If you’re hoping to grow your business, you not only can’t ignore social media, you have to utilize it in the right way, and to the greatest extent possible. 101 Management, Inc., can help you fine-tune your battle plan, but first, you need to understand the value of social media marketing, and how to take advantage of its unique features to maximize profits for your business.
Why social media is important
Effective social media marketing is vital to the success of your business because, according to Pew Research, 69 percent of Americans engage in social media. At least a third of the world’s population uses it regularly. Why? One reason is because of the “social” part of “social media.” Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, among others, help foster a sense of community among those who share common interests. As people exchange messages on these various platforms, they begin to feel they know those with whom they’re communicating.
As a business owner, this gives you an automatic advantage over the old-fashioned types of radio, TV, newspaper, and direct mail advertising. Those forms of selling, while effective enough in their day, lacked the intimacy that arises from seeing ads on your own personal feed. In addition, they lacked the targeting precision that can be achieved with this new era of advertising.
Two strategies for social media marketing
Because social media sites provide real-time engagement with customers and potential customers, they are invaluable for both receiving feedback from and interacting with your market. There are two main types of strategies for using social media to sell your products or services: active and passive.
The active type of marketing is the updated digital equivalent of the older-style marketing that did its best to target ads to interested parties: cookware in Woman’s Day and Redbook magazines, for example, or beer on televised football games, or financial instruments in the business section of newspapers. Today, thanks to such hyper-targeting available on Facebook and Instagram, it’s now possible to define your audience to a degree only dreamed of in the past. If you sell wedding favors for pet lovers, for instance, you now have the information that can allow you to target your ads only to those engaged couples who own dogs.
Passive marketing involves the type of interactive feedback you obtain directly from your customers and potential customers. Again, with older types of marketing, advertisers had to conduct marketing surveys and hold focus groups or wait for phone calls or letters to arrive from disgruntled customers. Today, you can hear directly and immediately from customers, either through texts and emails, or in online communities that include blogs, forums, and such rating sites as Yelp. This allows you to adjust your product or service to respond to negative comments, or to tweak your ad campaign to highlight different features or appeal to a different audience segment. If you’ve ever seen company representatives respond to negative comments about their products or services on such sites as Yelp or Home Depot, you know how valuable such rapid responses can be in overcoming unfavorable reviews.
Engagement is the key
Because of the immediacy of social media, it’s not only possible but necessary that you encourage engagement with your customers and potential customers. This involves fostering both the active and passive forms of interaction with them. You need to post regularly to various social media sites, and your posts need to be interesting as well as informative about your product or service without being spammy. They also must be worthy of being shared. In addition, you also need to encourage the type of passive marketing that will help you gain insight into your customers’ opinions about what you’re selling.
If all this sounds overwhelming, not to worry. We know exactly how to help you cultivate strong audience relationships through the effective use of social media. Future posts will delve into more detail about each of these facets of social media relationships as well as other aspects you need to be successful in this important advertising medium. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We can help!