Social media is an important part of your new business strategy, but please do not go overboard. Many companies out there are looking to make an easy buck by touting the merits of social media, and how you will be left behind if you do not use them. This article will give you a rundown of some of the most popular social media platforms, and what they can do for your business. It will also give you a few tips and warnings.
Facebook – A Must Use Social Media Site
Good for brand recognition.
You are most likely not going to draw direct sales from Facebook. You are not going to draw legions of loyal followers that run out to your new business every time you post a set of new coupons and promotional codes on your Facebook wall. What you can do, as a new business is very competently get your name out there. Create brand recognition with a Facebook profile, so that your potential customers know what you stand for when they see your adverts on other online/offline mediums.
Facebook gives you the opportunity to engage on a personal level with your followers. Although Target is not a new company, there’s much to be learned from their profile page showing 20 million likes. They have updated their cover page to include a timely picture of family and fun all while including products that they sell. Also, notice that their cover images of their apps reflect their purpose (a “Give with Target” photo for their “Give with Target” app). Target also successfully engages with their followers by asking questions relevant and timely to their audience. They are also quick to respond to customers’ questions and concerns. A Facebook presence can be a fantastic customer service platform.
Warning – Consistently spamming and broadcasting sales messages will result in fans un-liking your page.
Tip – Try to engage with your fans. When updates get likes, comments, and shares – they’re more likely to show up in people’s feeds. Plus when fans engage with you, all of their friends are exposed to that action (and your business page).
Twitter – You can do a lot with 140 Characters
Good for engaging potential customers.
Somebody who reads a chunk of your text has made a certain time commitment. Many people are not willing to give this time commitment, which is why skim reading and “surfing” are the buzzwords for the Internet. If you have enough influence to have somebody read a post of yours, you have opened the door to the possibility of converting that person into a loyal customer.
AMC Theaters has had a lot of mentions lately with their tweet replying to Oreo’s tweet about sneaking cookies into the theater. This is a prime example on how using a little creativity on the fly has resulted over 1,800 retweets and 700+ favorites. These followers may now convert to fans on both sides of the coin. They are now actively watching their Twitter feed, and AMC (and Oreo for that matter) are at the front of the minds of consumers.
Warning – Do not judge your success by how many people follow you. Judge it by how many people covert into customers and how many engage with you. You can gain hundreds of followers by passing on celebrity secrets, but if your business sells sand pits then what is the point?
Tip – Twitter works the best when you use it for speaking to your target consumers. Use Twitter itself to do your research. Find out what makes them tick, and post content that appeals to that specific demographic.
LinkedIn – Excellent Social Media Site for Business Related Products
Great for having people contact you.
Imagine this site is one large business card, except that instead of just posting your contact information you can manufacture a big and powerful advert touting the qualities of your new company. Use it to show the world that you and your company exist, and lay out exactly what it is about you and your business that makes you different, and have them search out and contact you.
For example, PostcardMania, a bulk mail marketing company, brought in 700 leads from LinkedIn resulting in $72,000 in sales. They were very particular about what content they pointed potential customers to. Many times customers would be sent to a sign-up page that is specific to what they are looking for. Also, when the company receives an invite they usually accept and then follow up with an engaging message. With LinkedIn you can also join “Discussions”, which PostcardMania took full advantage of by sharing valuable information with group members. A part of their strategy was sending cold messages to people or businesses that may be in need of what they offer.
The examples above are from three of the most popular social media platform in the world. You might not have the same success but by following the advice above you will definitely have some success using social media.