Internet Marketing students and graduates know that as more businesses move online, social media is playing a larger role in marketing and brand development. For many business owners, making the transition from traditional sales based marketing to social media can be a daunting. Social media is most effective when it is used to connect directly with clients and customers and offer information. It is a means of establishing trust and providing thought leadership to your customers through the free exchange of ideas. Old models of hard sell marketing don’t work in the social platform. Globe University students are keeping up with technology and online tools. Here are some tips we have assembled for the effective use of social media to help grow your business.
1. Show your Expertise.
By sharing what you’ve learned throughout your career in your chosen area of trade, you can go far in building your brand online and offline. If your expertise is marketing, offer free tips on building a press kit or writing a press release. If you specialize in pet care, share a recipe for home made doggie treats. You are working towards building a reputation online that you are an expert in your field and building trust in your brand.
2. Be completely candid and sincere.
Transparency and honesty go a long way in establishing trust and keeping customers. Offer information about your business in a candid way. Your company blog can be a window to potential clients that can showcase your company’s operations.
3. Interact with your readers.
Don’t just post information, respond to comments. Follow-up with readers who’ve made an effort to communicate with you. Make it a two-way conversation!
4. Reward your best customers.
Online promotions geared towards your readers can be fun and effective. You can run them easily and change them often. Be creative, even whimsical in your approach. One LA bakery chain tweeted to its followers to whisper a password when you visit and receive a free treat. That campaign gained them over 17,000 twitter followers as their promotion went viral!
5. Increase your markets.
Social media can expand your company’s reach into different geographic markets. If you’re thinking about opening new locations, poll potential customers online and gain valuable information about the markets you’re interested in. You will gain potential customers who have a vested interest in what you are offering.
6. See where your customers are coming from.
Sites like Foursquare allow you to gather data about your customers like never before. Foursquare offers tools for businesses that can allow you to find out how many customers visit specific locations and then target frequent visitors with special offers.
7. Let customers contribute and spread the word for your business.
By getting customers involved through social media, you are giving them an active interest in your business. Passionate customers are more than willing to spread the word about your company online and offline. For example you can invite customers to write guest blog postings or film videos you can then post about their experiences with your business. Real world testimonials are more valuable than any ad you could purchase.
These are just a few ways to develop your online presence. The most important thing to remember is not to be overly aggressive in your marketing when you’re using social media. Your customers are not visiting your website or reading your blog for a hard sell. They are looking for interaction, information and entertainment. They’re open to marketing, especially if there is a valuable offer or discount involved, but leave the hard sell for your traditional marketing outlets. Work to build a community and you will reap the rewards of social media! Learn more about social media and internet marketing at Globe University!