How many times have you heard a business say we’ve just opened up a Facebook account, or set ourselves up on Twitter and posted our first tweet?
Often, we guess. How many of those business then left it at that and never did anything more to raise their social profiles? Probably even more, we’d guarantee.
Social media marketing is all about engaging with customers and having resonance with your audience.
It has to be worked at, and it also has to be crafted. Most importantly of all though, it has to be underpinned by a strategy. In the first part of this article we had a look at defining a social media strategy, starting small and avoiding the pitfalls of over-selling: in the final part of the blog we’ll take a look at getting to know your audience, being prepared and patient, and remaining social at all times.
Identify your audience.
If you’ve just spent an hour crafting a blog that would have Shakespeare drooling and then sent it people who didn’t want to read it, you’d have every right to feel miffed. The problem is you’d only have yourself to blame though. There’s no point marketing to people who aren’t interested. You have to know your audience and you need to identify what sort of customer profile you’re targeting. So ask yourself the basic questions: who are my customers, how old are they, where do they live, what are they interested in, what do they spend their money on, what websites do they like to look at, when do they spend the most time online and which sites do they trust for their news and information? If you can answer these questions and any others that might spring to mind, you’ll be able to draw up a targeted strategy that will ensure you’re not likely to waste any more time in the future. Not only will you be able to reach them, but you’ll also know where and when to do this.
Stay alert and be prepared.
Things can change quickly in today’s digital world. That’s one of the major benefits, but it can also be a significant drawback. Real-time communication has to be monitored all the time. That’s particularly true with the social media. Things can change in an instant, so you’ll need to be on your game all the time and make whatever changes might be necessary. Some businesses who fail to heed this warning are no longer doing business. If you start to get negative feedback, for example, then you can’t afford to hide and hope it will go away on its own: you’ll need to deal with it quickly and effectively. You’ll have to nip it in the bud, and hold your hands up in apology if you’ve dropped a clanger somewhere. Honesty is always the best policy. If it all seems too much, you can always get a social media consultant in to do it for you, whilst you concentrate on what you do best. What’s important is that you do something.
Be patient and don’t expect the moon on a stick.
Forget the Guinness advert, even if the sentiment may be true. You have to be patient and you have to wait before the results of your social media marketing campaign starts to bear fruit. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You won’t see results overnight: in fact you might not notice anything for a month or two, but if you stick at it and keep on track with your targeted strategy, then sooner or later you’ll start to notice the benefits.
Maintain your social identity.
The clue is in the title really: it’s the social media, so you’ll need to be social. Don’t make your marketing a drudge. Make sure you enjoy what you do. After all, if it looks like you’re having fun, others will pick up on this vibe and will start to have fun with you. Enthusiasm can be infectious. It’s no different with engagement.
Participate in discussions and embrace the rest of the community, and you’ll quickly discover that selling goods and services online isn’t as difficult or as onerous as you probably expected. If you can see things from your customer’s viewpoint and understand what they feel, you’ll find that you’ll engage more easily. Be conversational, be entertaining and stay social if you want to guarantee success.