So it’s likely you have at the very least heard of Facebook and Twitter, but maybe you are one of those companies that are unsure if utilizing social media can be a benefit for you. In today’s tech-savvy society with ever increasing e-commerce, which is shifting from being done on a computer to now being done on a mobile device, many companies are seeing that a “like” or “follow” often turns into a dollar!
The question for any business owner out there should really change from “should we use social media” to “how we use social media.” Social media can be another tool in your marketing arsenal to make you relevant in a customer’s mind, a customer who is likely making a decision with information that is instantaneously available at their finger tips. Use these helpful tips to help you get started with social media and learn how to leverage it to make a positive impact on your bottom line.
- Social Media Medium: It is great if you are at the point where you can dedicate a specific person or team to your social media endeavor, but it’s likely that starting off someone in the company or you, yourself as the owner, may take on the additional task of setting up the company’s social media campaign. With all the different social media applications (apps) out there it can be difficult to effectively manage an extensive number of them. In order to be efficient, analyze which social media applications would best serve your goal of reaching potential customers. For example social media apps with “check-in” features such as Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook work great for brick and mortar businesses. Other social media apps, such as, Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr all work well to put your captivating product images in-front of customers, which can be a great way to showoff a new retail product, chef special, or company activities—a picture can be worth a 1,000 words. The functionality and popularity of each social media app varies, so spend a little time and research on learning about them. In doing that research you may even find that your customers have already created a profile for your business on a social media app, score!
- Build Connections: After you have you selected a social media app and have your profile up and running it can sometimes be difficult to establish those first few “likes” or “followers.” It may even appear daunting when you see those companies with over 20 thousand plus likes or 1 million plus followers. In the social media world many times actions are reciprocated, i.e., if you want a Twitter follower, then follow the person that you want to follow you or re-tweet that person’s twitter post. The same can be said of Facebook, like someone else’s page and many times they will like you back. Another way to build connections is to place social media buttons on all your web-pages or to place signage in your business highlighting your social media; make it easy for people to find your social media profile.
- Going Beyond the Product Pitch: Remember that behind every social media post, comment, etc. is a person, so be authentic in your communications. If you are only trying to “sell” people its likely that your followers will lose interest. If you also offer up substance of value that is seeking to assist the overall well being of the customer, then they will likely be more receptive to your product pitches. So incorporate communications that are simply helpful to your customers or are passing along useful information to them. Your customers in turn will likely be appreciative of you and tell others about you. Customers that trust you are more likely to buy from you.
- Call to Action: Lastly, when you do push a product or service through social remember two things: use keywords in your communication that will assist you in search engine optimization and tell people where and how to buy from you! You may have heard it before, “showing is not selling.” It’s great to tell a customer all about a product and wet their beak, but at the end of the day in business if something doesn’t make dollars then it doesn’t make sense!