Social Media Marketing and the businesses that utilize it are continuously becoming more advanced. More small businesses are beginning to understand the need to use online communities to grow their businesses. Although small businesses have recognized that engagement and interactions are the basics of social media marketing, most do not know how to utilize it effectively.
Here are 5 tips that small businesses should use to take full advantage of Social Media.
1. Use Social Media as a Sales Tool
- There is a direct link between fans, followers, likes … and real sales activity. Special offers, coupons, event postings, sweepstakes, and campaigns can get strong responses from fans who could become real customers. Utilize some of these techniques to convert fans to sales.
- Today social marketing is very much about engagement which comes from active interactions with your fans. Simple postings and waiting for your community to respond is not true engagement. To increase your sales you have to respond properly and quickly to what people are posting. You will also need to add value to the post by actually helping your fans with key issues and questions they may have.
- Social search uses your Social Graph to determine relevance of search results. This is an emerging technique which search engines are using today to factor content from user’s social network into the results of their search queries. With the development of Google+, Bing social search engine and Facebook Graph Search, marketers are now using social search as a part of their marketing and sales strategy.
- Today many online social media tools are available. Using these tools will increase your sale productivity and increase revenue if they are used well. For example, you can use Cool Mojito to easily create and customize your fan page, increase your fanbase, do marketing campaigns with contests and sweepstakes, and sell your products directly on Facebook without the need of a technical or marketing staff.
Cool Mojito – Social Media Marketing. More Likes, More Leads, More Sales
rSitez – Create your own Social Networking Website
2. Increasing your Use of Multimedia and Video
People are now using the internet to look for product images and videos; they want detailed information and want to see what they are going to buy. Videos are very useful in explaining complex processes, by showing step by step directions and it may have greater effect then a well written article. Videos should be used as a sales tool where you are able to mix product information with product value to increase sales. Youtube videos are also often ranked higher than other posted content.
3. Integrated Advertisement Techniques
In the past, businesses were only using offline advertisement techniques like print, radio or cable networks to market their products. But now social media has become a popular marketing platform and people are utilizing it extensively to market their products. Many small businesses and companies are now using both advertising techniques to increase sales. Including your blog/website or Facebook URL in offline advertisements acts as a social proof, and helps invite more customers to see your community and build trust in your business. It introduces more people to your social community and some of them may end up becoming customers.
4. Respond Quickly to Customer Complaints, Suggestions and online Conversations
Customers make purchases from brands they trust. In the past, if people had a bad or good experience with any company, it might take weeks or months to tell their friends and families about that experience. Today with websites like Facebook and Twitter it takes only seconds to share a negative experience. You can’t really control what customers do but you can control what happens next. You should be monitoring the online conversations about your brand. You can do this be checking and responding to any comments made on social media about your brand. You should also monitor posts made on other online websites. You can do this easily with Google Alerts. Each time Google index new content about your brand they will send you an email with a link to the site that they found the content. Businesses that respond quickly to customers’ complaints and suggestions through these networks will improve customer trust, the quality of their services, and customer satisfaction. This often can translate to sales.
5. Mobile is now a Requirement
Mobile phone is quickly becoming the main way to access social media. Due to this, companies are regarding mobile phones as an important communication medium. Companies are organizing their web content, so that it can easily be accessed by all sort of mobile devices. To increase their sales and customer satisfaction entrepreneurs are now taking into account the different kinds of mobile devices. As you build your brand online and seek new ways to improve your sales you will need to include mobile as a critical piece of this puzzle. The more ways you give customers to access your product or services the more opportunities you create for sales.
Today we live in the age of open communication and transparency. Although traditional advertisement techniques still have some value, social websites like Facebook and Twitter allow a whole new communication medium which previously was unknown to most companies. Today’s success of any company or business depends on the proper utilization of the above new emerging tools and techniques. Businesses that are not properly adapting new business techniques are at on increasing disadvantage. The customers of these businesses will eventually move away and build relationships with their competitors while they become less relevant. Therefore, in this competitive market, the adaption and the proper usage of social media, mobile and other technologies is becoming less optional and more of a requirement for ongoing sales, survival and growth of your business.
Rohan Hall is the author of Stop Working, a book that teaches entrepreneurs how to build global businesses with technology and strategic partnerships. He is the Founder/CEO of CoolMojito which focus of Social Media Marketing; and the Founder or rSitez, used by entrepreneurs to start their own social networking websites.