Make Sense of Your Social Media Marketing
Why use social media?
Studies have shown that customers are turning away from traditional media like newspapers, magazines and TV ads. Increasingly, consumers are shifting to social networks to search for relevant products and services. According to a recent Nielsen study, 70% of consumers trust the reviews and recommendations they find on social media. It has become main stream for most major brands. However, many mid to small business owners have not learned how to navigate the social landscape.
Know Your Customer / Follower
The first step is understanding your ideal customer and what social networks they use. For businesses that serve consumers, Facebook holds the lead for consumers between 25 and 55 for companies that are hospitality or retail. For business-to-business companies, LinkedIn holds the most business oriented users. Twitter can be used for B2C or B2B customers if you’re in the service industry. Finally, Pinterest is also good for B2C retail if your demographic is more women. You can gain some insights into the influencers and markets on Twitter by using Topsy.com.
Understand The Cycle of Social Media
It’s more like word-of-mouth advertising. You have to move your followers from awareness -> consideration -> commitment / sale -> loyalty -> advocacy. You generate awareness by engaging promoting your social channel at every opportunity. Then re-generating that promotion from your loyal customers to gain new followers.
Pick One and Stick One
Because it can take up to 6 months to see a return on your social media efforts, you should pick the one best network for you. You’re not going to be an overnight social media sensation if you spread yourself too thin. Too many people give up on one social network after a few weeks and jump to the latest shiny thing. Put together an action plan and stick to it.
Producing Valuable Content
You should also use the 80/20 rule and make 80% of your content about your customers and 20% about you. Engaging your customers comes down to understanding their needs and giving them something valuable in return.“Listen to your customers, learn what they want, then give it to them.”