Social Media Marketing. Are You Missing Out?
Many companies are successfully using social media marketing (SMM) as a sales tool, and rightfully so. When used properly, social media connects you with existing and potential customers. It allows you to create a relationship with a broad range of people that otherwise you could never contact. You are gaining exposure to these customers by joining the ranks of friends, families, hobbies, and interests on their social media networks. Successful social media marketing is more than generating sales from customers/friends/followers you gain online. It’s about establishing a presence, creating and maintaining a relationship and gaining their trust.
One of the biggest misconceptions with social media is that it is only the younger crowds that use it. There are over 500 million users on Facebook, and the age group for users is quite surprising. Facebook reports a growing demographic of users aged 35 and older, Twitter’s median user age is 31 years old, and LinkedIn’s reported median user age is 41 years old. With social networking and multimedia reaching more than 80% of the North American population, chances are your target audience is already online.
One of the strongest points about SMM is the viral capability. The active user has an average of over 100 friends in their network. Each time they interact with your company’s profile, page or event those 100 friends can view this activity. If even 5 of their friends take the same action, each of their 100 or so friends can see this activity and do the same. This causes a chain reaction within the networks, providing your company with an outstanding level of exposure.
In order to create a successful online following and take advantage of all that potential, you need to be personable and conversational. Posting sales pitch after sales pitch on your networks is only going to deter people from following your page. Interesting facts, helpful information regarding your industry, and things consumers should know are all good topics to be posting about online. Make them want to listen to what you have to say. Be the answer to their questions, and a resource for information.
While social media is an effective and fast growing way of communicating with your customers, it is important to remember that this is a sales tool, not a miracle. It can take anywhere from 6-12 months to build a strong social media/online presence. Much like other forms of sales and marketing, you will only get out of social media what you put into it. It will take time, energy and effort to build and maintain your SMM successfully, but the rewards are well worth it.