A Short Guide To Social Media
Social media is a constantly evolving medium and one which businesses are trying to use to interact with their customers. It will be interesting to watch how social sites develop in the next few years and if there is one fact about social media to take away from this article it is this. It's not going away, it's only going to get bigger. With that fact in hand lets look at what you can do with social media today to help your business.
1) Go where the people go.
The main attraction to social media for a number of businesses is the opportunity to interact with and to influence their customers. Facebook has over 500 million users while Twitter has nearly 200 million. With so many potential customers using these social sites it is important to have a presence on them. Businesses have nothing to lose and everything to gain in signing up to these sites and creating branded business profiles. A lot of small businesses have no problem doing this but are then confused about what to do next.
2) What does your audience want?
To use social sites successfully you will need to approach it with an idea of what kind of things your udience will want to read and interact with. This can be fairly easy if you are running an online shop as you could post info and links to new products, how to articles etc. However if you are running a business that does not lend itself naturally to interacting online such as business insurance for example you may need to have a bit more creative. Just remember that people use social sites to interact with friends and for fun. Try not to bombard anyone with a constant one sided conversation. Your followers will not thank you for it. Use social sites to provide a human voice to a business, a point of contact and updates and interesting or useful pieces of info.
3) Have a point.
It is important to know what you want to get out of a social campaign. Is the point to get more sales, new business or build up a network of contacts. Different desired outcomes will require different approaches. If the object of your social accounts is to make sales make sure you test and measure along the way to see if you are getting a return on investment on the time you spend. Facebook has an advertising platform that allows businesses to advertise on a pay per click basis which makes selling to Facebook users fairly simple. Twitter is not as geared towards straight up selling and requires more of a conversational attitude.
4) Where do you want your customers?
With social media it is possible to push or pull. That is to say you can pull customers to your website or push them from your website into a social media channel. Often websites have social media buttons as their call to actions but do you want your customers leaving your site to click on to your Facebook page? I find it far more beneficial to use social media to pull users into your main site but it depends on the site.
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