Leveraging the power of social media to market your brand in the Web 2.0 world is imperative to remaining viable as a business owner. Having social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn aren’t enough to take advantage of the marketing opportunities that new media environment has created. You need to adopt a comprehensive strategy to deliver the results that you want.
Here are five (5) key strategies to insure that you make the most out of your social media marketing efforts:
Have a Plan and Set Objectives: As an entrepreneur, the temptation might be to just jump in and start using various social media platforms to promote your brand and products, but before doing so, you need a clear understanding of how you’re using social media to augment your core marketing efforts to generate leads and convert them to sales. Social media alone can’t be the “be-all, end-all” of your company’s plan, so having a Social Media Marketing Plan that specifically shows how social media outlets will be used to promote your brand is key.
Know Your Niche: In a world where Facebook has over 500 million registered users and Twitter sees 155,000,000 tweets a day from any of its 200,000,000+ tweeters, your message can be easily lost in the “noise” being created in the social media space. Targeting your market and knowing the best places to reach key members of your audience is the best way to insure better returns for your efforts.
Encourage Conversation and Dialogue: If you run a blog, enable your comments and allow visitors to contribute their opinion and provide a sense of community around the content you’re providing. If you visit other blogs regularly, leave useful comments (i.e. relevant to the topic at hand and not just a standard “Great Post!”) and provide your contact/blog information within your comments profile (if possible). Encouraging conversation and dialogue among the people who already find your content compelling is a great way to learn what makes them tick and ensure that you can keep providing what they need to keep them coming back to you.
Be Easy to Contact: It may seem like a “no-brainer”, but you’d be amazed at how many websites, blogs, and Facebook pages provide absolutely no way to get in touch with the people behind them. If your goal is to facilitate a relationship with your customers using social media, you have to be available to them. This can be done by providing easy ways for your customers and future customers to get in touch with you by providing online forms on your websites and blogs, giving email addresses and phone numbers (if you check them regularly and intend to respond), and even providing your Skype ID (if you use the service). Making it easy for people to contact you will provide one more way that you can hear what your audience wants.
Monitor Your Progress: Any Social Media Marketing effort is dead in the water without assessment. Be sure to manage and tweak Social Media Marketing Plan to determine if you’re meeting the long and short-term objectives you’ve set for your company.
What other strategies have you used to maximize the return on investment
of your social media marketing efforts?
Kindra C. Cotton is a Serial Entrepreneur, Technology & Social Media Specialist who runs a small business consulting practice specializing in brand marketing, market research, and strategic information consultancy. Her flagship brand “SSS for Success (Small Business Survival Specialists)” specializes in preparing small and medium-sized organizations to take advantage of the free and low-cost marketing avenues that exist online.