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.

Benefits

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 of the time it takes to monitor discussions or to participate in conversations happening.  According to Social Media Examiner’s 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report where 5700 respondents participated in their survey, 64% of marketers indicated they use social media for 6 hours or more per week, 41% indicated they used it for 11 hours or more, and  20% said they spent more than 20 hours each week so the time commitment is worth noting.1

Tips!

  • Research social media sites and trends supporting your business focus.
  • Develop a social media strategy to help set expectations with your target audience.
  • Managing your business’s presence on social media sites is a challenge, but there are tools to help you.

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.

Sources:
1 Michael A. Stelzner, “2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses,” Social Media Examiner, last modified May 23, 2017, http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-marketing-industry-report-2017/.