Many entrepreneurs are not aware of the value of social media marketing. They don’t understand how it can bring them new customers, instead viewing it as a time wasting exercise. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Social media marketing for small businesses in particular, has been known to increase the companies recognition, drive sales and build long lasting, loyal relationships with customers.
There is however, a key to successful social media marketing. It is not about pushing your products constantly or making sure that your name is out there 24/7. It is about quality, content and sharing your expertise with others. Here I have compiled a few tips to get you going:
Company Blog – Every company should have their own blog because it is a great way for you to get your own content out there and build a reputation. When creating a blog take your time choosing the content you wish to share and ensure that it is something that you will enjoy writing about. There are various ways to incorporate specific subjects and yet blog about them in an enjoyable way. For example, instead of just writing about Business Management, you could compare it to a TV show such as Breaking Bad. This gives your audience a way to relate to it and also makes for a more enjoyable read. When scheduling your blog, make sure the days are consistent so that it is easy for people to follow you.
- Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Google+ – We are all aware that there are many social media sites available today so making sure that you are active on at least a couple, is important. Try to use a consistent user name on each site so that it is easier for customers to find and follow you and be consistent with your content. It will confuse people if you share random pieces that you came across rather than information that is relevant to your business and the services that you offer.
- Share Comments – Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. By commenting on other peoples blogs or posts you open yourself up for conversation and valuable engagement. The key here is to stay long enough to engage in the full conversation. popping on 3 times a week to put your two pennies worth in will not paint you in a good light. Customers and other bloggers will appreciate you taking the time to share.
- Register your Business – If your business is somewhere that customers can simply walk in the door, advertise it. By adding your business to sites such as Yelp, Near Me or Yellow Pages, you make it easier for customers to find you, know what you are about and plan their visit. If you run on the basis of people passing by, you will miss out on a huge piece of the market.
- Tackle Bad Responses – As appealing as it is to hide away from negative press, I strongly advise against it. By tackling it head on, providing a detailed and accurate answer you prove that you are taking the matter seriously and value customer feedback.
- Listen – Engaging and sharing on social media is not everything that you should be doing, you should also be listening to your customers. By listening carefully to what your customers talk about, ask about and complain about you will be able to identify areas in which you can help. They might be struggling with multiple suppliers when you can provide all the services they require. Listening carefully and identifying these gaps are exactly what social media marketing is all about.
- Schedule Regular Time – Social media marketing takes time so allocate yourself a time slot each day to get it done. If you want to have regular interaction with your customers then schedule twice a day but no more than that because your customers will assume that you have nothing better to do. When you share content your customers will expect an immediate answer should they ask you a question. By taking too long to respond and doing this often, you will encourage the customer to seek out their answers elsewhere.
Be Real, You’re Human After All – When responding on social media you should always try and be yourself as well as being professional. No one wants to hear generic answers when they believe that they are talking to another person. Make sure that you respond accurately in a friendly, approachable manner and you will find that you receive a similar response from them . This provides a great platform for building relationships on.
- Be an Expert – Sharing content is easy to do and you will find endless amounts of it on the internet. However, this does not mean that you should share everything you find. Take your time to read through the content, choosing what you believe will deliver the most value to your customers and produce the best results. Your customers will appreciate good quality content a lot more than the quantity of it.
- Have Conversations – Engaging in conversation is your opportunity to share your knowledge and listening skills. It allows the customer to ask questions, get answers and understand just how suitable you are for what the need. It also lets them get an idea of your personality through how your responses are worded. It is important to engage with customers on a ‘human’ level, rather than sounding like a computer generated answer.
- Be patient – This is probably the most important one of all. Your new marketing strategy will not produce astounding results over night, it will take time. You have to continue engaging when you can whilst delivering and maintaining good quality content. If you’re doing it correctly, you will see results steadily increase as times goes on.