Do you remember when businesses, small and large, focused lots of time and energy on traditional advertising? Back in the day, most small businesses used their local Yellow Pages as a major source of advertising.
But now SOCIAL MEDIA is just like the Yellow Pages but faster and better!Â
Through social media, you can market your business and services worldwide.Â This includes things like educating consumers, receiving feedback from customers, running special promotions, and providing coupons to targeted audiences, and so much more – in a simple and affordable way.
There are dozens of social media sites all of which have unique features, uses and possibilities for marketing your business.
Some of the top social media sites include:
Like any marketing or advertising campaign, it is important to start with the end in mind. So before you jump on board with any or all of the social media sites, spend time developing a social media strategy that will help you achieve your goals.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you get started:
1. Who is your target market? Which of the social media sites are they hanging out at?
2. What products and/or services do you want to promote?
3. How much time do you have to spend on social media marketing? Do you have staff that can assist you with your social media efforts?
4. What do you hope to accomplish through your social media efforts?
Set Yourself Up for Social Media Marketing Success
Each social media site listed above has its own unique benefits and opportunities; however, there are several commonalities to all social media marketing efforts which are key to your success.
1) Stay Focused. Because there are so many different social media avenues to explore, it is easy to get overwhelmed and give up before you even get started.Â Rather than getting involved in too much too quickly, I would suggest starting small and focusing on just 1 or 2 social networking sites.Â My top faves are Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In.Â And if you like to do video, Youtube is another great one as well.
2) Build a Thorough and Strong Profile. Each social media site provides an opportunity for you to describe who you are, what you do and where to find more information about your product and/or services. Your profile is often the thing that will cause a reader to take a second look at you and/or your business. A few things you want to be sure to do are:
- Be professional while showing personality
- Provide a link to your website
- Correct any spelling, capitalization or grammatical errors.
4) Takes Dedication.Â Some people think that setting up a couple social media profiles and posting your recent blog posts on those profiles is all you need to do.Â That is definitely a great start, but there is so much more to it than that.Â You really have to dedicate a certain amount of time each day to focus on networking and marketing yourself.Â I am the queen of multi-tasking so I enjoy going back and forth between projects and tweeting and checking facebook, etc.Â But others set aside time outside of actual work time and that works better for them.Â It really depends on you and your schedule.
5) Engage. Social media is just that – social. Don’t be a social hermit. Engage, congratulate, compliment, promote fellow members, thank and be social. If you want to get noticed, you need to involve yourself.
6) Stay away from being a shady car salesman (or saleswoman). Social media provides numerous opportunities to promote your products/services. Social media partakers anticipate learning about you and your business but they will be turned off by repeated sales pitches and links being spit out every five minutes. Add valuable content (tips, articles, how to’s), promote interesting content by your friends/followers, show your human side (your interests, hobbies etc) AND mix in your own products/services. When done in moderation, your followers will be eager to find out more and to make a purchase.Â It’s all about balance!
Social media marketing is an influential tool for your business.
You can reach people globally who otherwise may have never known about you, your services or products. By spending only minutes a day, you can influence your audience, build customer loyalty and increase sales. Â Social media can boost your business in ways you never expected!
Take the time to learn about social media for your business. It is a prominent player in the world of marketing today!