The biggest reason why businesses fail at Social Media Marketing is that they don’t understand that talking at someone is not the same as talking with someone. The word “social” implies that there is a conversation between two or more people. Many businesses use sites like Facebook to push their marketing messages out to the masses without engaging their followers or commenting on other people’s posts. One sided conversations become a turn-off on social sites. Picture going on a first date with a person who spends the entire night telling you how great they are and never allowing you the opportunity to speak. What are the chances you will ever want to see this person again? Knowing how to engage an audience with the use of both a personal page and business page and understanding how to balance the two pages so that it leads to engaging with your target audience and eventually converting followers to customers can be done successfully.
First, you must create a strategy for using Social Media Marketing. What is your company’s purpose for being on social sites and what do you want to get from the time you invest. Is your goal realistic based on the resources you have and the time you are willing to devote to this type of marketing? Do you take Facebook or Twitter seriously or is it something that is last on your “to-do” list? Have you built an in-house social team with your employees and friends and asked them to help you promote and engage on your social sites? Is social media marketing part of the culture at your company starting with you at the top?
Much like answering your business phone or making cold calls on prospects, if you and your employees participate on social media sites with a real strategy and consistency and offer quality content and are genuine in conversations, you will build brand awareness and close more sales. It does take time and it also takes being part of the conversation and caring about others who are on these sites to get people to engage and eventually convert to clients.
There are “do’s and don’ts” to each site and you can do damage to your business if you choose to be the annoying one online by spamming groups or other pages with your next big sales offer or if you decide to get in to a political battle or post jokes that are questionable or offensive. Consider that example of a first date that I mentioned in the first paragraph and ask yourself if you would share this stuff on that date and expect the person to still want to be around you again. Remember that YOU are representing your business and even if you think the people who follow you or are friends with you online will not judge you, chances are it will still hurt your business so avoid doing this.
If you are still confused as to how to position your business using social media consider hiring a marketing consultant to help you create a strategy. Look for one who uses social media successfully in your area and is willing to teach you and your team how to get success online!
All my best to your success! Charlene