The world of marketing is changing in very exciting ways. Social Media Marketing is beginning to change the way we look at our businesses and our customers. In addition to formal campaigns and advertising, many small businesses are turning to the social media model for direct access to new and existing customers. This is bad for the old paper phone book, but good for you!
Take a look at my seven tips for social media marketing success and see if you agree:
1. Know your limitations. A social media profile that has been abandoned for a long period of time is just like forgetting to remove the “closed” sign from the front door for that customer who finds the profile. Make sure you start slow enough to know whether you are able to maintain it properly. You can add new channels as you go, and tie them all together.
2. Always be positive in your posts and avoid sarcasm. Negativity can destroy a reputation and sarcasm sometimes translates as cruelty in textual communications. I have found that always tailoring posts and Tweets to be positive and lighthearted makes for numerous “likes” and re-postingre-tweeting.
In addition to being positive, you want to avoid any controversial commentary or political viewpoints. Engaging in that discussion on social media will immediately polarize a segment of your customer base.
3. Follow Social Media Experts and Organizations. There are a number of groups related to social media, find a few and follow them for tips and guidance. Find a few businesses that have a large and loyal following and see what they do right. Learn more through observation, and less through trial and error.
4. Don’t overdo it! A little goes a long way. Take the time to edit and perfect your posts and spend less time agonizing over posting something every day. You will get un-followed if people feel like they are being bombarded with advertisements. I suggest that most businesses post an actual promotion no more than 3 times per week. The rest of the time should be spent being conversational (see number 7). Be sure to use attractive images in your posts.
5. Provide a link to your site! Believe it or not, the most common mistake that small business owners make is not providing a way for a customer to get from their Facebook page to their web site.
6. Don’t forget the time! Time is very important when it comes to specific social media channels. Pay attention to when your customers are most active on a specific site. Prime times for Twitter and Facebook tend to be the afternoon hours, prior to rush hour.
7. Be conversational. When people mention you in Tweets, retweet them with a thank you or polite response. Social Media Marketing is all about building a following and growing your brand organically. People respond to conversational marketing, and “feel” appreciated when a business shares or retweets their thoughts. By engaging your customers in this fashion, you are building a loyalty that is priceless.
Those are some pretty important things to remember. I am sure there is more, but this will get you started on your way to Social Media Marketing success!