Business owners today are using social media as a marketing outlet with great results, and you’d like some of those apples too. It takes a lot of work to build up your social media presence so lets look at the steps that you need to implement:
- Research where your customers are
- Set up your profiles on the social media sites that your prospects and customers are on
- Brand your profile
- Import your email contacts and follow all your customers, past and present
- Spruce your blog up (you’re going to need some content to share on your social sites)
- Set up your listening posts
- Sequence your content and schedule it for distribution across the social channel of choice
Social Media can be used for marketing purposes in a variety of ways and the seven quick steps outlined above are not as quick as you think. Researching where your customers and prospects are is not as easy as you think, and then what do you ask them when you get there?
On Twitter, for example, you can ask for suggestions about a product, or perform a survey. People love to give their opinions and you can easily collect enough data to improve your business and cater to what potential customers are actually looking for rather than what you think they are looking for.
You have to be where the customers are. If you hate Facebook as much as I do, you won’t be able to ignore it if your customers are there. The same goes for LinkedIn, it might seem too formal and stiff but if your prospects are there you have a presence there as well. Do your research and find out where your customers prefer to hangout and go hang with them. You are wasting your precious time in trying to get them to where you feel comfortable, go to them and mutter “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” to keep you on track. It helps if you mutter it under your breath and not out loud, people look at you funny in the street
Branding your social media presence is vital
And depending which expert you listen too, you need to keep them consistent across the board… or you don’t. Decide one or the other and stick with it. It will be tempting to chop and change – don’t. Decide to brand everything or brand nothing and then have the courage of your convictions to stick to your decision. If you don’t you will be forever mucking around with things and you’ll have enough hassle when Facebook or Twitter changes their profile or layouts without anything else you add to your workload.
The first people to find and follow on any social media site should be the people you already know
You’ll feel happier with people you know around you, then after that go out and find other people to follow and engage with, but in the initial days choose to stay with the people you know. They’ll be more forging if you commit one of the many social media sins (and trust me they are legion, they have no manners and will blurt out publicly how awful and inept you are).
Related Article: How To Implement Inbound Marketing For Your Startup
Another opportunity you should remember is networking with other businesses in your niche or industry. This can be great for your business and can effectively increase your customer base. Actively recommending other local businesses in your town, once they see you doing this they will most likely return the favor.
Spruce up your blog
If your business isn’t blogging then hit me up via the contact form and we’ll sort something out. But you need to have a home base and your blog is it, you need a stockpile of content to share and your blog has all of that too (and if it hasn’t, why hasn’t it?).
You will go through tremendous amounts of content in your early days when building your social media presence – some you’ll share to raise awareness and some will answer the question people have. Have it ready and in place before you start getting active, you don’t want to be caught with your pants down, do you?
Listen, listen, listen
Gosh I know it’s terribly old fashioned to work to a strategy rather than deploying a whole heap of cheap, shock tactics but being helpful is a better marketing strategy than say being everywhere and in your face.
Getting Traffic with Social Media
By sending people to your social media properties you are creating traffic to your main business website and landing pages. This will inevitably lead to more sales which of course is what you want as a business owner.
You can add links to the images you post in your social media accounts and have these links lead back to different pages or products on your main website. Images and graphics are now a huge part of marketing when it comes to social media. It is so important that you incorporate these methods as well.
One easy way to add images is to just showcase your business. You can add photos of your products or your actual store if you own a physical location. Why not show off your production facility or other areas that would normally be closed to customers?
Yes it does take time to setup your social media accounts
No one said that marketing your business via social media is easy, and if they did then they’re a liar, it takes time and effort to do it properly. If your time is limited then you do have several choices. You can hire a virtual assistant to post content regularly to your social media sites, or you can schedule your content yourself or you can hire someone like me to help formulate a strategy with you and implement it. Your next option is to hire a social media manager or marketing agency that will completely take care of all your social media profiles for you.
Whichever method you choose make sure that you actually use your social sites on a regular basis and check to see that your social media presence is building your business and creating a positive image for your business.
About the Author – Sarah Arrow
Sarah is the Content Creation Expert at Sark eMedia.