Social media is all around us. The average person, both young and old, religiously checks their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts throughout the day. Then when you turn the TV on it’s all about #hashtag this and Facebook that. It is now part of everyday life.
The power of social media marketing is no longer a secret or seen as a fad. Your friends, your family and your customers are using it. If you are savvy, then you are already integrating social media into your online business to attract fans and build relationships with your customers.
But what should you do if you don’t know how to integrate social media into your online business?
That’s where this article can help. If you’re looking to learn exactly how to use social media to enhance your online business and become more successful online, you care going to love this article.
Why use social media?
In case you’re not clear on the actual benefits of incorporating social media into your online business then let’s firstly cover some of them off.
Social media helps you to build a strong brand
In order to be successful online it’s important to stand out from the crowd and in particular, your competitors. People need to look at you and your products/services and instantly know exactly what you stand for, Not only that, but you need to stay in people’s mind. They need to remember you.
In order to do that you need to have a strong brand, and sites such as Facebook and Twitter can definitely help you to do that. They can help people to gain an instant insight into what you’re about and why they should follow you. Not only that but social media updates remind people that you’re still around. It can have a particularly good effect if you’re sharing really juicy and relevant information.
Social media helps you to find new prospects
This is perhaps the first benefit that most people think of when they think about social media. Social media is a great way to find new prospects and fans/followers, who you can then turn into subscribers and buyers. You can use Facebook advertising, for example, to draw people through to your squeeze page and thus turn those visitors into email subscribers and customers as they go through your sales funnel.
Social media helps you to build a relationship with your audience
People are much more likely to buy from somebody who they have a pre-existing relationship with. When you think about it, how many times have YOU come across a random website and bought a product from it straight away? Nope, you’ll look at their blog, look at their social media accounts and look at their website a few times over a period of days or weeks before you form an opinion of them/the company – and when you’ve built up a picture of what they’re about, THEN you’ll consider buying something.
The good news is that social media is one of THE best ways of building a relationship with your audience. You can use social media to share content which people in your niche will find interesting/useful, thus positioning yourself as an expert. You can use social media to interact with your audience and have real conversations with people which really goes a long way towards building a connection and trust.
Social media allows you to connect with people who run similar businesses / share the same interests
Networking is essential when you run an online business and connecting with other people in your industry/niche/market can be extremely useful.
In the first instance you can help each other out and give advice to one another. In addition, you can consider promoting each other’s products or doing joint ventures where you create and launch products together. As you build a connection over time these people become your online friends and support group. It’s amazing how inspiring it is to connect with people who run similar online businesses, and as well as being useful it goes a long way towards curing the bewilderment that can sometimes happen as you try to grow your online business. You may want to meet up with some of these people from time to time and brainstorm with each other.
Social media helps you to keep an eye on your competition
Social media is fairly transparent, and that means that it’s great for spying on your competition. You can learn so much just by watching how other people run their online businesses – and whilst I’m not telling you to steal other people’s ideas, you definitely can “borrow” some of the ones you like and then put your own spin on them. Sites like Twitter are great for easily seeing things like what promotions your competitors are running or the types of content
Social media helps you to establish you as an expert
No matter what niche you’re in, as an Internet marketer you’ll want to appear as an “expert” in your niche to your followers.
Social media is perfect for establishing yourself as an expert. You can share useful content that people in your niche are going to find informative. You can answer people’s questions. And you can share your own knowledge with others.
Social media can enable you to give better customer service
This is something that even large international brands take advantage of. You can use sites like Facebook and Twitter to help out your customers, answer their questions and deal with any problems they might have.
In Summary: What should your business expect from social media marketing once your marketing campaign is put into place?
If you are putting in the right amount of time and effort into profitable social media marketing strategies, you should be able to accomplish the following goals:
Goal 1: Directly sell more of your products or services
Generating sales and leads from social media marketing begins with have clear goals in mind and defined key performance indicators (KPI) so that you can evaluate your success at achieving targets. Once these are in place and you know what you are aiming for, you can begin to look at some specific ways to move your followers towards these goals, whether that’s just some kind of engagement to show that they are interested or making an actual purchase.
Goal 2: Positioning your business in your market
If you are in a generic market where the big players lack any personality, your social persona for your small business can be an excellent way to stand out but standing for or against something. No matter what you sell, from cameras, car parts, accountancy or cat food, your customers are human. And people buy from people. The blander and more corporate and faceless the company, the greater the opportunity you can win on social media by injecting some personality.
Goal 3: Increase awareness amongst your target audience
Social media marketing works best when you target a relevant audience and use some clever strategies to get your message in front of them. You can’t afford to have a wishy washy message. It needs to speak directly to them and engage them. Again, you can test your marketing to see if it is working by building solid measurable targets to reach for.
Goal 4: Expose your business to a brand new audience
If you are a local business and are looking to branch out and begin selling to a new audience, access to an almost unlimited number of clearly defined new audiences is quicker and easier than ever before. In fact, you will find that these audiences are extremely eager to hear from anyone with an appealing proposition; so getting your message right is vital.
Goal 5: Encourage repeat business
Generating a community around your brand is not only a good way to bring in new leads but it also helps encourage repeat business through on-going relationships with your customers. For businesses of any size, keeping in their customer’s minds and being visible is incredibly valuable. This is made so much easier by social media.
Goal 6. Generate referrals
With some skilful positioning and cultivated word of mouth, you can use your existing customer base to find some new, targeted customers. But referrals don’t happen accidently. You need to generate them and the right strategy can make a big difference to your results.
So can you really generate more sales and leads through social media marketing?
Yes. You can. Marketing should be an investment, not a cost. Social media marketing should earn you back much more than you put in which is why we recommend you take the approach which takes it from being purely a branding and awareness tool to more like a mixed marketing tool which combines elements of the traditionally ‘softer’ branding approach with a good dose of direct sales.
For example, some of the ways you can use social media to generate sales include:
- Generating leads and sales from blog traffic.
- Using interaction on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest as well as the other main social platforms to generate qualified new leads for your business through targeted posts, promoting reviews, offers and case studies.
- Increase conversion rates by demonstrating the quality of your customer service.
- Increase repeat and referral business by reaching out to your existing customers through social channels.
- Improve your search engine ranking by integrating social media with your website.
If you are not happy with the way you are using social media to market your business contact me and I will help you get on the right path.