marketing avenues. It needs to be integrated into the business and linked to marketing initiatives as an extension of the business online. Ways in which social media can be promoted is by integrating it with other marketing avenues such as:
- Email Marketing and Subscribers
- Search Engine Optimization
- Post Mail
- Online ads (Google Adwords)
- Print Publicity Materials
- Mobile Marketing
Linking all online content together is key to social media success.
Along with integrating it, sharing social media links in online and offline marketing areas such as a website, blog and email newsletter is essential.
It is key to include a social “share” buttons for consumers to easily share content on all their social networks.
The aim is for users to engage, to like, share or comment on posts so that they have maximum exposure.
There are three short considerations to keep in mind when posting content on a Social Media business page:
- Being Personable
- Be Useful
Users come onto social networking sites to share and interact with their friends and families, they do not come onto these sites to be advertised to. This is why it is important not to hide behind your business. Use the social platform so people are able to view your business as personable, accessible and human. You’ll need to be open to connect to others on a friendly level. Social networks should be used to get to know your customers and consumers, learn from them, rather than doing a sales or marketing campaign. Try to think about how you want people to feel when they see or hear about your business.
If your social media presence is not useful to users, and they are constantly bombarded with marketing of your products and services, they will not engage with your small business. One of the easiest ways to build trust and rapport is to be useful to the users, understand what they want and deliver it to them. A good way to do this is by sharing articles your small business have produced and content from other sources that your followers would find interesting. Engage with your users, and they will engage with your content and be willing to read it. Become a useful contributor to the Facebook community, rather than just promoting your business.
The exchange and sharing of experiences and stories is what makes social media thrive. In order to be more accessible to your audience, share your business with them, including successful outcomes. You could also share and support other businesses that are related to your business. Engaging and supporting other businesses can encourage others to support your business.
Being Personable, Be Useful and Sharing can so often be overlooked, but these are three very simple ways to take advantage of the way social media thrives, being social. You cannot use social media to promote your business and sell your products or services, you need to be able to have a particular identity and personality for users to find you more accessible and interesting. Let them get to know you and your business, users want to be aware of who they are interacting with, and therefore be more receptive to being advertised to.