When businesses of the past for your local brick and mortar stores, they focused solely on marketing door to door. But now as technology is advancing with the introduction of not only radio and television, but also the internet, the business world is changing. Business owners now have the ability to own their own business right from home over the internet.
With an online business, your marketing strategy is a bit different, and you rely heavily on social media marketing to get the word of your brand and business out to the public. The process of starting a social media strategy for your business can seem a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but it doesn’t have to be. Take a look through the best practices and strategy tips to help you get started.
Establish Your Marketing Objective and Goals
One of the first steps to developing a social media strategy is to set your goals and establish an objective Each piece of your strategy must follow the plan laid out to achieve your goals. You cannot just wonder forward blindly. You need to take a look at your businesses needs and decide from there how you will implement these needs into goals in your social media strategy.
It’s important to make sure your goals are realistic and achievable. You may have bigger goals you want to hit eventually, but start small and work your way up.
Setting a marketing objective is a great way to define how you will achieve these goals. They allow you to establish how you will move from point A to point B in your goal plan. Remember these are similar to your goals in that you want them to be realistic.
If you set yourself up to fail, this will not lead to any goal reaching. The most important part of a marketing objective is to establish a timeframe in which you want to reach your goals and when you plan to move forward in establishing new ones.
Identify Your Target Audience
How do you know how to market if you haven’t established your target audience? When you work on your social media strategy you want to identify the buyer personas you are looking for. This will help you to understand the audience age range, income levels, occupations and more. It’s a great way to target them specifically on social media networks.
Choose your Social Media Channels
The majority of online businesses may create accounts on each of the popular networks assuming these will lead to the most return. But that’s not entirely true. It’s important to research the networks ahead of time to find out which will be best for you and your buyer personas to bring in the most customers.
Finding out where your customers spend the most time on social media is a great way to figure out which platforms would work best for your business. Not every business is the same, so just because certain platforms work for others doesn’t mean they will work for you.
The three biggest social media platforms are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Roughly 67% of internet users are on Facebook. That’s a huge audience right there to tap into. And because it’s so common for businesses to have pages on Facebook, one of the first things customers may look for when they find out about you is your Facebook page. The other benefit of using Facebook is that you can advertise to your target audience right inside the platform. While they may be a little more in the cost department, they work wonderfully in targeting.
LinkedIn is a great platform for business savvy individuals. If you are looking to target a more professional base of customers, this is the place to go. Establishing your profile here means you can promote your business as a public image and list all your products, services and even a link to your company website. The connections you make on LinkedIn can prove to be beneficial down the road.
Twitter allows you to interact with your audience directly, this is a huge bonus in the world of social media. While posting new content here is beneficial, the majority of your time should be spent commenting and tweeting with others as well as retweeting trending content. Remember with Twitter, it’s all about the hashtags.
Developing Your Content Strategy
Content might not seem like something important when it comes to social media, but it truly is. When you don’t have great content, anything you do on social media is pretty much meaningless. It’s best to have a content strategy in partnership with your social media strategy.
There are three steps to any success in social media. These steps include the type of content, the timeframe for your posts and how often you are posting. Consider the types of content your customers would be most interested in. These could be anything from blogs to images to videos or both.
Now that you’ve learned the building blocks on where to begin developing your social media strategy and how, let’s take a look at the most beneficial types of networks to apply what you’ve learned on.
Many online retailers are finding out how beneficial YouTube and video marketing can be to their social media presence online. While making a YouTube video about your company and your products or services is a great way to get your name out there, there’s more to it than that.
One of the best features on YouTube that many businesses often overlook is the playlist feature. This feature is a great way to keep YouTube visitors on your video channel. This is because this overlooked feature allows visitors to the channel to select from videos they want to watch and what they are interested in.
By creating your own YouTube playlists on your video channel for your business you get to control how they navigate through the website. This will help you to decrease the number of lost viewers.
Conversation is Key on Twitter
Twitter has been a great social media marketing tool for many businesses. But the problem that business owners often run into is how can you get the word out to the world about your brand and company in only 140 characters? The answer is simple. It all lies in the process of a great conversation style.
Yes, it’s great to get followers on the platform, but what good are your followers to you if they don’t engage with your Twitter page? Developing a relationship with your followers through conversation can help to create customers. These customers will then be impressed at how personal and conversational your business is and will recommend it to their friends and followers on Twitter as well.
When you are engaging your followers on Twitter, it’s important to use their language. Users seem to know when someone is being phony or fake with them so be sure to use the right tone and language when communicating. If your follower is not one for the newest slang phrases, well refrain from that.
Facebook Apps Can Increase Customers
You may not realize it, but you can use the apps on Facebook to help increase your fan engagement. Before as a page administrator on Facebook, you could have designated a landing page. However, because this is no longer an option, you have to get a bit more creative. By using customized apps, you can direct your Facebook fans to your website.
Creating an app to engage them can be something as simple as having them answer a series of shot questions in quiz form to find out more about what they are looking for. This can help you navigate them to your website for these specific purchases. These kinds of apps work wonderfully because they drive your traffic on Facebook right to your website and to the products specifically designed for them.
Share Ownership with Your Audience
A great way that man online businesses are using social media is to include integrated sharing tools on their product listings. This is a wonderful way to help encourage users to interact on those sites. While this is a great step in the right direction, there are businesses out there taking it even further and winning big because of that. Allow customers to share ownership is a great way to stand out in the crowd.
What is meant by this is creating a way for customers to customize or create their own products on your website. Then they share them out with their social media followers can allow you to get your brand out there even further. When you allow your customers to have a bit of ownership in your products you will begin to increase your brand loyalty and in turn the way your business is shared on social media
When you are starting out with the world of social media, things can be a bit overwhelming. That is why taking your time to develop and implement a social media marketing strategy can help your business to develop and maintain customers. Remember, it takes the time to develop an audience so if you are not getting a great result from your strategies right away, give it time.