An Introduction To Social Media Marketing Part One: Facebook & Twitter!
Social media is a wonderful and exciting world, and understanding each of the tools available will give you the confidence to build a real following that you can leverage to increase sales, expand brand awareness, or establish a personal relationship with your customers. Best of all, these social media platforms are free to use. As a small business, you may not have the budget to hire a social media manager or agency, but using social media doesn’t have to be expensive.
This guide will help you gain a firm grasp on using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. This guide will also touch base on other social platforms as well such as LinkedIn and YouTube. Once you understand the function of each platform, you’ll be able to navigate them with ease and functionality, and you can start creating buzz in no time.
Before We Begin…
Here are a few examples of ways in which you can use social media to expand and promote your business:
•Use Facebook and Google+ as a customer retention tool by personally posting on clients’ profiles, thanking them for their business.
•Tweet daily or weekly discounts to your followers on Twitter.
•Post new product pictures or recommended items on your Pinterest board, keeping your clients visually interested.
•Make your brand a vital resource by posting business related advice or tips on your Facebook page.
•Keep customers informed of your company’s happenings, events, or news via Google+.
•Post photos of relevant info (products, events, happy customers, everyday office happenings) on Facebook and Pinterest to give your followers a glimpse into your real life.
•Use all your social media platforms for sales leads. Potential clients may start messaging you on Facebook or Twitter, so be prepared to interact on these mediums as well.
Facebook: A Global Phenomenon!
You hear the social network being discussed in everyday conversation, whether it’s in an office, classroom, or home. It has allowed people to connect with each other anywhere in the world and is now a vital resource for businesses and brands too. Facebook is a virtual and free way for businesses to promote themselves, reach potential customers, and communicate with existing clients. Once you have a following, you can use Facebook to advertise new products, offer discount programs, and announce company news.
More than one billion users are active on Facebook today including many in your community. Neighbors are chatting about the takeout they just had. Parents are recommending kid-friendly excursions to one another. Colleagues are sharing career tips and beach reading suggestions. Facebook offers a connection into one another’s personal lives.
For a small business, Facebook offers a convenient, and often free, avenue to connect with potential customers. It gives businesses an opportunity to build relationships with existing customers and become a fixture in your community.
When people Like your Facebook Page, they’re opening your message to their own social network. When they comment on, or Like a status update or post, it will appear in some of their friends’ Facebook news feeds, sending your business viral. Also, when they Like your page, there is an opportunity for them to tag you in their own updates as well, opening you up to their friend list.
You want the people who Like your Page to read status updates, comment on and even share your updates with their friends.
This is important because the way Facebook decides what to show users in their news feed is based on whom they regularly interact with. If you want to be part of that, then you need to be worthy of their interaction. Facebook Pages aren’t for the lazy, but you also don’t have to be a professional or post a billion times a week.
Twitter: Another Global Phenomenon!
The word “tweet” may sound silly, but the results of tweeting are not. Millions of users on Twitter tweet updates everyday including celebrities, media outlets, businesses, and musicians. Using Twitter is fun, easy, and it may take a few tries to get your message into 140 characters, but you’ll pick up some tricks along the way (like using Bitly.com to shorten your links!). Twitter is meant to be updated daily, so if you aren’t active, it’s harder to gain followers and create a presence. Writing quick tweets and @ mentions to customers is as simple as saying thank you for a recent order or sharing a link to an article you thought was a good read.
Twitter is conversational, so as long as you have something to say, you’re golden!
Twitter is a popular micro-blogging platform where users share short status updates including links to webpages, photos and articles.
Twitter is a great way for smaller businesses to build a following, announce news or promotions and respond to customer questions, or even complaints. Say what you need to say in as few words and characters as possible.
So, what can your business get out of a Twitter presence? Twitter allows you to connect on a personal level with potential and existing customers. As a small business, this is an incredible asset as you become a company your customers know and trust. Because you can quickly respond to customers’ tweets, you can build great rapport.
Twitter is all about conversation and making connections with others. Thus effective tweeting begins with tweets that are interesting, informative or useful. Don’t waste character space with unnecessary words or phrases, and don’t bother sending out generic “Good morning!” tweets. Instead, focus on interesting observations, links to webpages, blog posts and articles (with a brief description beforehand) and responding to others with useful insight.