You keep hearing about how you should be on social media. About how social media marketing will help boost your branding and awareness. How it will bring you customers in droves. Blah blah!
The trouble is, you don’t believe it. Or rather, you don’t want to believe it, because the whole concept of “socializing” remotely on the Internet is something you’d rather not touch with a 10-foot pole.
In addition, you really can’t see how it’s going to help generate qualified leads, and you don’t have the time for an activity that doesn’t show an immediate marketing ROI for your business. Right? Right.
Ok, let’s see if we can demystify the social media ogre a little and identify how you could make use of it.
Silence Is No Longer an Option
Stats from the Pew Internet and American Life Project show that up to 83 percent of U.S. Internet users under 50 years old belong to at least one social media platform. That’s more than 8 in every 10 of your potential customers. If that many people were reading a print publication, wouldn’t you want to be advertising in it?
By not doing any social media marketing, however, you’re telling the world—and your customers—that you don’t care where they hang out and by extension, that you probably don’t need their business. Social media is like online word of mouth, with news spreading from one user to another.
Start By Listening
So how do you get started on social media, you ask? Start by listening, that’s how. You wouldn’t walk into a meeting room full of strangers and immediately start hogging the spotlight, would you? No—you’d listen for a while, feel the vibes and figure out what conversations are going on.
Then you’d choose somewhere to start where the topic is one you’re knowledgeable about and you know you can make a contribution.
It works the same way with social media marketing, so before you create profiles on each of the major platforms, you must determine which ones serve your chosen target market.
Join the Conversation
Now you’re ready to join in, but how do you do that?
- Search for other companies who are in the same industry as your business. Look at the type of profiles they create and see which ones are successful.
- Build your own profiles centered around your website content, or hire someone to do it if that’s not your area of expertise.
- Share your profiles with friends, family members and existing customers, and ask them to share them with their own networks.
- Follow users you want so they will follow you back. Once they do that, you have an audience to which you can market your services.
- Post unusual and interesting facts about your business and industry and link them to relevant pages on your website.
- Invite comments and discussion from your followers on the items you post—remember that every time a follower comments on your page, their friends can view it in their news feed.
Run Some Ads
The fastest way to build up your social media profiles—particularly on Facebook—is to invest in a few social media advertisements. These work in different ways, one of which is a Pay Per Click (PPC) basis where you are only charged for those users who actually click to read your ad or “like” your page.
You can pay as little as $5 a day and you choose who you want the ad to be shown to, based on demographics, location and areas of interest among other criteria.
Once you reach a specific number of followers, you have the option to promote individual posts. That’s when it really gets interesting, because you can choose to appear to users who are interested in your industry.
Social media marketing isn’t quite the nightmare you’ve been led to believe. It is, however, an essential place to be for any business competing in today’s market place, and if you can’t handle it yourself you should find someone to do it for you. You can’t afford to be socially silent any longer. Learn the 3 easy steps to social media success and get started today.