Consumers are continuously sharing their opinions about brands, companies and services through social media. While people have always shared their positive and negative business experiences with others, social media allows those comments to reach a much wider audience than was once possible. Social media has a wide and powerful reach, and you can harness and direct that power by joining social media and launching your social media marketing efforts.
Purpose of Social Media Marketing
The purpose of entering the world of social media is to promote the positive things that are being said about you and to promptly address the negative issues. You can build relationships with customers and prospects and share relevant stories and information.
A huge benefit of social media marketing is that it puts you and your company’s news in places where customers are already looking. Whether you choose Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media platform, you’re reaching out to customers instead of making them come looking for you.
General Principles for Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a unique avenue for promoting yourself to customers. However, you don’t want to alienate customers with a heavy-handed sales approach. Follow these tips as you build your social media marketing campaign:
Don’t blatantly try to sell your services or products.
Share stories and helpful information to engage your audience.
Consider posting video and images, as well as personal customer stories, to create more interest.
Know your target audience and where to find them—Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.—and join the social media platforms that are most relevant to your business.
Write catchy headlines and post effective images that will draw in your audience; if you have good content but bland headlines and no images, it won’t engage your audience.
Challenges of Using Social Media
Although social media is practically a necessity for today’s marketing strategies, there are still challenges in using it. If you know the potential hurdles, you will be better able to address them. Here are a few of the most common difficulties that may arise when starting and managing a social media presence for your company:
With so many choices for social media platforms, selecting them can be confusing and overwhelming. Keep it simple and stick to one or two platforms until you are comfortable with keeping up with them all, then consider adding another platform or two. Typically, exceeding three or four platforms will make it difficult to produce quality content and respond to comments. Remember, it’s better to have a strong, quality presence on a few social media platforms than to have a barely-there presence on every social media site imaginable.
Engaging in social media marketing requires a commitment of time and resources, like in any kind of marketig you decide to do – from SEO to affiliate programs (learn more here). Social media sites typically need to be posted to and monitored on a daily or even hourly basis. The challenge is dedicating the time and resources necessary for someone to monitor all social media accounts and respond to customers, clients and other interested parties.
It takes time to build a following, and for social media marketing to provide a return on investment. Be patient, keep at it, and you will see results.
Social media posts and comments cannot be taken back once published. You can delete a tweet, but if it was somehow damaging, inflammatory or insensitive, you can be sure someone has already saved a copy of it and is gearing up to share it with the rest of the world. Always assume that what you post is permanent and can be seen by anyone.
When done well, social media use can be an effective form of marketing. Contact Thams Agency today for resources to help you start or improve your social media marketing.