You’ve probably discovered by this point that there are more trends on the internet than there are cats. I make it a daily task to search blogs and find out what is going on in the world of social media and I still find myself surprised by all the new stuff going on.
And there is stuff going on! Internet users today are using social media as go-to web browsing, shopping and trend-watching tools. They use Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest and YouTube to search the web for what they need. As a business, if you aren’t using social media as an advertising tool, you should be. Here’s why:
That’s where your customers are!
You think that having a website is enough? Nope. You need a Facebook page too because consumers want to interact with companies they buy from. You need Twitter because that’s where customers get their news. You need YouTube because everyone loves to watch videos.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed? That’s pretty normal in today’s hyper-connected world.
Here are a few tips on getting started with social media:
1. Start with the big players.
There are a lot of social media tools out there that won’t work for business. They are dominated by individuals – think tumblr, imgur, and snapchat. Some businesses may have luck using new tools like Vine and Pinterest to promote their products, but these are largely unproven and the return on your investment may be low.
There are some big go-to channels for business social media networking that will pay off. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn have a proven track record for improving your online business profile. When you get into social media marketing, go here first. They are well-established and there are hundreds of tips online for using them effectively.
One of the biggest mistakes that small businesses make is losing their enthusiasm after launching their Facebook page or Twitter account. Nothing looks worse in social media than Facebook pages that are never updated or Twitter accounts with only one tweet: “Welcome to our new Twitter Account!”
If you decide that you need to start a Facebook or Twitter business account, you will need someone monitoring and updating content and responding to comments. Choose this person carefully! A poorly timed tweet or inappropriate Facebook post can do a lot of damage to your brand.
3. Give your tweets personality.
You’ve got one right? A unique personality? Your personality is part of your business and it’s essential for building relationships with your customers. So bring your personality to Facebook and Twitter and you’ll find that your customers will want to engage with you.
Remember that there are thousands of online retailers selling similar products and services. Get your consumers to connect with you online and your business will stand out in the crowd. Keep it clean, but don’t keep it all corporate. If consumers see the people behind your brand, they are more likely to remember you when they are ready to buy.
4. Give your followers a reason to keep following.
If you use social media to push your product and focus on driving sales, you are going to quickly reduce visits to your Facebook page and followers on Twitter. If the content that you post is boring, trite or dated, people won’t pass it along.
You need to post things that you find interesting and that you think will get your customers talking about you and your product or service. Post relevant, engaging content about trends and tips in your industry. Tweet and retweet news and tips that customers will find useful.
5. Keep on keeping on!
Once you get a handle on the basics, you can increase engagement through variation. Company blogs are great ways to pass on more in-depth information and keep visitors coming back. Interesting or entertaining YouTube videos can bring people to your site and create a list of engaged subscribers. People use YouTube to search when they are in the crucial decision-making phase. Opportunities to gain clients are endless.
In the end, that’s what it’s about. Getting people to find you, then engage with you, then want what you’ve got, tell their friends and keep coming back. It’s not just about the sales anymore. It’s about the relationship you have with your client.
What do you think? Is social media for every business? Or are there some that can get by with less?