“If you build it they will come” is
a popular movie quote but not a great hook on which to hang your business
hopes. In order for today’s businesses to be successful, they must promote effectively
on social media.
It's essential for small businesses to have the right
mentality. Using social media effectively and efficiently requires long-term
commitment. You can’t throw a four-week blitz at it and walk away, expecting
success. You have to be in it for the long haul to build a strong foundation of
trust, care, awareness and value with followers. This also means that you will
not get results to brag about in the first day (or week). Small businesses with
comprehensive social media strategies are able to compete with much larger organizations on a more even playing field, when done correctly.
According to a recent study, one in six marriages that began
in the last three years has resulted from an interaction that started online.
At the same time, Nielsen also reports that four out of every five corporations
in America are now leveraging social media to help expand their client base and
build relationships with customers. There's no secret that social media is here to
stay and that its position in the success or failure of most businesses grows
larger every day.
Here are six key points of focus to know and commit to
establish and maintain a productive social media presence for your business.
Be Personal, Authentic, Human, and Social
People do business with people, not with companies. Your
business operating from a brick and mortar building likely makes sense to
produce and deliver the goods. But spewing cold, stoic, brick and mortar social
media post content that is completely devoid of human relevance and is not reflective
of your personality, hobbies, interests, and moral commitments, will not deliver
or keep followers… or results. Be authentic, be likeable, be trustworthy, be
human, and above all... be social! People don’t buy diddly from people they don’t know,
like, or trust!! Awareness, trust, and affinity are largely built online on
Focus on Connecting, Not Collecting
Yes, having a lot of followers is important, but not if they
don’t actually read your posts regularly and engage. Social media is not about
collecting people, it’s about connecting people. Statistics show that 71% of
people state they are more likely to purchase from a brand that they follow
online. But why should anyone follow your brand? Neglecting your social media presence
is a sure way to lose the opportunity to gain new customers or nurture existing relationships. If you want to grow meaningful connections—while growing your
number of page likes and follows—the importance of authenticity cannot be
overstated. Social media gives brands the opportunity to show their target
audience who they are, not just what they sell. If you want to grow meaningful
connections—as well as your number of page likes and follows—the significance of
authenticity cannot be overstated.
People Shop on their Phones
First, Even When in Line!
According to statistics eighty-two percent of shoppers say
they consult their phones on purchases they're about to make in a store.
Amazingly, nearly one in four shoppers say they have changed their minds while
in a checkout line after looking up details on a smartphone! Whether you’re a
global brand or the shop around the corner, the shift to mobile is changing
your customers’ behavior in and out of the store. That means that your social
media platforms must effectively communicate your products or service, and that
your website must be responsive and up-to-date for all mobile browsing while displaying current, relevant data.
Quality Content is King
If your business has a presence on social media, is it worth
seeing by your existing customers, and is it representative of your business to
attract new customers? More people than ever before may be newly exposed to your business as a result of social media. Only a few of them will actually consume your
content on your website first (or at all). Most of them will see it directly on
a social media platform and make their decision there. Quality content is paramount and ageless; it
stands the test of time and keeps people coming back for more. You can
choose to create, or hire someone to create, great content and build a
prosperous brand. Or you can choose to take the easy path and write poor
content – a path that ultimately will fail. It will only result in a waste of
time, energy and resources.
Your Customers are on Social Media
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, what widget or
service you provide, or who your target demographic is. With more than 3 billion people using social media worldwide, chances are pretty good that you will find a customer or two there.
While it may be more difficult to grab attention these days on social media,
the good news is that your target audience is still there, ready to be inspired
by your company’s story and creativity, as well as some of your product or
service promotions. According to survey findings from MarketingSherpa, 85% of
U.S. consumers said they used social media, with 58% all respondents saying
they follow brands on social media.
Quality Blogs Drive Traffic to Your
Of course, the idea of blogs is to draw new customers to
your website. That means that every blog post cannot be a thinly-disguised or
blatant sales pitch. Just like the rest of your social media marketing, blogs
need to Entertain, Inspire, Educate, Create Conversation, and then Convince
to use your brand... all on an equal level. A great business blog doesn't sell.
Instead, it shows customers why they should do business with you and not your
competitors. It shows a personal, human and entertaining side of your business.
Today, people simply do not do business with people that they don’t know, like,
or trust. With potential new customers, awareness, trust, and affinity are
largely built online.
Blogging helps your businesses get discovered via social
media. Every time you write a blog post, you're creating content that people
can share on social networks which
helps expose your business to a new audience. Blog
content also helps keep your social media presence fresh and growing, serving as a
repository of content.
The Wrap Up
Social media marketing is an art form, and with the right
social media marketing solutions and guidance, business owners can prosper. Constantly
pushing advertisements and sales copies no longer works on today's increasingly
social-media-savvy consumers, which means businesses need to take on a more
strategic, relationship-building and personal approach.
The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone, nor should
you try. Many businesses fail online by trying to do it themselves without
having the knowledge or experience to know the right social media platforms
that fit their business; the right formatting, content and frequency of each
format; what to hashtag and how many hashtags per post; or how to create effective and attractive content that connects and attracts your target customers. It’s better to hire a professional social media marketing
team to take your message online. Let the social media pros do what they do
best, and you concentrate on doing what you do best so that you can satisfy the
needs of your new customers!