JUNE 2012 – Social Media Marketing

         For many small businesses entering into the world of social media marketing the journey is not unlike an expedition of the uncharted explorations of Lewis and Clark. But the navigation can be simplified and the fear removed with common sense steps that most business professionals have been using for years within different mediums.

            Make sure you know the basics when it comes to the tools you use like social media marketing. A successful business plan should still begin with a press release and should always be backed by relevant market research. Social media marketing is as effective as it is because it uses both traditional methods and new methods of advertising.

     Create enticing headlines. Due to the fast nature of social media surfing, many people will see only the headline before dashing off to another site or tweet. You want your headline to be so interesting that people feel they need to find out more. Without a catchy and informative headline, you may not be able to attract your target audience.

            To begin with proofread everything you write for social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, with extreme care. Keep in mind that it is always important to remain professional. The character limit on Twitter makes using some abbreviations fine, but be careful not to overdo it. Go out of your way to publish content that reflects well on your business.           

            Look into what other businesses are doing on Facebook and see what you like about how they promote their businesses and use that towards creating your page. A little opposition research will give you a better handle on what works, and what doesn’t, and what has already been done. After you have researched what others are doing, and what works incorporate these ideas into your page along with a few new things to make your page interesting and unique.

            Promote product giveaways using your social media presence. People love getting things for free, and offering free items is a great way to bring new customers to your profile. Decide on what you are going to give away, then visit the popular freebie sites and post the link to where readers can get their freebie.

            Running contests with incentives on social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook, is a valuable way to produce good publicity for your company. Once customers become interested in your contest, they’ll share its existence with their friends and you will get lots of people involved. That’s how social media works. The contest should be fun, and related to what you sell.

            If you are using Facebook to engage your customers, go for quality of information rather than quantity. Don’t share just anything, just to share. If you find something that you find really interesting, or holds some serious truth, don’t hesitate to share it with others around you. However, it should be of interest to others. Avoid meaningless quizzes and surveys about irrelevant topics that mean nothing to customers.

     Use Facebook or Twitter to advertise limited offers. Make sure to give them enough advanced warning to be able to take advantage of the offer! If a customer realizes that they missed a great bargain, they are going to be far more mindful of future updates.   Social media sites are a great way to build interest in new products or to get pointed feedback on past products. People love to give their opinions on products, so they’ll likely oblige you if you ask them. They will let you know what they have been looking for, and the best thing about this is that it’s free.

            While marketing through social media can be rewarding, it has it’s own set of challenges that are unique to the forum. Start implementing these hints and tips into your plan for social media marketing to see how lucrative and successful these strategies can be. If done right, your social media marketing can even turn out to be fun!

 

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