Let’s face it—social media isn’t going anywhere. And as a businessperson, why would you want it to? While your marketing strategy should not ignore other mediums, it should include social media. Why? For the same reason you have a website (or you should). Customers, both current and potential, are on the Internet and, subsequently, on social media. Facebook alone has 1.19 billion active users—that’s a huge audience.
If you’re new to the world of social media, or even if you’re an avid individual user, building your business’s brand on one or more platforms can be overwhelming. But that’s no excuse to miss out on the potential benefits of social media marketing. Simply follow these guidelines to ease yourself into the process.
Coordinate your digital marketing efforts. If you have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and a website, they should all complement each other, contain similar content and link customers between them. When you post a new blog on your website, push it out through social media, and always make sure your website has links to your social media outlets. This makes the most of your content and leads customers to other articles, photos, information, etc.
Form a strategy. Before you begin any marketing effort, you should ask yourself, “Who are we targeting and what do we hope to accomplish?” Your social media presence is no different. Towards whom will your posts be geared? What response do you want them to have to your content? How often will you post? What times will you post? Who will handle posting? All of these questions need to be answered before you dive off into the world of social media.
Be consistent and don’t abandon ship. Once you commit, you need to stick with it. Have patience and understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day—it may take some time to build up your following and get your desired response. The key is being consistent with your posts and experimenting with what works. Try new types of posts, shares, contests, etc. and keep track of which ones have the best responses. Then simply repeat. The heart of marketing is monitoring and adjusting.
Prepare yourself for customer responses. When you open yourself up for comments, you will undoubtedly have negative feedback from time to time. During the development of your strategy, compose several responses to complaints so you can quickly and efficiently handle upset customers. The worse thing you can do is ignore complaints or delete them. Always, always, always respond to customer comments, whether positive or negative, and treat each situation as if it was happening face to face.
Don’t overwhelm yourself. There are so many social media platforms out there that it can be difficult to decide which ones to tackle. Do yourself a favor and don’t try them all at once. Choose one or two to master and then increase your presence as time allows. There is also a company (ahem!) that would love to help you get started. We can develop strategies, customize graphics and posts and even develop social media ad campaigns.
Last tip—remember social media is supposed to be fun! Don’t stress out about it. See it as an opportunity to develop a more personal relationship with your customers by finding new ways to connect with them. The bottom line is folks are more apt to do business with people they like, and you want them to like you. No pun intended. Who are we kidding? Of course there was.
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