Social Media has taken the world by storm and is here to stay, at least for the immediate future. It is becoming more apparent every day that if your business is not utilizing it then you are passing up a great opportunity to connect with your customers/target audience and drive revenues. New media has replaced old media and many people get their news through blogs, websites and Twitter rather than through newspapers, radio or even television. Because those three mediums were key to old marketing, new strategies must be utilized to reach large audiences in today’s marketing mix.
The good news is that digital/web/social media marketing can be much more effective than the old way of putting out a message and hoping that the right people saw it. Everyone has their own “personal brand” or group of interests, organizations and products that they endorse and will vouch and market for. With social media, everyone has the ability to assemble a collection of products and services that they believe in and will endorse to friends and family members who trust and follow them through social media. If you can connect and build trust with your customers, they will sell your service or product to everyone they’re connected to for no charge.
The secret is getting their attention and holding it which can be a tricky proposition, especially to those who don’t have the bandwidth and knowledge to do so. Most people who run businesses are great at the core service they set out to offer but don’t have the bandwidth to learn the techniques and nuances of web marketing because they are focused on their core business. One of the biggest mistakes made in amateur web marketing is trying to “sell” your product or service through social media. People who are bombarded with advertising and have the option to “opt out”, will. The goal is to offer great content that will keep them coming back for more and sharing with their friends. Sales and new products also build enthusiasm but must be used judiciously.
So where does this great content come from? Your brand must have its own voice and great content strategy includes articles, blog and social posts, whitepapers and web content that are produced in house. The reality though is that most businesses/organizations struggle to create such content for themselves. There is also great value in finding and sharing third party content that backs your product or service. The time it takes to locate, sort and vet this content can be daunting and is frequently the reason why in-house content strategies fail or are abandoned. Just as your customers rely upon you to provide them with goods or services that they need, you sometimes need to rely on vendors to provide you with services to drive your business initiatives.
Listening to and communicating with your social media followers is also essential and must be done correctly. Those who don’t, often become cautionary tales. Basic Social Media is free but to be effective, it must be done correctly and professionally. Social media followers are very visual. Having the right images will draw far more attention than plain text. The message must always be concise, informative and consistent. The “One Percent” rule states that 90% of social media followers are viewers only. The other 10% share the majority of user content posted or re-posted with just 1% creating the vast majority of that content. These are people that you want to appeal to and have on your side. Engaging an influencer will also attract their followers.
The bottom line is that in a recent study, it was found that 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands of which they are a fan or follower and 60% of Facebook fans and 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend those brands after becoming a fan or follower. These are just the numbers for two of the many social media networks currently being utilized by millions of potential customers world wide. It is imperative for all business owners to factor this into their marketing!
If you would like to learn more about how great content strategy and digital marketing techniques can drive your business and help you reach more customers, contact us for a free consultation!