Social Media Strategy
Social Media Marketing is the hottest new marketing concept and every business owner wants to know how social media can generate value for their business.
People are social by nature and collect or share information that is important to them. Social Media Marketing is about understanding how technology is making it easier for people to connect socially with their social networks and how your business can profit from that understanding. More and more of your customers, whether for personal use, business-to-consumer or business-to-business reasons use social media in every aspect of their daily life.
What is Social Media
Social Media is about networking and connecting by engaging in conversations through technology. Although based on technology, it is real and honest conversation that people share and discuss. People share thoughts, activities and engage in conversations of interest to them. They do this by connecting with people of similar interests or backgrounds such as; hobbies or professional interests, high school classmates, family and friends, etc.
When using social media and a person finds someone else’s content self-serving, too sales oriented or simply boring, their natural reaction is to disconnect or block that person from the conversation.
As new technologies became available, businesses that learn to use new technologies gain great benefits. Some of the best-known examples include technology-driven companies such as Microsoft, eBay, Amazon and Google.
Less well-known examples include a Seattle Coffee company that experimented with Twitter and learned how to create greater profitability during the normal daily business lulls, or a small, family operated insurance agency that actively integrated social media into their business model and rejuvenated the business with more clients and prospects. These examples of early adopters demonstrate implementing a powerful tool before your competition wins you market share and creates wealth for your business.
Finally, the explosive growth of the smartphone market and mobile computing is affecting your strategy, as social media connectivity is becoming easier and is helping social media grow even faster!
The rapid evolution of social media demands a new type of “Engagement” marketing by business. Business owners now need to engage customers and prospects in an ongoing, meaningful and productive conversation.
This conversation allows you to:
- Foster trust and professional confidence with these individuals,
- Improve your product and services to better service your target market, and
- Build a strong referral network of impromptu salespersons to help sell your products and services through their personal networks.
A properly designed and executed Social Media Marketing strategy provides:
- Improved search results,
- Better customer service,
- Better brand awareness,
- Improved PR and media relations,
- Improved recruitment opportunities,
- The ability to conduct online reputation management, and
- Very loyal customers.
Create a Social Media Strategy for Your Business
Start using social media by making a plan and methodically executing and monitoring your plan. The following process is a good overview of how to develop and maintain your Social Media Marketing strategy.
As you develop a successful Social Media Marketing strategy, consider how this strategy integrates with your website. In today’s business world, your website and your social media marketing strategy are messengers that carry your marketing message. However, in order for your online presence to effectively convey this message, every component must work together in unison. This requires bolting these pieces of your strategy together to form a seamless marketing tool.
Can a company be successful with only a social media presence and no website? Your website provides authority and a face to your business, whereas your social media channels provide an informal method of connecting with your prospects and customers.
Most likely, any company not taking advantage of a website is making it very difficult to convert their social conversation into a tangible transaction and therefore experiencing only limited success online.
Facebook dominates the conversation when it comes to social marketing, although there are an increasing number of opportunities available through LinkedIn, Twitter and the many online blogs and social news sites.
The Facebook audience is now estimated at 750 million worldwide, while Twitter’s value as a marketing tool is quickly growing thanks to celebrity tweets and the importance of influence over volume.
Social media sites are creating new and unprecedented marketing opportunities for search marketers that can successfully harness their power with compelling, relevant messages and offers. The benefits are clear: a vast audience that continues to grow explosively each day combined with a measurability that enables efficient, pinpoint targeting.
Organizations that are able to quantify social marketing results are also able to more accurately calculate their social marketing ROI and understand which areas of the business are improving, whether it’s customer service, gross margins or sales levels. This information will help you make the changes necessary to increase engagement and sales.