A lot of entrepreneurs are unsure of how to use social media to attract customers for their small business? If have been struggling to figure out how to include this highly effective tool in your arsenal by the end of this conversation you will have a better grasp of exactly what to do to get your company involved in social marketing.
It’s way more to it than just reaching more prospects. It’s how your business whether big and small, old and new can effortlessly interact with existing customers, create fans and build up your referral base.
This article will give you plenty of useful tips on how to's of using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels as cost effective places to attract new clients that need your products and/or services. (Case Study from Mashable.com)
The owner of a small shop spent $350 for a half-page ad in a local magazine promoting a deal to “buy one, get one free” and made the same offer on a social networking site for free. The print ad yielded one new customer, while the deal posted on the social networking site netted his business over 30 customers, four or five who have become repeat customers.
This is a classic example of what makes social marketing standout over other aspects of online marketing, it’s far easier to track participation, ROI and effectiveness of your objectives.
Small business owners who want to get started using social media to b.y.o.b (build your online business) need to have the answers to a few basic questions. They will help you develop a strategy, and determine the best sites and tools to reach your ideal customers.
Building Your Social Networking Strategy
Here are a few basic questions that Inc.com suggest business owners answer to formulate a social networking strategy. A step that should be completed before opening an account and becoming active on any networking site.
What particular customer groups am I trying to engage?
What are their personal or business needs that I can help them with?
How do I plan to use the site?
Should I use a business or personal profile on the site.
What To Include In A Winning Social Media Profile For Your Business
One of your social media goals should be to build a profile for you or your business on every site where your target market hangs out.
The information you provide in each profile should vary slightly and convey to prospects the who, what and how about you your brand/company.Here’s some of the things you can include in them.
Basic NAREC (name address, records)
Details about yourself or business/brand.
Favorite music, books
List a few of your notable past employers
Education, special skills
The reasoning behind sharing this kind of data is to make your page feel personable, because people spend their money with people they know, like and trust.
After you have built a rapport with them you can strategically throw in a few tidbits about whats happening at your company when it’s appropriate. Don’t try to sell people on doing business with you.
Instead what you should be doing is sharing information about new products/services and customer success stories on your profiles.
The best sales tools are real world examples of how your company’s products and services are benefiting others.
According to J.J. McCorvey in “How to Use Social Networking Sites to Drive Business” a recent online article on Inc.com website, “The companies that are most successful at converting followers into dollars are those who interact most with the users and frequently post content related to their brand.”
The majority of the business that are listed in the Inc. 500 (56%) feel social media is important for their success online. Tweeting, blogging and commenting on social networking communities are excellent ways to foster customer engagement. It doesn’t stop there. They are great tools for building win-win relationships with the news media in your area and local community groups ( i.e. schools, charitable organizations, chambers of commerce ).