Social Media is fairly new to the world of marketing and has tremendous amount of potential for taking advantage of emerging into the global marketplace. Social Media has been defined as using online technology (accessible via a computer or mobile device) to communicate through the internet instantaneously. This may include sending a text, watching a video on YouTube (or other sites), sending images or audio messages, podcasts, reading and commenting on blogs, and using social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The possibilities are endless and when you start marketing your product or service through these communication channels you have opened your doors far and wide.
To narrow the scope let us take a close look at how to market through social media websites. As of June 2011 the top 5 social networking websites are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Ning. They are rated by the number of daily users on their website. Take for instance our #1 website, Facebook; they have 550 million daily users from all around the world. Imagine what you can do using the tools to market your product or service through an outlet of this size! In fact, most Facebook users expect to be able to join a group or be able to like your company. It goes with telling the story of their life when they want to show the world that they like you.
Create your Marketing Plan: You have many advantages to reaching millions of people a day using social media. Even though the scope is so large on who you can reach you still need to define your marketing strategy and target audience. You don’t want to go out there like a loose cannon. Who are you ultimately trying to reach? What is your capacity as far as handling sales? What kind of return on investment are you looking for? What is your advertising budget? How fast can you process orders?
Some of the filters you can choose from for reaching your target audience are location, demographics (age, gender, language), likes, interests, education and work. With these kinds of filters you can go local or global in a particular niche. The possibilities are endless which is why you need to narrow your scope.
Create your Advertisement: Now that you know what you want to sell, how much you can handle selling and who you want to sell it to you can create your advertisement.
- Open up your business account through whichever social media site you will be using.
- Ensure that you are able to stay within your budget and that the potential return on investment meets your needs.
- Input only applicable information about what you are trying to sell. You don’t want to get the person confused or off on another tangent.
- Always select a picture to put on your advertisement. People are visual. First they will see the picture and then wonder what you have to say.
- Only run one ad at a time. This type of advertisement is usually billed per click. If you are reaching your target audience then one ad will be enough. Otherwise, you will have the same person clicking on your ad and that will skew your data and you won’t know which ad really sold them on your product or service. Run one ad for a period of time and then run another ad when the one is over. This will give you an idea of which strategy is working best.
Tips for Successful Advertising: Now that you have created your ad you will want to follow these tips to have that ad work for you more effectively.
- Don’t send people to your home website page – people may get lost or side-tracked.
- Send people to a task specific landing page – if you want them to sign up for your newsletter then send them exactly to where they sign up. If you want them to buy your product send them to the shopping cart.
- Create a “Thank you” page – after they have completed the task they will be taken to a page that says “thank you” and this is where you would also ask them to either “like” you or “follow” you.
- Create a new ad – people get use to seeing the same thing over and over and next thing you know they don’t actually see your ad (even though it is right there). Create a new ad every couple of weeks so you stay fresh and your ad pops out to them. This will also help you improve your CTR (click through ratio).
- Don’t get discouraged – the onset of advertisement may appear to be slow. It takes time to build your marketing campaign to be successful. If one ad wasn’t as successful as you wanted then try something different next time. Brand recognition doesn’t happen overnight so if you are new to the website you have to get out there and build up your brand reputation first.
Customer Engagement: A true successful marketing campaign includes engaging your customers. Social media networking sites will allow you to do this on a fan page or twitter account. Here are some tips to help you to engage your customers.
- Design your page with excitement and brand recognition. First of all, you want people to recognize your company. Second of all, you want it to be fun to visit your page.
- Add apps to your page. Some ideas include, placing your favorite YouTube video on your page through “You Tube Box”(of course, you will want it to pertain to your business). Through “Networked Blogs” you can showcase your daily blog on your fan page. These are just a couple of ideas there are thousands of apps to choose from.
- Create your publishing settings to where you can update your fans about things they will want to know and make sure you don’t update them about minor details that may begin to annoy them.
- Create photo albums. People love to view pictures and want to know who is doing what. If you have special events break out the camera and put them on your fan page. You can also put pictures of your logo or products.
- Create status updates to keep people informed. Or to really boost engagement ask your fans or followers questions so that they will begin to engage in a conversation with your business. This is a great way to find out what people like, don’t like or want to see from your business.
- Keep an event calendar updated. You can invite people to attend any special event. It can be an online event or a physical location. Get people involved!
- Return comments. When someone leaves a comment on your profile page then shoot them something back in return.
Want More Likes? Naturally, in the world of marketing online the more likes (or followers) you get the more successful you are at reaching your customers. Here are some ways outside of buying them that you can get more likes.
- As already mentioned above – advertising on the website such as Facebook or Twitter.
- Promote your business page to your family and friends through your personal profile. You can suggest that they become fans of your business through your personal profile. We all have to start somewhere and really if they are your true friends they should like your business, right? Ask your friends to suggest your page to their friends and so forth. Before you know it you could have thousands of fans and likes.
- Send a powerful message. The power of headlines and titles are sometimes not given enough credit. Have the title of your fan page stand out and bring the WOW factor to people that come across it.
- Have credibility. Make sure your information is accurate and free of grammar and spelling errors.