It’s no wonder many small business owners hesitate to get started with social media marketing. There just seems to be so much of it to take in, so many networks to join, blog posts to write, podcasts and videos to record – the list just goes on and on. And for those intrepid social media explorers who have started out, even more questions arise, including knowing what needs to be done and understanding why they’re doing it.
Social Media Marketing is not a replacement for traditional ‘offline’ marketing – but it is an excellent addition. Here’s why:
Connect – Social Media helps you to reach out to and connect with many more interesting & influential people than if you don’t take part. At a time when the majority of phone calls end up in the voicemail zone, using the social networks can be a more successful way to make that initial contact.
It’s surprising to find that quite senior decision makers and buyers are personally involved. You will find big business thought leaders, early adopters and big brands on Twitter or with Facebook Pages. OK, so they probably don’t send out every tweet themselves, but they will be kept informed of trending topics and notice people of interest.
Communicate – An important factor to remember with Social Media marketing is that it replaces the one-way message of the old, static, brochure-type website and enables you to communicate two-way and even multi-ways with your clients and prospective clients. You can find out what they really want, instead of merely guessing. Many large brands are discovering a whole new box of customer service tools in the social networks (those who get it are anyway).
You can send out your message to reach hundreds or thousands of people in an instant at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising or direct mail, and receive a response just as quickly. Your customers and prospective customers are getting used to having their say.
Consistent – With traditional marketing activities, you wouldn’t expect to do something only once or twice for it to bring you good results, would you? That would be like going to one networking meeting or mailing out one letter, and then sitting back waiting for the phone to ring. Instead you’d plan out a campaign of activities to take place over a few months or more. You would visit the networking groups regularly and send out a series of mailings – and follow them up too.
With Social Media marketing you need to commit to doing it consistently & correctly for it to work for your business. If you’re going to be on Twitter or any of the other online networks, you have to show up often to see any return. And if you have a blog, you need to post something at least once a week, every week.
Whether your prospective clients are parents, students, young mums, the retired or redundant or they are sole-traders or business tycoons, there is a way to connect and communicate with them using social media marketing.