Social Media Marketing 101

Friday 05th, February 2016

Social Media is all about building communities. Various apps that are all about people engaging with others – and building and growing communities. While traditional media is more of a one-way street, where you just consume content and that’s pretty much it, Social Media lets you interact – lets you engage with others.

So how does that help market your business?

Or why do you need to market through Social Media, when traditional media is available?

Social Media brings to you some unique benefits –

  • You can make your brand popular and increase brand loyalty
  • You can humanize your brand – bring the human element to your brand which will make it easier for people to connect with.
  • Great way to interact with new and existing customers and make meaningful connections with them
  • This in turn helps in increasing conversion rates.
  • Reduces marketing costs
  • And increases inbound traffic.
  • And best of all, you get a lot of insights into customer behavior and attributes.

So what can you do through Social Media?

  • You could build stronger relationships with your customers
  • You could attract new customers
  • You can learn about your customers
  • You could build the popularity of your brand
  • You could tell everyone about what your offerings are
  • You can find out what people think about you and your business
  • And you can find out about the competition

Marketing through social media is a lot about creating content that can be shared across peoples’ networks. So much so, that some say that marketing through Social Media is just taking the word of mouth concept to a different medium.  Is it just that? Or is it a lot more? Do you just post some great content and sit back and watch the magic happen?

Not quite.

So how do you market and market well on Social Media?

Basically it is all about doing 3 things –

  • Listening to your audience
  • Telling them your message
  • Making that message shareable

But how do you do these three things?

  • First of all, use Social Media to listen. Listen to what people are saying about your brand. About the competition. About what they want. Need. What they don’t like. What they feel strongly about. Are they saying anything that is a great opening for you to jump right in and engage with them? It is a great idea to go through the content that your audience puts up and find out what interests them.
  • You need to be sure you have a great website – that is built well, looks good and works great in answering all the questions that your audience might have. This is the place that your audience goes to, in order to find out about you, so it needs to be great.
  • And then you need a great content strategy – You need to decide what channel you would use, who the people are that you are targeting and what your goal is. Even plan how much time you will spend on Social Media. This will help you structure your content, decide on the tone that you would adopt, etc. But everything starts with a plan.
  • You need to decide which Social Media platform you are going to focus on. Do you know where your customers are? It doesn’t help if you make a lot of noise on Facebook when your audience is on Twitter. Whole different place – whole different way of engaging with them.
  • There are a great many tools that can measure how good your content is to let you know that you might want to improve things a bit. That is a great investment to make.
  • It is very important to be consistently there on Social Media. You need to create great content – and create and post great content consistently. Make sure there is variety. It is not a good idea to overwhelm your audience with the same kind of content, over and over.
  • There are those who will tell you that you need to interact with people on Social Media first. While that is imperative, you need a solid platform to be standing on in order to do that. That platform is the stellar content that you offer. So make sure you have great content out there and then engage. Will give you loads of credibility and people will take what you say, seriously.
  • Don’t get into controversies or make controversial statements just to get some attention. If you want to take position that is controversial, make sure it is one that really matters. And express your point of view respectfully. Otherwise you will end up looking like the many trolls that crawl the internet.
  • Some content will do well on some sites rather than on others. A one size fits all strategy won’t really work. Each Social Media site has specific kinds of audiences and the corresponding kinds of content that work best there. For example, Pinterest is a great place for visual content.
  • Each Social Media site has its own unique character and marketing on one is not the same as marketing on another. Study each Social Media platform and understand it thoroughly before getting into it. There are plenty of free tutorials on how to do this.
  • Make sure that the content that you put out there is shareable. Make it easy for your readers to share. When they share the content, it helps introduce a whole new world to you – who you are and what you do.
  • Sometimes it helps to have a “face” to the profile – engage with customers as an individual and not as a business or corporate. You don’t have to divulge all kinds of details about yourself or get personal with your audience, but sometimes it works well to present a “face” to your people rather than just appear as a business entity. See what works best for you – whether to be there are a business or an individual who represents the business – and go in that direction.

Finally be patient – it won’t happen overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say. Building audiences and widening your reach take time.

Be there. Be consistent. And you will see it happen.

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