Spread the word via social media
Social media allows people to connect online with others who share similar interests. Popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube enable communication between two or more people to share their thoughts in real time, at any time – enabling individuals and organizations to ‘be followed’ or to ‘follow’ others in a never ending quest to be aware of the latest developments or happenings. The more followers you have or the larger your network becomes, the more people you can influence or reach with your opinions or offering.
Businesses looking to stay top-of-mind with prospects cannot afford to ignore this form of outreach. Social media trends are clear; it’s a powerful way to exponentially reach prospects with benefits that include:
- Increased business exposure
- Increased website traffic
- Improved search engine rankings
- Ability to obtain marketplace intelligence
- Increased number of leads
- Developing loyal fans
A word of caution
Ideally, you want your marketing campaign or program to ‘spread’ virally via social media, making your business an instant hit, but be aware. It takes time to monitor discussions and engage in conversations online. New social media monitoring tools can help, but for many, monitoring what their customers and prospects say online can become a full-time job.
It’s a 24/7 world
With social media integrated into smart phones and tablet PCs, customer service expectations have risen, turning the ‘8am -5pm, Monday through Friday’ customer into a ’24 hour, 7 days a week’ customer needing to be kept satisfied. Since customer referrals are one of the strongest forms of convincing prospects to purchase, influencing customers to share positive feedback – instantly – about your offering should be vital to your growth strategy. You may want to go further and use social media to thank them for their reviews with coupons or discounts for future purchases.
Learn before you leap
Because social media tends to be less expensive to execute than other forms of marketing, it’s commonly used among small businesses and entrepreneurs to raise awareness. Before embarking on this new area, however, research trends and expectations, then develop the right social media strategy for your business. With your strategy defined, you’ll need to manage, monitor and maintain your presence on each social media site to meet expectations you have set and reap the benefits you seek.