Social media is a fantastic tool for any business and a key component of most marketing strategies. No sooner than a new social media platform is launched, than businesses are trying to work out how to use it to reach more people. But you’re not just going to double your sales by opening a Twitter account or starting a Facebook Page for your business. A strategic, well thought through social media, implemented consistently over time, plan can be hugely powerful.
First… A Definition of Social Media
Oxford Dictionaries defines social media as: “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.”
Nice and broad… but the definition gives a clue to where its power comes from. The users can create or share content or take part in social networking themselves. Some examples include, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr… and that’s just the UK’s top five according to the January 2015 Global Web Index survey, when Periscope had not even been born yet.
It’s an ever evolving and growing phenomenon, which is why it’s so important to upgrade your skills regularly, so let’s break it down with the highlights…
Build and nurture relationships. The saying goes “it’s not what you know but who you know…”and this premise looking to buy, and in turn for businesses trying to sell their product or service. People are more likely to buy from people they know, like, and trust, and social media allows you to create and nurture this. This is not just about pushing out content in the old fashioned sense of advertising but allowing your customers to contribute and influence your content. Empowering your customers to build relationships with each other also creates a community that they keep coming back to.
Enhance your brand identity. Social media allows you to create a personality for your brand. Creating a clear identity that your customers can relate to and building on the “know/like/trust” continuum that we mentioned above. If your target market is consistently seeing messages from you that reflect their own values and ideals, your brand will be more likely to be top of mind when they are ready to buy. It makes it an easy “yes” for your customers.
Add value for your customers. You can use social media to keep your customers coming back for more. Using social media to add value and make it easier to keep the communications flowing. You can provide amazing customer support, picking up on any problems or complaints mentioned in relation to your brand and solving them quickly (and publicly). You can provide resources that support your product or service, even creating a community around it. Or you can use your key social media platforms for a bit of research and development – people love to be listened to and actually have their ideas and suggestions acted upon (and it helps your product and service development too).
Reach more of the right people. It is recommended to go “an inch wide and a mile deep” when creating a niche and social media allows you to do just that. Whilst reaching a huge amount of people you can also be highly targeted so that your message is reaching the kind of people who are more likely to buy from you so that you can create a tribe for your brand.
Not sure social media marketing is for you?
Here are just a few ways that enhancing your social media marketing skills could help you.
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Driving your business start-up. Most new businesses can rarely afford to hire expensive marketing agencies and a lean start-up knows that having essential digital marketing skills within your business will help drive your business strategy and save you money in the long term.
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