Surviving the social media jungle can be a real challenge for marketers. Always engaged, staying sharp and open to interaction, monitoring feeds and coming up with catchy messages to post on a regular basis…that’s no easy thing. Yet it’s all worth it. There’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing those leads converting into sales and knowing that you did that.
The modern world is defined by social engagement and connectivity. The rise of the Internet as a universal communication tool has opened a world of possibilities for e-marketers.
I’m still amazed at how some companies, such as apartment communities or hospitality units don’t use social media to promote their brand. Here’s how I see it: first of all, the basic account for all social media channels is free; even if you won’t see a lot of sales coming directly from your profile, you’ll get tons of exposure. That’s got to count for something, right? Other people pay big bucks for getting that kind of exposure the old-fashioned way.
Then, social media is not as aggressive as traditional marketing channels so prospects won’t feel bombarded with sales ads and targeted campaigns. Most social platforms display user-friendly interfaces and offer tons of options for users to avoid getting spammed with promotional material. The real challenge you’ll have to face as an e-marketer is going around all that and make customers feel that they want to interact with you and have you as a Facebook friend.
How do you achieve that? Well, this is a job requirement for any marketing specialist: demonstrate creativity. You have to come up with original content, new material and interesting facts on a daily basis, put it up on your site or blog and then share it on social media. Not only will this help you gain and retain customers but it will also help your business rank higher in Google’s organic search.
As a rule of thumb, post a promotional message for every other nine posts that are not related to sales or marketing campaigns. Also, studies have shown that posts with pictures get the most visibility, especially among Facebook users. Don’t forget to connect your Facebook and Pinterest accounts, to make sure you reach a broader and more diverse audience.
Additionally, teaming up with other local businesses might be a good idea that will help you maximize engagement and boost your pool of followers. Tag fellow e-businesses (not competitors) in your posts and ask them to do the same for you. Sometimes you don’t even have to ask them for free mentions, they will do it as a favor in return.
And remember, more than anything people appreciate honesty. They know that you’re there to sell something but let them feel it’s their choice what and when they want to get it. On the other hand, it’s very useful to provide information about your products, respond to comments and inquiries and be as polite as possible. As with most businesses, bad reviews are bound to come online at some point. Keep in mind that disgruntled customers tend to be very loud and vehement in their protests so it’s very important you stay calm and refrain from any unprofessional behavior. Nothing good ever comes out of heated discussions; better try to understand what the problem is, find out if it’s something that you can fix, do your best to solve it and send out a positive message. Other prospects might be listening too, and if they are reasonable people, they will appreciate your efforts and care.
Of course the list might go on and on, but I believe the following set of businesses may draw loads of benefits from setting up social media accounts:
- Travel agencies. As they say, a photo speaks a thousand words. An active presence on Facebook and Pinterest, putting on display fabulous vacation offers, is a must for travel agents and leisure marketers.
- Restaurants & cafes: right about noon, everybody’s attention turns to Facebook and where to go for lunch. Make sure your specials always land in your followers’ feeds.
- Pet stores: now there’s an image that won’t go unnoticed.. or un-liked for that matter. Acquisition follows next.
- Home stores: home accessories, design ideas and home décor get the most hits on Pinterest. Set up a blog and start pinning your products right away, if you haven’t done it already.
- Event agencies and services. Weddings, proms, pool parties, entertainment and social festivities always get the most interest from fans. Make yourself wanted by displaying your most successful events and boast your accomplishments every time you get the chance.
- The Top Benefits of Social Media Marketing [Infographic] (business2community.com)
- Tips To Use Facebook For Social Media Marketing (federico-online.com)