This is not an April Fools post. But feel free to share some of your pranks in the comments section.
Social media marketing is gaining a lot of attention from both big corporations as well as small businesses. At the same time, there are a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs that are confused and think that social media marketing is completely different from traditional marketing.
Social media marketing is just different in terms of tools you use and how you are pulling your prospects towards you instead of you blasting your marketing message into their face. Learning about social enterprise tools for your business helps to connect with your customers and employees better.
There are a few marketing basics or marketing principles that will remain even if you have decided to place more weight on social media marketing in your small business marketing plan.
Every business site, either e-commerce or static, should have an opt-in form to collect customer details. It is a widely known fact that most prospects will not pay for something unless they are being told about it repeatedly.
Your time and money spent in social media marketing will be wasted if you let your site visitors come and go. You need to secure their contact information so that you can further provide them with value as well as updating them with your business’ latest offerings.
An email list is a valuable asset, especially if you build them on your own. It allows prospects to learn more about you and you can showcase to them what you are all about. In this case, you want to broadcast your business as one that adds value by doing the following:
- Offer useful newsletter content
- Give preferential treatment (discounts, bonus, priority) to subscribers
- Source problems faced by prospects and more…
No Spams and Junks
Spams and junks are not new on the Internet. Spam comes in the form of emails, web content and now, messages on social media platforms. The truth that matters is that spam and junk content does not bring you good response rate.
Keep in mind as well that social media communities do not condone spamming. Read 10 Social Media Marketing Errors Businesses Should Avoid.
In fact, you should hide your spamming activities from them. Not only that you will not get the desired attention from them, you are only doing more harm to the brand of your business because spamming is only carried out by businesses offering crappy products, services or scam policies.
Know Your Market
Everyone is on the Internet. Is it a must for you to have an online presence? YES, because more people are getting online every year. Women over 55 is the fastest growing demographics on Facebook although social networking sites are normally perceived as the teenagers’ world.
One important marketing basic that you should always keep in mind, whether you are launching an ad campaign or trying to initiate a social media marketing campaign is the fact that you need to know the demographics of your market and where they normally hang out.
Everyone is on the Internet but not everyone is on Twitter and not everyone is on Facebook. Food lovers gather at Yelp, Startup Nation hosts a large database of entrepreneurs and small business owners and LiveWire Teen Forums is where teenagers will go to seek advice from like-minded peers from around the world.
What if your target market are computer-illiterates who have never used the Internet? Well, don’t put online presence as your top marketing priority then. One question for you to ponder though. Do you think that your target market will soon adopt the Internet?
Tracking and Experimenting
You’ll never know which campaign and which form of marketing is working for you unless you have some tracking mechanisms in place.
Just like tracking response rates of direct mailing, you need to track numbers such as conversion rates, number of inbound links and clicks for social media marketing or online marketing in general.
These information will become useful decision making indicators which you can use to decide where to invest your time, money and efforts. Tracking the numbers will also help in landing page improvements, which will have a direct impact on lead generation on the Internet.
In a society where people (which include your target market) no longer trust marketing messages and advertisements, relationship with your customers and prospects does help in customer acquisition and retention. This is why I recommended building a list where you can directly interact with your market.
If you are considering who to do business with, will you prefer the business with a owner that you feel close with? The same applies to the social media world. You need to get closer to your market and at the same time pull new prospects nearer to you.
Start interacting with people on social media platforms today. Provide value, participate in their agendas and occasionally remind them of your presence. Without relationship building, your social media marketing campaign is as good as nothing.
What is Your Best Social Media Marketing Strategy?
I thought of writing this up because I see a lot of questions posted on forums asking what should be the strategies for small business owners to leverage the steep growth in social media. Some of them don’t even have a clue on where to start.
As you can see from the above, social media marketing ties back to some principles in traditional marketing. It is not rocket science and it shouldn’t be, especially when there are already a lot of problems for small business owners to figure out.
Do you have a good social media marketing strategy that you would like to share?
Feel free to comment below. Hearing from you is priceless.
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Photo Credits: buggolo