If you don’t know what social media is, you have probably heard of it. The most popular of social media platforms are mentioned in the media daily; Facebook and Twitter. In it’s most basic form social media are internet platforms and tools that encourage sharing and discussing of information among human beings. When it comes to your business it is all about engaging like minded individuals. If you want to find and be found by customers you need to be where they are. Today, that means you have to have a social media presence, because that is where your customers are.
This short report will cover the most critical items you need to be aware of when it comes to social media for your business.
Everyone is on Twitter and Facebook: OK, not everyone is on Twitter and Facebook, but the amount of users are staggering. It is estimated that these two social media hubs have around 700 MILLION users combined. That is a lot of people. Even more surprising is that all age groups and demographics are represented. Some more than others of course, but even the older demographics are steadily growing. It is likely that millions of people interested in your offer are using these social media services
Social Media Is About Engagement: Joining social media sites like Twitter and Facebook isn’t about spamming your offers. It is about engaging with your potential customers. You want to watch and listen to what they are saying about your product or offer online. You want join some of these conversations, and know when not to. You want to offer helpful advice more often than you advertise. The goal of social media is to built a community around your brand or product, only engaging with customers will allow you to do that.
Monitor Your Reputation: Social media makes it easier to share information faster than ever. People seem to love to circulate bad reviews of businesses or professionals. One irate customer can lead to thousands of people seeing their rant in minutes. You want to ensure you have a presence in social media so you can meet these claims heads on. You can defend yourself from any slander, explain misunderstanding or make things right with the customer. Any of these actions will lead to more loyal followers.
Get Staff Involved: The number one complaint I hear is: “I am a business owner, I don’t have the time to be on Twitter and Facebook 24 hours a day.” Great point. Neither do I actually. I don’t think many business people in general do. I have two responses to that. First, it doesn’t take a huge time commitment to do the minimum required to have at least a basic social media presence. Secondly, get your staff involved. Younger staff will often enjoy a task like this. One tip though, make sure you have a couple staff participate, that way if you lose one of them there is no pause in your social media marketing.
Where Do I Start: We have went over why social media is important, and some of the ways you should use it. What should you do if you want to get started today? I think at the very minimum you need a Twitter and Facebook presence. You can set up your Twitter account at Twitter.com. I suggest that you fill out your profile fully and add a picture. On Facebook, you will want to create a personal profile and then use that profile to create a “fan page”. A regularly updated Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account are basic social media steps that all businesses should take.
As a consumer base we are growing more cynical and wary of traditional advertising. If you want to ensure that you can still reach a broad audience then you need to tap into social media. This relatively new technology allows businesses unparalleled access to their customers. At the end of the day you want to be where your customers are, so don’t ignore the 700 million people on Twitter and Facebook.