Social media can often seem like a dreaded item on your to-do list. If you read anything on marketing, they say you can’t exist online without social media accounts. Yet when you have one, you often sit and stare at the screen, wondering what you’re supposed to post.
Here’s something to ponder. Nearly half of all consumers admit to diving deeper into a product or service when it’s mentioned effectively on a social media site.
The problem lies in determining how to market effectively using accounts like Facebook and Instagram.
What are the benefits of being on social media? How can it help you grow as a business?
Do Research … in Real-Time
When was the last time you said: I wonder what my prospects are thinking? If you’re in marketing, you probably say it a lot.
Figuring it out before the internet was often guesswork, at best. You could gather a focus group and hope for the right answers. But there was no easy way to evaluate a large audience to determine its thoughts and feelings.
No more. Social media is a goldmine of demographics. Spend an hour on the social media platform of your choice, and you’ll walk away with invaluable information.
You can find real, unfiltered conversations. Learn what your prospects are saying about your products and services, and their interests as a whole.
You can also evaluate industry trends by paying attention to things like #hashtags. It’s a great way to see what influencers are talking about and how popular specific phrases and keywords really are.
Make Your Brand More Relatable
One of the reasons social media has spread like wildfire is its ability to be transparent, bringing everyone down to a level playing field. You can get to the heart of what a brand is all about. There’s no hiding it anymore.
Not only does that change how a brand is perceived, but it also allows customers to have more control over the message that’s being sent out. When they like what you have to offer, they aren’t afraid to share it, show it, or let other people know.
If you play it right, you can even prompt your customer base to be more vocal in how they show up with your products and services. Run contests for putting up photos or videos showcasing your wares. Engage with them and learn their desires. The more involved you become, the more energy you’ll show for future customers too.
Learn More About Your Competition
What are your competitors doing to reach out to customers and grow their businesses? Secret shoppers are a thing of the past. Now all you have to do is jump on social media.
Choose your favorite social media site and start searching. You can see what they’re promoting, learn what content is driving traffic back to their sites, and pick up ideas that can help you build your own campaigns.
Beyond visuals, you can also use tools to explore their platforms in more depth. Transparency is the way of social media. With a little research, you can have an in-depth analysis of how they’re performing on any of the social media platforms you might be using for your own business. Maybe they are doing well on one, not so good on another. Can you use that to build and grow on the social media platform they aren’t using very well?
Control Your Online Reputation
No matter how loveable and transparent your business is, there will always be customers who love you … and customers who don’t. From bad days to differences of opinions, sometimes a customer gets angry and takes to social media to let the world know.
When you’re on social media, you can minimize the “bad” experiences and turn them into learning tools if you utilize the right tools to keep a finger on the pulse. Be there to answer questions and help provide solutions to their concerns. Be there to offer your side of the story.
Often, that’s enough to calm a customer down. And if it isn’t, you’re providing commentary for other potential customers and users to see the resolution. It allows others to view your customer service strategy and make up their minds on their own.
Of course, social media isn’t just about talking with unhappy customers. You can also do more by learning from your raving fans. Use it to grow your customer service department and find ways to give your existing customers even better service.
This is why most people first dive into social media. With millions on a platform, why not be there to reach out to prospects?
Yet when you post on a platform, you have to learn how to use it well. This isn’t all about sell, sell, sell. You won’t gain much attraction if that’s how you devote your time.
Social media platforms have evolved over the years and are currently one of the best ways to drive leads. But you’ll have to figure out the best ways to add call-to-action items in the ways that you post.
This isn’t “in your face” marketing. You have to learn what your audience really wants, giving it to them in small doses to keep them interested.
Pay attention to what your preferred social media platform offers. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter update their user experience regularly, knowing full well businesses are there to sell. What can they provide you with to make your job easier? When you focus in on one platform, learn how to use it, and do it well.
Increase Web Traffic
In the end, your social media account is a free service. Free services change. Just because you love certain features on the social media platform you prefer doesn’t mean they will be there forever.
Great marketers learn quickly how to use a platform well, drive traffic back to their own sites, and capture interest on their websites. Great content is a way to create action and control how your customers and prospects move.
You can use free reports, e-classes, videos, and more to lead viewers to different landing pages. It’s a way for you to build your own internal lists, giving you even more access to your customer base.
Are You Ready to Reap the Benefits of Being on Social Media?
Whether you’re building your first platform or are a seasoned regular on several social media sites, the best way to connect with your customer base is to have a strategy in place.
What’s your social media strategy?