With most customers using social media regularly, companies the world over are using this new medium to connect to customers. Every new medium comes with its own challenges, but small businesses from across industries have woken up to the many benefits and opportunities of social media marketing: More returns, less investment. Social marketing is a low cost. If you dedicate enough time to promoting your business, you will see much higher returns on investment.
Greater visibility: When people link or comment on the ideas, opinions or information you post on social media sites, they are also linking and spreading the word about your business. This visibility, with the global reach of the web, is a fantastic way to increase brand awareness and grab customer interest.
Boost your traffic: Increased visibility means more people coming to your website, especially if you’ve focused your marketing to target a specific group of customers.
Aim better: Social media makes it easier to focus on demographics relevant to your marketing strategy. Selling birthday party accessories? Target online parenting communities, which are regularly visited by mothers.
Increase in links: Always mention your website when posting or commenting on social media sites for better Search Engine Optimisation across the Web. When others comment on your posts or mention your business URL; it helps your search visibility.
Know your customers better: Social media sites let you engage with customers directly. Whether you want to gauge reactions to a new product line or understand the likes and dislikes of your customers better, this is a great platform to engage with current and potential customers.
Viral marketing: With people on the move all the time, reaching your customers using traditional media is not always easy. To counter this, try creating engaging content that is trendy. If it clicks with the audience, word of mouth will ensure the message will go ‘viral’, reaching a much wider audience.
Blogs: Blogs are a great platform for you to talk about your business, your mission, industry concerns, and customer experiences. Customers can post comments or questions, thereby making it a direct interaction. Think of your blog as a store’s display window.
You can introduce new products, take a dig at the competition, ask customers for opinions through a survey, or share your take on new industry trends. Your blog is your private space, space you can adapt to be an extension of your personality. If you’re not into blogging, you can still make the most of it. One of the best ways to do this is by posting comments on blogs of other businesses or industry peers.
Just make sure the comments are meaningful and include a link to your business website. This way, you’ll reach out even to those customers who are unaware of your brand, and entice them to visit your website.
Interlinking: Social news and bookmarking sites rank articles, videos, and photos submitted by users, by popular vote. Social news and bookmarking sites can be a great way to promote your blog, products or website content. Remember to do some research to find industry-specific sites where you can promote your business.
Videos: A picture speaks a thousand words, and a moving picture, even more. Seeing a product on video attracts customers to its potential experience, making it easier to go from intent to purchase. You can also make videos of testimonials from customers as well as use it to document your production process or office facilities. A video that describes your business’s values and mission is a great branding tool.
You can post these videos on your website or popular video sharing websites such as YouTube. Just remember to share your video links on your other social media interventions to boost your visibility.
Personal and professional networks: Sites such as Facebook and Twitter are more than just a means to connect with friends. They are a great platform for building a community around your business, network with peers and build a personal relationship with your customers.