You simply can’t survive in the business world today without a successful social media strategy, and yet, some companies are just not seeing the results they should. Here’s why.
On the surface, social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook seem like everything a small business could want. All of these sites are designed solely to connect users together. Each has hundreds of millions of people signing in, and passing around links and images on a daily basis. If a small business can properly utilize one or more of these venues with regards to advertising, it stands to reason that they could reach far more people than traditional methods at a fraction of the cost.
The impact of social media is definitely not the myth that many people seem to think it is. While many small businesses are finding great deals of success with these types of sites, it is definitely because they know how to both work the services themselves and reach a target audience.
You Have to Do it Right
In order to have successful marketing on a service like Twitter, for example, the ways in which you utilize the social networking site need to be more than just a marketing gimmick. Companies that haven’t seen success with these platforms tend to not know the best way to engage with a target audience. From the customer’s perspective, social networking is by far one of the easiest ways to interact with everything from a small business to a major celebrity. Everyone is on a level playing field. As a result, you can’t just sign your business up for a Twitter page and expect it to become a success overnight. You have to be able to rise above the noise with something unique, be it your services, your catchy headlines, your informative posts, or your sense of humor. Find what you share that performs well in your analytics, identify what made it unique, and play to that strength.
You have to use it the way the users themselves are. People will only follow your company on Twitter (or “friend” it on Facebook) if you provide content that is actually worth following. People need to get the sense that there is an actual human being behind a username and that it isn’t just for the sake of promotion. If a customer asks a question to your business’ Twitter page, they expect to receive an answer. And they expect it fast.
Another important factor for getting the most out of social media as a platform is to simply have fun with the whole ordeal. If you are in the technology industry and you come across an interesting article that you haven’t seen before, share it with your Twitter followers or Facebook friends. Even if it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your business or what you’re doing at the moment, it will still go a long way towards establishing a rapport with the people you are trying to connect with.
You also need to get discussions going. If you’re a local business and a news story hits home, engage with people who are also in the same area. One of the great things about Twitter and Facebook is that you can search for people by where they’re located.
It is important to realize that you won’t find success on social media overnight. The people who swear that the power of social media is a myth seem to be those that aren’t willing to put the time in to get the most out of a still growing technology. You can’t just put up a Facebook profile for your business and expect it to instantly be discovered by millions of people. However, if you’re willing to put the time in and start growing your online audience in small increments, you will soon find that the time paid for itself in the form of new customers, clients and higher sales.