The “one size fits all” days of marketing are long gone. Instead, social marketing is here to stay as is online marketing. What does it involve, and what are some of the best tactics small businesses can ramp up on and start using to not just “be in the picture” but also successfully grow their audiences/clients and sales?
First a look at Social Statistics and Focusing on Fits
According to a recent presentation done by Forward Progress, a Chicago based company that focuses on helping businesses achieve their next level of success, 72% of all Internet users are using social media. At the top of the lists? Some 1.5 billion people use Facebook, 300 million people use Linked In, and 359 million people use Google Plus, while 300 million people use Twitter. Not only have that, but 71% of users accessed their social media from a mobile devise.
As a business owner, you need to focus on the area or areas of social media marketing that will work best for you and your company. You don’t have to do all things, but once again, it’s critical to figure out on what fits best. And you can do this by trying things out, and seeing what works and doesn’t work. Then make changes and adapt.
Identify Your Target and Where They Exist
When it comes to online marketing and using avenues of social media, it really goes back to some things you might have done with traditional marketing. Ask yourself some key questions first:
1.Who is your target customer or client?
2.What do they look like?
3.Where are they located?
4.What industry – is there a specific one?
5.In the case of the Business to Consumer (B2C) what are your target clients’ likes, interests, buying patterns, and “hot buttons”?
6.Do they use mobile devises?
After identifying these key things, it’s then good to ask yourself, where do they exist? In the case of the B2C customer or client, what areas of social media do they tend to use? Is it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest? Are they part of the growing area of social mobile?
The Science of Engagement – Is there a magical tool?
It would be nice, but unfortunately social media marketing efforts doesn’t just have one “magical tool” that all business owners can use. It’s a matter of not just going after people to “like” your Facebook Business page. Instead, you have to dig a bit deeper and focus on your customers and clients. Engagement is a relationship building process, and some key things to consider? You want to have a conversational tone, don’t ignore messages you might receive in your “Inbox” along with responding back quickly and then thanking people for sharing information.
Another interesting statistic? The percentage of consumers who engage with their favorite brands do it via social media.
Don’t Forget to Measure the Outcomes of Your Efforts
Getting ramped up on social media marketing efforts is important, and after deciding what areas to focus on and then “doing it”? It’s important to also keep an eye on the outcomes. For instance, key things would be the following:
• Have your email contacts increased?
• Do you have new connections?
• Do you have new followers?
• Do you have new “likes”?
• Do you have new subscribers?
Some best ways to measure include tracking your links, possibly doing quick surveys as well as tracking sales, of course. It’s also good to use “Traffic Match” – with this you match who is coming to what social media sites. For instance, do you get more traffic on your Facebook business page, your landing pages, twitter, etc.? Also keep tabs on and check the key phrases and keywords you use in your content. Google AdWords Keyword Tool is one, and another is using Google Analytics.
The New “Hot Button” – Video Leads the Way
According to Adobe Digital Index’s The Social Intelligence Report Q12014, video engagement is up. In this detailed report, their statistics show that “…engagement with video posts is up 25% year-over-year, and posts with images provide the highest engagement rate, and text posts have declined.”
If you’ve never thought about including video, it might be time to think of a way to use it. As far as avenues, on how to do it? Some savvy business owners I know moved into this area by getting their YouTube account set up, and then have “learned by doing” as well as tapping into webinars for the “how to.” Generally speaking, Fridays seem to work the best when including and posting videos, and rule of thumb is having a video that runs no longer than 2 minutes long. After the 2 minute length, interest tends to decline.
Always a Changing Game but Resources for Help
Like traditional marketing efforts in the past, online marketing is always a changing game. But with numerous resources available, from free webinars as well as taking advantage of one of the numerous Social Media Week opportunities that are taking place throughout the country? It’s easier to now access and learn about new trends.