Part 1: Introduction To Social Media Marketing – by Tony Burke.
In case you’re wondering whether social media could be useful for your business, the verdict is yes: social media is a great way to drive repeat business and attract new customers. Whether or not you’re just starting out, this guide will help you sort out what is needed to get the business moving, and if you implement the steps outlined here, you should be able to see a positive change within a short period of time.
Social media has changed the way people connect, discover, share information and conduct business- but you already know this so let’s get to the good stuff.
Here’s what you need to know:
– Social media – this is the technology people use to connect, share ideas and experiences. Businesses tap into this infrastructure to connect with customers and grow their brands.
– Social networks – such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.; these are the places where social interaction take place.
– Social media marketing – using this technology to build relationships that build awareness, customer trust and of course, repeat business.
Any of this make sense? It should, because social media is basically just word-of-mouth powered by technology. Over 75% of people are highly likely to share content they like online with their friends, family or coworkers; and 49% do this on a weekly basis.
Social media for your business
Both large and small businesses use social media to do the following:
I. Promote the name of the brand and business
II. Tell people about their products and services
III. Find out what people think about their brand
IV. Attract new customers
V. Build stronger relationships with existing customers
What are the advantages of social media to your business?
There are a myriad of advantages to using social media in business. These include:
• Broader reach – you’re able to reach millions of people through a single popular social media platform.
• Localised, targeted marketing – it’s essential to target your niche specifically in order for the message to have its intended effect; and social media facilitates this.
• Low-to-zero cost – majority of popular platforms are free to use, and the ones that cost money won’t stretch your budget thin.
• Quick and simple setup – It only takes a short time to set up and account and post information- and anyone can do it.
• Personalised communication – social media allows businesses to send personalized messages to customers and help them with common problem such as implementation.
How do businesses use social media effectively? It all starts with goals. If you set your goals right and know from the start what you expect to achieve from your marketing efforts, it shouldn’t be too difficult to organize and implement a winning strategy. These are some of the ways established brands use social media to expand their reach:
• Spreading the word – show your customers who you are, what you can do and more importantly, how your product or service can benefit the prospect.
• Drive sales – you can do this by offering existing customers special offers or starting a promotion. Just make sure they like it well enough to share it with their own social circles.
• Provide people great customer service – this is essential to any business but social media makes it much easier to engage with customers and find out what it is they need from you. Find out what they are saying about you and establish a good feedback loop.
• Keep them coming back – when you set in place an effective system and build strong relationships with your customers, they will always come back.
Different types of social networks work for different marketing purposes. The key is to find a central position that takes into account as many platforms as possible, without saturating the message. Some of the main platforms include:
1. Facebook – a website that allows you to have conversations with your customers and post photos, videos and news about new products and features.
2. Twitter – a micro-blogging website that you can use to send and receive short messages as well as post photos.
3. Youtube – the most popular video hosting website. This should be used when posting promotional videos and the videos should be linked to other social media networks.
4. Photo-sharing – these are websites that allow you to store, organize and share photo collections with customers.
If you’re not entirely familiar with social media and don’t know how you could use it to grow your business, this guide was written for you. The specifics may seem complicated at first but it’s all worth learning more.
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