Social media networks, such as Facebook and YouTube, can be used to market businesses. Actually, with over a billion people leaving comments or ‘liking’ daily it makes perfect sense to use this medium to generate more business awareness. It can become your word-of-mouth leads online. Each Facebook ‘friend’ is a potential customer. However, there are rules, as there is with anything, which you have to follow. This is not the environment for the hard sell. This is an opportunity for you to network in relaxed conversations and become part of the community while boosting your online visibility. Here, you can share videos and photos that will promote your products and services.
Be aware of who is following you on Facebook, their characteristics and why they are following you and then cater your marketing to that demographic.
Encourage users to post their photos of them using your services or products.
Roughly half of Facebook users check daily, so make sure you post regularly and you respond to post within 24 hours. When it comes to posting, make sure the content is interesting. You want your audience (otherwise known as your potential customers) looking forward to hearing from you and not looking for the opt out button/link.
As with all marketing strategies, have a clear goal with what you want to achieve and work towards that goal. Perhaps you might decide to post each morning on a daily special. Coupons are available, so your Facebook people only can receive these specials.
People like to do business with a person, not a faceless business. Facebook, along with other similar avenues, gives your business that human touch, a face and voice that others can relate to and develop a rapport. It takes time so be patient. Business has changed and the ones that adapt to that change have a far better chance of survival than those who snub new technologies and e-marketing.
Did you know that Facebook took third place in the most popular websites visited? Can your business afford not to be on it?
Similar to Facebook, but for professionals, is LinkedIn. It has over 225 million members and the number is still rising. Because it’s for business people, it’s important to keep your interaction very professional. There are a number of things that you shouldn’t do on LinkedIn under any circumstance and it’s important to point out a few here.
People may send you endorsements on your skills. You may not know these people or have dealt with them. Do not accept these endorsements if you don’t have those skills. Keep your professional integrity high.
We all have interest and things we love outside of business, but it isn’t appropriate to share these things in a professional setting. So, restrain from posting photos of your much-loved pet unless this has something to do with your business.
It’s easy to fall into informal communication, but don’t rattle on in lingo not suitable for professionals. How can other professionals take you seriously if you act in anyway other than professional?
Don’t provide recommendations or endorse other people if they haven’t earned it. If you recommend freely and without thought, then it will eventually turn people off once they realise your opinion and recommendations mean nothing.
It’s never a good idea in business to be pushy or rude, and that extends to all social media networks as well.
YouTube allows you to promote your services, products and business in a video medium. Use videos to launch a new product, provide instructions and highlight promotions. Remember that people are going to watch these videos only if they are solving a problem, providing information or for entertainment value so market to your audience.
Avoid videos that are too long, because the audience will lose interest. Each video has to contain quality and be watchable, after all this is your business and there is a level of professionalism required. You owe it to your business, your brand, and you. Be proud of your videos.
It’s a good idea to include call-to-action strategies as well. These could be leading your customer to buy your product or service, learn more about your business or products, give you feedback or ask for more information, rate your video, direct them to your website with the allurement of a discount or coupon code, and promote your business through their social media networks.
Promote all your social networks on your website and vice versa.
No part of this may be represented in any medium without written consent from the author. Mary Broadhurst c 2014