How do you know if social media should even be one of the marketing tools for your company?
That’s a great question, and one we’re asked regularly.
We believe you should, but there are some caveats…
- Know your customers – so at least start with the channel favoured by most of your customers. That way you can follow them, and see what is on their mind – who knows you could even help them out and make a sale!
- Remember that this is about being able to drive traffic to your website – if you don’t have fresh content, there is nothing new to see, and therefore no reason to visit
- Get personal – it’s not all about work, so you do need to share, and try to develop relationships
- Have fun – many of the most successful social media accounts know how to have fun – they really engage with their followers. What ideas do you have to encourage your followers to share?
- Don’t look for quick wins – whilst, if you search hard enough, you probably will find “overnight success” stories, it takes time to build a following and a relationship
- Return on investment can be hard to measure – to be honest, most marketers are still scratching their heads on this one. Some offer up metrics they argue demonstrate the impact, which is then shot down in flames by others. We think the jury is still out.
- Be prepared for negativity – it doesn’t always happen, but you may be called out on social media if there has been a problem, so have a process in place for how to handle it. The best way is to get it off line as quickly as possible, whilst remaining apologetic, friendly and professional.
In the interests of balance and fairness, we’ve shared some things to be aware of, but why are we saying you should consider social media?
- Improve your search engine optimisation – we’re not saying it’s the only way, but it does seem to improve your rankings
- Gain credibility – you want to show you listen to your customers, the business is professional, responsive and switched on
- Gain access to new customers – this is one of the easiest ways to reach people, especially if you know some companies you would like to do business with – targeted marketing has never been easier
- Showcase and promote your business
- PR – journalists commonly use social media, particularly Twitter, to look for experts when they are researching articles
- Market research – great way to find out what is concerning your potential customers – and you can target your marketing accordingly
- Build your database – this will only work if you’re driving traffic back to your website, and offer your readers a reason to share their contact details with you, but why wouldn’t you do that?
- Allows you to experiment with different mediums – images, video and text – yes, you can do this on your website too, but the results are far quicker to interpret on social media
We’re sure there are hundreds more others would add to this list. But when you are reviewing your marketing and polishing your marketing plan for the rest of the year, we urge you to add social media to the plan.