A lot of businesses see social media as a free vehicle to promote their business and gain customers. I do not blame them. The amount of noise telling them to be on social media is atrocious. They make it seem like you sign up and customers start sending you checks in the mail. The problem is they do not tell you how much time it takes, the failure rate, and how to do it. There are many social media experts who skate around the HOW to get customers from social media. Here are some actual tips to get customers so your business does not join the Twitter/Facebook graveyard.
First, you need a strategy. You cannot just make the profiles and run with it. You might waste a lot of your time which cannot happen. Use this guide below. This is a simple strategy that I would use for my business.
- Men and Women business owners and marketing managers.
- Ages 22 – 60.
- Do not know how to use new age technology to reach their customers.
- Need help using the internet to connect with their customers.
- Manage the marketing of a business.
- Can afford an effective marketing budget.
- New college graduates and longer-term marketing professionals.
- Have experience with internet marketing or are willing to learn new skills.
- They would be considered top talent.
How to Reach Them.
- Pick the best platforms to reach them: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc…
- Make sure to pick 2 to 3 most effective platforms. Having as many as possible is not always the best method.
- Get a blog. To be social you need to say more than 140 characters.
What Content For Your Blog.
- Compile a list of topics and content your target market is interested in.
- Make a list of questions or problems your target market has.
- Use the topics and content and align it with the questions or problems to get an idea of what content you should formulate.
- For instance – Social Media Tips for Small Business Owners = Topics and Content; “How to use Social Media for your Small Business” = the question which is to be answered.
- You do not have to use both together but you should either answer a question or talk about a hot topic with your target market.
What Content for the Platform.
- Identify your risk threshold. How daring do you want your content to be? How creative, funny, or impactful. You need to evaluate this based on your target market.
- What content do you think will be shared the most? You need imagery for Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Infographics are great but for Twitter should you need to share articles, your blogs, your competitor’s blogs, and more. Write down what you are going to share.
Tactics to Retain Social Visitors.
Focus on “Shareability”
Too many businesses post boring content. Just because you sell wallets does not mean you have to talk about wallets. Talk about new technologies, clothing lines, or create funny content. The content that has the most shares, likes, and positive comments wins. Remember nothing matters but having positive responses from your target market.
Avoid Emotional Topics (Politics, Religion, and Sports)
I know I just talked about shareability and negative emotional topics share the most (think news channel). But you cannot because you cannot have your brand aligned with any emotional topics. Think of Chick Fil A.
Even if you see bigger brands joining it resist the urge to do it. 97 times out of 100 it will hurt you more than help you. No matter what your stand or believe in it does not matter. Remember you are a business.
Do not just post content. This is where the time sink comes into play. You need to be proactive and liking, sharing, and commenting on other peoples content with your Facebook page, Instagram page, or G+ page. You need to follow and retweet, reply, favorite just as many tweets are people are doing for you. You need to repining and commenting constantly on Pinterest.
Social Media is Not Just a Mass Marketing Tool.
Social media is a hybrid direct selling and marketing tool. On one hand, you have the content that is share which is mass marketing. But on the other hand, you have the interaction which is more align with direct selling because you have a one to one interaction. And just to clarify just because you have an interaction does not mean you are directly pitching someone. But if someone retweets my tweet I’m going to check out his or her business to learn more.
So do not think this is an easy mass marketing tool. It’s a hybrid and a gigantic time sink but can provide huge results with the right strategy.
Do not forget advertising. I would stay away from the Twitter advertising but LinkedIn and Facebook advertising is great for B2B and B2C target markets. But do not say “XXX Company, “We do XXX things and are really cool”. Take one of your blogs and promote it on the newsfeed. Target your target market and make a blog with one of those questions. For instance, “Number one mistake businesses make on social media”, “See why your SEO Company isn’t working”, etc…
Or if you are a restaurant it’s a good idea to promote your lunch specials and dinner specials at certain times.
How This Gets You Customers.
So if you are constantly producing shareable content and having direct interactions you will see more website traffic, phone calls from people who might have a need for your services or walk-ins from your social media pages. The effect is you will get found and people who need you will buy from you.
Stay on Track
Since you have a strategy make sure you stay on track. Review it once every month to make sure you are following the guidelines. Too many strategies find the trash bin right after they are made.
I hope this helps and best of luck!