I’ve come across many small business owners who are still tentative about entering the Social Media Marketing arena for their business. Maybe they think it’s confusing, overwhelming, or scared it will hurt their brand’s image, but Social Media Marketing doesn’t need to be scary, and there’s no reason to hide from it any longer.
Some of the fears I’ve come across are:
- We have to give away things for free and I can’t afford to keep giving it all away for free
- I can’t control the conversation, so I’m not even going to try
- Social Media Marketing won’t work for us
- Social Media is just for young people
- All you need is Facebook
- Results can’t be measured so I won’t know it’s working
First of all, Social Media Marketing should be used to increase your brand’s awareness and generate leads or identify potential customers so you can turn them into actual customers. Social Media Marketing should extend the reach of your existing efforts and taken seriously.
You may want to offer special promotions just for your social media followers but you don’t have to give everything away for free. You can use “Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off” or “Mention you saw our post and receive 10% off”; people will flock to deals but it has to make sense for your business. You also don’t want people who just want things for free, so get creative with your promotions so people have to do something in return for your special offer: “Like us on Facebook & receive a free drink refill”.
Social Media Marketing is a conversation your business has with your followers. Many owners feel that since they can’t control the conversation to keep away negative comments, they shouldn’t even try, so they stay out of Social Media. But I’ve got news for you…Those conversations are happening anyway, without you, so wouldn’t you rather be able to state your side of the story and show people you care about what is going on?? If you can install some real facts people will realize the false claims are made up, and that would be better than all that negativity spreading like wildfire. Besides, if you’re giving your attention to providing great customer service with great products, people won’t be spreading negativity about your brand; but you have to be a part of the conversation to make a difference!
Social Media Marketing can work for any size of business, but you need to set clear attainable goals that won’t be overwhelming for you. Decide what’s important for your business to achieve and tailor your posts towards your target audience to make Social Media effective for your business. Search for what people are saying about your brand, about your industry, and try to make your business “fix” what people wish could happen. If you can provide people what they want, your business will be successful. Over 1 Billion People are on Facebook and 200 Million are on Twitter, do you really want to miss out on all that potential business??
And Social Media isn’t just for young people. More and more older people are using Social Media to connect with friends & family and are often loyal to brands they prefer; get those already loyal fans to be your brand ambassador, and your reach greatly increases!
You may start with Facebook to ease yourself into Social Media, but to truly be effective, you need to spread out to different social networks to go where your customers are. For example, if you’re in design or fashion, you’ll probably want to be on Pinterest and Instagram where photos will tell your brand’s story better than any text. Women are the majority demographic on these platforms and they’re going to be the ones to purchase your product or service, so capture those potential customers! After you start building your following on these Social Media Platforms, which may take a few months, then you need to branch out to Blogs or Email Marketing so you can better target your main audience to provide them with information they want and need. You certainly do not need to be in all of the networks, but you need to be in the ones that will make a difference for your business.
Results *can* be measured. Facebook has recently updated and expanded their analytical data to much more measureable demographics, when your fans are online, and what type of posts are best for your current fans; it’s crazy what kind of information they’re making available to business owners and it’s amazing. Facebook hit a homerun here. And if you pay attention on Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram, or whatever platform you’re on, you’re going to know which post did better in terms of retweet, shares, and comments. All you have to do is pay attention and you’ll see the results you’re looking for.
Social Media Marketing takes time, much more than some owners realize. You need to find content that will be helpful and fun for your target audience. You need to do research when your fans are online and post during that time so you can ensure your message is being heard. You need to interact with customers and respond in a timely fashion. You need to interpret the analytical data to know if what you’re doing is working, and if not, you need to figure out how to make the changes so your efforts will work.
Social Media Marketing is time consuming, but we can make it easy for you. Aliro Marketing wants to be your Social Media partner to manage your accounts for you and enable you to do what you do best–run your business. Please visit our website (www.aliromarketing.com), Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/AliroMarketing), or Twitter (https://twitter.com/aliromarketing) to find out what we can do for you. Contact us today (firstname.lastname@example.org) & get started on your path to success!