Over the last decade, social media has taken the world by storm. Hundreds of millions of people post their personal thoughts and various forms of information on the web every day on Facebook, Twitter and dozens of other popular networks… and yet, many companies have not yet jumped on this golden opportunity to market their products and services through social media. As a business owner, you can truly capitalize on this relatively new form of information sharing through the process of social media marketing. All you need to understand are five simple steps so that you can effectively utilize the modern social media trend.
Social Media Marketing in 5 Simple Steps
1. Expand Your Influence – Social networks are a powerful tool to spread your influence across the web. You can target the people you already know will be interested in your product in a way that they can relate to by direct messaging them while simultaneously providing everyone else the means to get to know your company and product through your profile and general posts. Social media marketing is vastly flexible in this area since you can go as broad as you like or stay focused with your communication. But getting your name out there is the ultimate goal.
2. Engage your Prospects– Although regular content production is helpful, social media marketing is not simply about producing mass amounts of information to flood the social networks with. It is also important to engage potential customers in meaningful conversations about your business – or at least about your industry. Ask them what they think and answer their questions in social chat threads. Or, publish a poll or competition to get your fans involved. Social Media can’t be all one-sided. You need to show that you find their input important or else their attention will go elsewhere. Check out the overview of Hubspot’s suggestions here (look specifically at point #1 about the 50/50 rule of social media marketing).
3. Watch for Opportunities– People talk about whatever they are thinking about on social networks, and sometimes what they think of falls under your umbrella of experience. This creates an opportunity to engage a potential customer who is already interested in your product and is therefore more willing to buy; you just need to know the opportunity is there. Luckily for you, there are web tools which you can set up to notify you of these opportunities whenever a keyword is posted. Now, hashtags are another great way to search for specific industry-related terms and see who is posting or tweeting about them.
4. Nurture Your Leads– Social networks provide a great opportunity to keep up with your leads and to convert them into customers. You can keep up with how they are doing directly through avenues like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and you can show them that you care about more than just their business. Convince them that your company is worthy of their business by showing them that you respect your customers and participate in their normal lives, outside of just trying to close the sale. You might find that your Facebook friends may quickly become buying customers.
5. Analyze Your Process– As with any other part of marketing, you need to be able to evaluate your results. Certain social networks and marketing strategies will produce better results than others and in order to succeed, you need to be able to recognize where you are succeeding and run with that, making adjustments and fixing any problems along the way. Without analysis, you could simply be wasting your time on a network that won’t yield results for your particular business or with unproductive posts.
Social media marketing has become a major part of business, and will only become more important as the years go by. Being able to reach out to your prospects and interact with them at the right time and in the right way is the key to using modern media effectively. Now go capitalize on this amazing opportunity!