Social media marketing (SMM) offers better reach, expanded area of coverage and enhances your brands awareness. Most importantly, it is a great tool for interaction and engagement with your target audience. Now is as good a time as any to adapt to the changing landscape and market your product or service through social media, if you haven’t already started.
Leveraging Social Networking in Business:
Social Networking is a Strategy Accelerator
It allows you to connect with people, strengthen your relationships with them and reach potential customers faster than ever before. How can you leverage social media for your business?
- The first step is to register on a social site and create an account. Add as many business contacts, colleagues and friends as you can to widen your business circle. Online business networking sites like LinkedIn are specifically tailored to facilitate professional communication and recommendation.
- Get on Facebook and set up your company as a group page (even more so now with the very recent addition of photo tagging for businesses). If you have a specific customer niche you want to reach, set up a LinkedIn or Facebook group and invite current clients and prospects to join. Update your page or the select group with regular, and engaging content as no Facebook presence is better than a lacking one that is not updated.
- Social networking sites enable you to get in touch with people who may be interested in your product or service. Communities within social networking sites which are formed on the basis of an opinion (E.g: “Likes” “Dislikes”) are great ‘entry points’ into potential customers’ mind space, and you are adding the human element to your product offering by connecting with them on the ‘same level’.
- Promoting and endorsing business through social networks helps build your online brand reputation.
- Blogging gives greater exposure to your business / sector expertise and knowledge. You benefit as social media users, a.k.a. your prospects from around the globe gain awareness about your business.
Here are some key social networking best practices that will help you engage with the online business community:
- Be Visible and Credible – Establish yourself as an expert in your field through regular updates via: blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook on news or updates in your area of expertise.
- Listen and Respond – Don’t participate in random conversations. Listen in on social networks, try to find out what is the online buzz, what your prospects need or are interested in. Then offer your opinion and solutions specific to the person in mind.
- Advise, Don’t Sell – Listen in to problems and offer expert advice. The more you have to give, the more you get back. People who use social networking sites have a natural aversion to receiving sales pitches. So be the expert first, build a strong online reputation in your field, and then leverage your social networking position to gently ‘recommend’ your products or services.
- Welcome Participation and Feedback – Let people talk to you. Developing relationships within social communities on the web can facilitate buy in, provide invaluable feedback and crowd-sourcing opportunities.
Social Networking for Business Growth: Use social networking to work your way into the hearts of potential customers. Don’t be pushy, and respect the tone and culture of the sites that you join. Gain and dispense knowledge and expertise, and soon social networking will give you a good boost as you market your products or services online.
Want a more in-depth idea on using social media to get better leads, drive results, gain ROI? We run a series of great Social Media Strategy for Business Workshops, but don’t take my word for it, see feedback here.