08 Nov Creating a Social Media Marketing Plan
If your business hasn’t updated the marketing strategy for a few years, you are probably focusing on the wrong areas. If you just thought, “what’s a marketing strategy?” Please, do read on.
You will be amazed at the difference that you see in your business when you integrate social media into your marketing plan.
Traditional advertising opportunities are no longer as effective. Few people look to local papers for information, almost nobody uses the Yellow Pages, and print ads tend to cost far more than they are worth. The way to reach your target customers is to reach them through their preferred channels. That includes their smartphone, tablet, or PC. If you don’t have any method of reaching them through these devices, you have a huge pool of prospective clients that you are leaving completely untapped.
Social media is a simple, convenient way to meet your customers where they are. Even better, it is free. Assuming that you are going to manage your social network profiles yourself, the only thing you need to invest is your time. If you would rather turn your posts and profile management over to a professional, it can still be done for a very reasonable price that will earn worthwhile results.
Consider your ideal customer before deciding which social media networks to join. Depending on the demographic profile of your typical clients, one network may be more effective for you than others. Joining several is always a good idea, and make sure that they prominently link back to your professional website.
If there are niche networks dedicated to interests related to your business, by all means join them. In general, you are going to be looking at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+ as the top global social media networks. Facebook, Google+, and Twitter are fabulously popular for sharing just about anything, while Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr are more about photo sharing, which is great if you are in a highly visual business.
Chose profile names that exactly match your business name or website address whenever possible. This makes it easy for existing customers to find and recognise you. Building a strong brand has consistency at its core. Populate your profile immediately, because people are hesitant to follow, like, or friend a profile that is incomplete or appears brand new. Use professional quality images, your company logo, and a colour scheme that matches your website and printed materials.
The best way to gain followers, and therefore customers, through your social media profiles, is to give them what they want. If your statuses, tweets, or updates are always a sales pitch, people will grow weary. Share articles about news that is relevant to your business or tips that are helpful to your customers. Information that they will share with their friends will result in more people hearing about your business, building your customer base.
The frequency of posting may vary by network, and you will also want to study what time of day seems to be best for activity from your customers. On a rapid fire network like Twitter, several posts a day is the norm. On Facebook, any more than one or two posts a day may get annoying and get you “unliked.” Proper interaction will help you achieve success in any social network. Don’t expect people to like, share, and comment on your posts if you are not returning the favour. Interact with your prospective clients and they will begin to think of you as more of a friend and less of a salesperson. When they need what your company provides, they will automatically think of you because of the relationship that you have built.