Social media has developed such a huge following in a matter of years that it's nearly surprising when a computer-literate person does not have a Facebook or Twitter account. Everybody, including the most unexpected people, are on board social media.
With this in mind, being a business owner and not jumping on this obvious captured market is not only silly - it's also means that hundreds of opportunities have passed your way - yet, you choose to "give away" these potential clients to your competitors who are more present on Facebook and Twitter. Talkin' about not jumping on the bandwagon, and getting left behind.
What is the reason why social media is so effective? Maybe it's because it's so different from traditional advertising. Not only is it much less expensive, it also allows businesses to talk WITH people - instead of talking AT people. That sociability and interaction potential social media has makes people think that they are invited to try out products and services - and not forced into a seller-buyer relationship, with very little chances of speaking with the people behind a product.
However, marketing on social media is not simple. And since it is relatively new, marketers tend to makes mistakes which may turn off that precious buyer. What are they?
"Broadcasting" instead of "engaging." You can quickly tell who among your friends does this, simply by going through the newsfeed. They mindlessly post ads or shoutouts on their walls, presume that people will see them, and worse- not even have the patience to reply to comments, or even acknowledge the inputs from fans or followers. Facebook is a 2-way street - when you want attention and need favours from friends, you must learn to talk with people - and not talk at them. People generally like to make friends on social media, otherwise, they'd rather engage with other business owners who take better care of clients they meet online.
Expecting results the moment they open accounts on social media. There is no such thing as a forever free meal - people need to keep their end of the bargain to make a killing. Some business owners get their own facebook business pages and then expect droves of people to quickly make a purchase. Reality is, there are thousands of other Facebook pages whom people are "speaking with." Unless you think of marketing strategies to lure them in, they won't see value in patronizing your business. Be where they're at, and improve you come-ons. Make it worthwhile for potential buyers to purchase from you.
Obsessing over their number of fans of followers. If you have your own facebook page, you will realize that not all of your friends actually read or even bother to comment on your posts. Most friends choose to be "lurkers" - hanging around, observing but not talking, reading but not commenting. The solution here is to find ways or to post relevant information worthy of eliciting a response from fans/friends. Don't just mind your numbers, because the number of your friends does not directly indicate your worthiness as a marketer on social media. Rather than focusing on how many likes your page has, focus on quality relevant content and moving the engagement up. High quality content will lead to a higher percentage of your fans seeing your posts over time. Focus on gaining traction with your target audience and producing great content.
Not being present for comments or inquiries. Social media requires two things from their page owners - time and attention. When you are not willing to give both, you will most likely have a posted comment which quickly needs your clarification. The more time it takes you to answer, the more your others fans will notice that you are not really "present" in your site. People like to patronize businesses that are active. Think of it as your virtual version of customer service - you need to always be ready for inquiries, complaints and feedback.
Marketing aimlessly. When you get on social media, you will realize that it's not as easy as you thought it was. As with other forms of marketing, you MUST have a clear plan. You must have a good product and know how to convince people to make a purchase. You have to have a target audience, focus on great content which will catch the attention of the potential client, follow on leads, be able to network even if it's mere online networking, and most importantly - you must have a goal or objective in mind. Jumping into the boat with no clear ideas on how to make it float, or how to survive in case something goes wrong is not only careless, it also makes the entire trip pointless.
Marketing on the social media channels is relatively easy, but not too easy. If you want to achieve results and reach goals faster, you must be willing to put in the hard work needed. It's going to be challenging, but when it comes to keeping your business afloat, we're pretty sure you'd be more than willing to put in your share of the time, effort and sacrifice.
Michael Griffiths is the CEO and Founder of My Small Business Marketing Guru. Helping small business owners generate more leads, clients and increase profits with relationship based marketing strategies. We invite you to get your free black mask marketing resources to help you business grow today, when you visit http://mysmallbusinessmarketingguru.com.au
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