A lot of business owners are yet to understand the full potential of social media.
While the concept of social media is based on casual interactions between you and your network; a place to talk about your weekend and share funny pictures – it’s also a land of business opportunities.
It is also worth mentioning at this point the term social web. The theory behind this term is in realising social media no longer is just a place we spend time when browsing the net, but has become integrated into our work and social existence. Social media has advanced to being encompassed in our everyday life and because of this it’s imperative businesses immerse themselves within these channels, to retain an authoritative place within the societal web.
But how can social media benefit your business?
As we already know, marketing and public relations have always focused on building relationships with target audiences, creating a stepping stone for prospective customers before making sales. Similarly, the same logic exists for social media and should therefore be regarded as highly for being a business tool.
Of course a business owner doesn’t want to be spending valuable time and expenses using social media channels if the ROI isn’t coming out on top. It’s for that reason businesses must continue to refer back to their metrics already in place from other marketing and communication targets.
Just like traditional marketing and communication campaigns, your presence on social media should be geared from an effective business angle. It comes down to setting strategic goals and objectives, then using these social media channels as the opportunities and portals for achieving the goals.
It’s a slower burn, but a highly lucrative one.
Keep in mind though, social media marketing isn’t a sprint to getting calls-to-actions and down-right sales, but a marathon that you need to be willing to see out the distance before achieving results.
Some possible tangible goals and objectives you may want to focus your social media activity could be; building relationships, raising awareness, encouraging engagement, educating and creating an understanding of brand qualities, as well as initiating the next step (calls-to-action), e.g. visit the website or make an enquiry.
A vital point to remember for social media to be a successful marketing tool is by treating it as just another form of branding – so each form of communication becomes a way of representing and reflecting your brand image.
Within communications and choice of actions, an underlying subliminal message should always be present. By continually referring back to your goals and objectives you can ensure you are sending out strategic messages about your brand and not just meaningless but fun chitchat. For example; the reason why you posted it, what you want your network to think about this, and eventually how you want them to act.
Building relationships with your network will not only be your first goal but your most valuable strategy. While you are building these relationships, you are given the opportunity for your network to become familiar with the business and realise why it’s worth buying from.
Be the human voice of your brand.
Lastly, no matter what size your business is, you must ensure in all social media correspondence you don’t appear as a corporation (even if you are). A human, personal engagement from one person to another, goes a long way, and will play a big role in your social media marketing effectiveness.
At the end of the day, it really does come down to a fine art. If you are willing to stay the distance, always communicate strategically referring back to your goals and objectives, it will open your business up to a reach of new prospective customers never experienced before.
By building worthwhile relationships with your network of prospective customers in this social web, while you may not get a person’s sale straight away, you are setting them up so when they are ready to make a purchase, your business is the first place they will think of.