Do you know your Facebook from your Flickr? Or your Twitter from your Tumblr?
The most popular social network platforms are: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. If your business is not familiar with any of these platforms – or utilizing them effectively – you need to ask yourself why.
If you’re looking to generate sale leads successfully, you need to be where the people are. With 271 million active users on Twitter and a whopping 1.23 billion active users on Facebook, everybody seems to be on social media. Social media is an inexpensive way to promote your business and should be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy. When used efficiently, you can keep customers talking and reach more customers.
Whether you are already set up and running your social media channels or simply a novice here are nine ways you should be utilizing social media:
1. Plan a Social Media Strategy
It is essential for you to plan a social media strategy. Begin by defining your audience and competition. Research, research and research more. Once you know how to stand out and catch your target markets attention, you can begin to determine your goals and how you intend to achieve these targets. Perhaps your goal is to receive 10 followers a day? Write content ideas to how you plan to achieve this goal. Scrap the useless and go full steam ahead with the great.
2. Be Consistent with Your Brand Image
In order to develop trust within your brand, you must be consistent with your social media channels. Where possible usernames and profile images should remain the same and the tone of your social posts must mirror your brand. Remember that each platform is different and has a unique environment; what may work on one channel, may not work on the other.
3. Content Reigns King
Word on the street is that content is king. You may have heard that this only applies with website content in order to increase your brands search engine ranking. What you may not know, is that content applies to social media too. People join social media in order to be social, therefore they don’t want to be bombarded with ads. As a result, you must offer interesting and valuable content to your following. By all means link to your website, but make that post relevant to your audience.
4. Connect with Your Influencers
Social media has been the platform where celebrities have been discovered, businesses have grown and artists have been noticed. Social media is a great tool for connecting with people that you otherwise wouldn’t. You should know the influencers in your industry and you should be following them on social media. If you want to be found by these people: involve yourself in their conversation, share their posts and leave feedback on blog posts. Keep in mind that there is a fine line between being persistent and stalking.
5. Track Your Competitors
Regular check your competitors online activity. What are they doing? You may discover that you should be utilizing a certain platform. Are they doing something that you should be doing? Don’t copy their content, adapt your findings to your strategy. You don’t want to steal their fans, you want to convert them.
6. Conduct Market Research
Companies spend a huge amount of their yearly budget on performing market research. A lot of these companies don’t realise that they can conduct their market research on social media. Although you will require somebody who knows what they are doing, it will save your business thousands. By doing some digging into your target market, you can devise customer trends, focus groups and insightful interactions.
7. Educate Your Customers
Use your time effectively on social media and educate your customers. Become the human Wikipedia of your industry. By sharing information that is significant to your following, customers will become dependant on you and your services. With time, through word-of-mouth, you will become the ‘go-to’ person.
8. Offer Customer Support 24/7
With the rise of social media, customers want to be able to contact you around the clock, seven days a week. By catering for this need on social media, you will demonstrate excellent customer service. Directly responding to all social engagement – including questions and complaints – is the basis to a healthy relationship in the digital era.
9. Measure Your Successes
Google analytic is a great tool for businesses online. It allows you to gain insight about your customers and their behaviour. You can also look at how many people have clicked through to your website through social media, learning what works for your audience and what doesn’t. Use this data to your advantage and work to make your social media efforts a triumph.