Whilst people spend a lot of time thinking and talking about social media, they spend less time using it to actually generate profit. Why? They are not social media experts and do not know how to use it effectively. To avoid falling into this trap and ensure your social networking generates revenue for your business, follow my top tips:
- Set social media goals. What do you want to achieve? e.g. increase traffic, increase sales, increase brand awareness. Working to targets helps keep you motivated. In setting these you should analyse your resources (i.e. both financial and time) as well as your expertise in using social media to ensure you set realistic goals – consider: what can I realistically achieve?
- Develop a social media strategy and plan to implement your objectives.
- Carefully consider which social networking channels you want to utilise. Of course, this will depend on your niche and should be targeted accordingly. Nonetheless, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are arguably broad enough in their appeal that they should form a part of any social media strategy. Beyond these channels, carefully consider will my target audience use this site? Are my resources best targeted elsewhere?
- Who is going to manage the company’s online presence? i.e. You? An existing employee? Or do you need to recruit someone new or outsource your social media marketing.
- Think about whether your updates will be from “you” or a business name or both.
- If there is more than one person in your business it’s important you communicate regularly and share any relevant news etc. with the person carrying out the marketing.
Winning tips for social media
- Promote your social media networks on your website, emails, business cards and other promotional material.
- Give maximum exposure of your products/services through your social networks – Enticing photos, videos of your product/service offering, and information on where they can go to purchase it.
- Use custom tab applications.
- Get yourself noticed on your social media – writing passionately or even controversially is one way to do this. Be the first to share news in your industry.
- Keep a consistent image. Ensure your online profiles reflect your personality/your company’s personality.
- Try to widen your network as much as possible. The aim here is to increase your number of connections whilst keeping them as targeted as possible. Use searches to find people with similar interests to you/your business. But don’t let this undermine the quality of your connections.
- Quality should be prioritised over quantity – Ensure you are an active participant by joining relevant groups and contributing to discussions. Focus on building relationships and trust with your followers by sharing valuable information, contributing to discussions, replying to their messages, and responding to feedback. Be available online to your customers by regularly checking your pages and responding promptly. Also listen to your feedback/ complaints and adapt your offers accordingly.
- Reward your customers (with free gifts, discounts, contests, etc.) to ensure they return.
Social Media takes time to get real results but if you work hard and follow these simple steps you will soon start to reap the rewards.
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