Marketing methods have grown in leaps and bounds within the last several years and technology has a lot to do with it. Technology has made social media marketing possible and has become widely used by most businesses nowadays.
If you are still unfamiliar about how to leverage social media to grow your business, here’s a quick guide on what to do to help you get started.
Develop a plan
If you have already come to the conclusion that your business will benefit from using social media, the first thing to do is to develop a plan. Your social media plan must be in line with your overall marketing and branding strategy. Develop a clear set of goals and objectives and determine how you plan to measure your progress.
Create a team
Depending on the size of your business, you might want to designate a specific person or a team to manage your social media accounts. Social media can be time-consuming especially when managing multiple profiles. So make sure the person or team you choose knows how to manage, post and monitor your accounts as well as on how to respond to customer concerns.
Choose your platforms
There is a variety of social media platforms to choose from. However, you need not create a presence in all of them. Choose a few platforms wherein which you can best target your audience and focus on those. Not sure where to find them online? Ask your current customers which platforms they use. You can also check which platforms your competitors use since you’re likely to be targeting the same audience.
Focus on Content
When it comes to social media marketing, content is king. So, continuously brainstorm for new ideas on what types of content to create and share. By all means, promote your products and services but remember that what customers want to see more of are interesting and engaging information that are valuable to them. Vary your content to include images, videos, articles and infographics that will encourage customer engagement.
Host Contests and Giveaways
One of the best ways to engage and reward your audience is by running contests and giveaways every so often. There are many ways to do so. For instance, in Twitter, you can ask followers to retweet your tweet for a chance to win a prize. On Facebook, giveaways can be hosted on your page timeline or by using a third-party app.
Provide Good Customer Service
According to the 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study, 67% of consumers have used social media for social servicing while only 33% use it for social marketing. Indeed, a lot of consumers nowadays go to a brand’s social media site to ask questions or raise concerns. In fact, how a brand responds to customers on social media is a key driver for overall customer satisfaction.
Customers are the lifeblood of any business and social media can help you acquire more of them. Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report states that “74% of marketers who spend 40+ hours using social media per week earn new business through their efforts” and that “by spending as little as 6 hours per week, over 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media”.
Monitor and Analyze Results
In order to find out whether your strategies are working or not, you have to constantly monitor, record, measure and analyze the data you are able to collect through your efforts. Social media analysis helps you gain more insight on industry best practices and on customer behavior, which you can use to further improve your strategies and your business as a whole.
Social media, if used well, can significantly contribute to the growth and success of a business. However, you must likewise remember that it just a tool and that you have to commit to it in order for it to work. As the famous quote goes, “When it comes to the Internet in general, it matters less which online community or tool you use, and more on your commitment”.