No matter what the nature of your business is or what type of products you are selling, social media marketing plays a very important role in popularizing your business. This is certainly true and many marketing experts always advice to use social media as a promotional tool for your business. There are ample of study material present on the Internet on ‘How to make use of social media for marketing your business.’There is ample of information on using Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media websites. The information will guide you how to promote your brand and how to generate web traffic on your main business website.
You have to bear in mind that although social media is a strong marketing tool, it can reap benefits only if it is used in correct way.
Before starting with the discussion a question which comes in the mind of every businessman who is new to the social media is ‘How can is social media utilized for generating leads, customers and real revenue’? The world has shrunk and everyone is connected electronically through social media, irrespective of their gender, age and financial status. The latest usage stats on social media are as stated below:
• 68% of small businesses will efforts for social media marketing by 2015.
• 56% of Twitter users are using the micro blogging for their business related tasks.
• 40% users have ‘Friends’ or ‘Like’ a particular page or brand on Facebook.
• 20% of the tweets are related to products or services.
• 45% of users on Facebook say that they would recommend a page or product to others on FB.
• 44% Twitter users recommend good products or services to others.
• Social media has a key role to play in influencing shopping habits of people- 28% of shoppers say that Facebook alone has influenced their purchases.
Above were mixed stats of all the popular SM site, Facebook alone has following stats:
• There are around 400 million active users on FB.
• 50% of active users login into their account each day.
• Each user has averagely 130 friends.
• The users spend around 50 billion minutes every month of FB.
• There are 160 million pages, events and groups active on Facebook.
• Averagely each user is connected with 60 pages, events and groups.
• Each user averagely creates 70 snippets of content every month.
• Both male and female use Facebook almost equally, 47% & 53% respectively.
• Average age of 61% of users is 37.
• Users aged between 18-24 years are not limited to any particular Social media; they are spread out all-over.
The stats above are quite interesting and can be useful for the businessmen who are looking forward to promote their business through different social media websites; but wait; there are still many entrepreneurs who are not much into using Facebook or any other social media website. They might not even have an email or even a proper website for their business which means they are not much tech savvy. They have to act differently and almost need to start from scratch. Firstly they need to understand the importance of having emails, social media profiles and should first become familiar with the social media environment and trends. They should begin with the following steps:
1.)Start up your own website
A website is like an online face of your business. If you are already having a website for your business, it’s great but if not, get it done immediately. When you will invite people through social media, your website will be the landing place for them. They would get to know your business better and will develop trust easily. It acts like a 24-hours sales team. Never leave your website barren because it will create a negative impact on the visitors and all the hard work which you did for attracting them will go waste.
2.)Launching your own Blog
The efforts, which you are making towards social media marketing, will be reflected through the contents, which you are sharing. When you create your own blog you appear to be an industry expert. It’s the best place for sharing and publishing online contents. You can educate your prospective clients about your products, services, latest trend and news. You can associate your blog with your social media profiles and whatever you will update on your blog will be reflected on your SM profiles. Make sure you keep it updated and don’t leave it barren.
3.) Complete your social profiles
Although, no one looks at your social profile very keenly; but an incomplete profile will surely leave a negative impact on the visitors. They come across as inconsistent, unprofessional and barren- which is certainly not the impression you would want to put on your prospect clients. Complete and informative profiles, on the other hand will put an in-depth and good impression to the clients. They will get to know you better and develop a trust towards your business. Don’t forget to include keywords related to your business specialty and geographical location in your profile.
4.) Make your profiles interactive
Once you’ve completed your Social media profiles, don’t think that your work is over and it will bring prosperity to your business. Never leave it unattended and whenever possible try to share as many media as possible like, videos, images, stats, slide shows to make it more interactive andkeep the visitors engaged.
Above was pre-preparation to start playing with Social media marketing. If at any point you get stuck, simply search online and you will find immediate help. You can also ask for help from someone who is already familiar with all these.
Once you become familiar with the trends of social media websites you will have to convince your prospects about your active participation in each website. It’s time now to study, your consumer base; where they spend their maximum time, which groups they use etc.
Below are few tips for the businesspersons who are already using social media marketing platforms and they want to take their marketing to next level.
1.) Follow your customers wherever they go:
It’s always important to know that where your potential customers will be found:you need to be present there and not in your own comfort zone. To find your potential customers consider the following points:
• Conduct a survey amongst your potential clients and your exiting clients.
• Monitor and analyze carefully the traffic on these social websites to know where the customers are sharing information about your business and who are your competitors.
• Analyze marketing research or stats about the use and demographics of different social media.
2.) Interact with and keep the users engaged:
In order to build relationships with your customers it’s important to actively participate in the conversation of network groups and communities; this is the core method of building relationships. You should bear in mind that, to be judged as industry’s expert you should always share information that is interesting, relevant and useful and not just crap.
3.) Keep an eye on the Competitors:
To make your efforts work, you also need to gather information on what your competitors are doing. To check their activities conduct a competitive analysis on the top five businesses, which you think are competing you:
• Which social media sites they are actively participating in?
• Which type or contents are they publishing?
• What type and how many followers they have?
• Which type of products, events or programs they are promoting?
4.) Release your unique products, offers or programs
Every business has a unique selling point (USP) to hit the potential customers. Identify the needs of your potential customers and offer that unique feature to them, which your competitors are not offering. Even if few of the customers switch over to your brand, they will act as good marketing channel for your business by sharing their positive feedbacks. For instance you can provide discount coupons or gift vouchers etc. to your customers.
5.) Be Authentic and transparent:
You might have heard the words ‘Transparency and’ & ‘Authenticity’ quite often, as they are being overused nowadays. However they need to be very essentially incorporated to be successful within the social media groups. They are essential elements for building trust on your customers and make a healthy and long-term relationship with them.
6.) Make it easy for your followers
If you are offering something to your clients through social media, never compromise with quality. You should make everything so easily for the prospects that they can purchase relevant items through your social media profile only.
7.) Always take feedback from your clients
Your relationship with the clients should not end after the products are sold, instead it should start after the deal is done. If you offer after service to your clients they will always publicize your services positively amongst their acquaintance. Make efforts towards gathering the feedbacks from consumers, analyze the results and ask them how the products and services can be made better. This you can promote your product on a larger scale.
These were the few marketing tips on ‘How to use social media’ for providing you a foundation of success and helping you grow your business