Companies have also increasingly discovered the value of that Social media can add to their marketing operations.
Let’s pause just a little bit… think…travel back in time to 1995, before wi-fi and Social Media. The only sources of information and marketing then were TV (switched off by midnight then), Radio (only countable) and Newspapers (the newspaper guy would probably run hours late daily).
Fast forward to today, it is clear that social media has of late disrupted the traditional media and its marketing ways.
This has seen the rise of Social Media Marketing, a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals.
Social media is turning out to be quite a powerful marketing tool, due to its real-time and affordable nature. More and more businesses are moving away from the traditional media advertising ways, i.e TV Radio, Bill Boards and Newspapers due to their expensive nature.
Your customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you’re missing out!
Here are some of the ways you can take advantage of the Social Media Wave to flourish…
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin , Tumblr, Google Plus are all free platforms businesses can use to directly engage with their audiences.
Try and have a presence in all but ensure, you identify the best platform that will reach your target audience largely. I.e if your business targets young people below the age of 25 years, Instagram and Facebook may be the best platforms to market your products in. If your products target professionals well LinkedIN Platform will be a unique platform for you
This is quite key to any business that wants to make use of the social media. Always have in a place a social media plan and ensure that you are quite consistent in your posting. Also consider your business goals when coming up with the strategy. Ensure that your business SM account always has something unique and fresh for your followers. It is also okay to hire or have a social media strategist to help you manage your accounts. Lack of Social Media Plan or strategy is more like wandering in the forest without a map… you will definitely have fun but then you might get lost at some point
Always ensure that your social media accounts are built early enough…at times way before the actual launch of your product. Start off by sharing information about the industry you are venturing in. Become a resource of information. Connect with others in your industry and talk to them.
Start off by connecting with journalists and bloggers. You can do this by reading and sharing their content beforehand. Sharing press materials with bloggers and journalists beforehand may also go a long way. This may take some time and may differ with people from time to time. By connecting and developing relationships with influencers and experts in your field of business will help you down the road. When you approach them later, they’ll be more likely to recognize your name, or at least be receptive, because you have the knowledge of what they cover.
This is quite key for any business that seeks to market its products on Social Media. Ensure that you have the right following. Remember, you might have a great following on Twitter and Facebook but are they right audience for you business? Ensure that the people or businesses that you fall meet the quality of your target audience. Figuring out where to find your target market on social media also can take time, and involves searching for people who are talking about topics that are important to you. There are many social listening tools out there that can help i.e FollowerWonk and SpiderQube.
You can always participate in Google hang outs, Facebook Live or even Twitter Chats as long as topics in discussion are relevant to your business. It is also a misconception that the key platforms where businesses can flourish is Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN. How about trying platforms like Tumblr. I will give you an example IBM does a fantastic job on Tumblr because the content they create for it and share there really taps into the type of content that Tumblr fans like.
You need to realise that people will not frequently visit your page if all you do is call on them to “buy your products.” People also want to join in other conversations. Create them and also participate in other conversations.
It wouldn’t cost much to at least put out something to reach a bigger audience. Always make use of the paid for Ads, which are uniquely quite cheap. For example on Facebook to reach over 400 people all you need is to part with roughly Ksh 400, which is not that bad. Nothing good comes for free but comparing this to having a commercial advert on Traditional Media, well Social Media Wins.. Ten-Nil
To engage with your audience, once in a while set-up, a social media campaign once in a while. I.e You can always come up with a Twitter Poll on your platform and have it up as a pinned tweet for a week. This helps you jog your audience mind and know on what lines they are thinking. Through the data or information collected, you can anlyze and know how best to improve your product.
Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales, however, in everything you do on social media, you need to take caution. Remember, you may take years to build a brand but then just a second to lose it all. Always think before putting out that tweet!
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