Have you gone social yet?
As a business owner or entrepreneur, it may seem that there are a thousand priorities to address before you turn your attention to social networking. After all, firms need to ensure that their online presence is perfectly professional, and often media attention around social media tends towards highlighting the more frivolous aspects of networking online. However, savvy businesses are learning the unparalleled power of a vibrant social community on the web, leveraging the possibilities of passive marketing to maximise their organisational brand and generate additional footfall and purchasing.
Recognising the benefits of a social media presence
One of the primary benefits of getting a strong following online through social media is the power which this then provides in terms of passive marketing. This means, essentially, that each time you post a popular piece of information online, there is the potential for your followers to distribute it and send it globally, without you ever having to do anything further with it.
Developing a positive and strong brand
Your online presence essentially operates as a virtual shop front, informing your existing and potential customers who you are, and what ethos and values you will bring to the online experience. As a result, it’s important to consider from the outset of any social media journey exactly what image it is best to portray, to maximise your sales and drive consumer traffic through your site.
Define a unique online voice
The way in which you publish to sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other media powerhouses will directly affect consumer identification with your brand. Think of effective marketing campaigns online by big brands such as Innocence, Firebox or Amazon. While the first two have chosen to be quirky in terms of colloquial language and an engaging and fun outlook, Amazon depends upon solidifying a reputation for reliability, responsiveness and global reach. Depending upon the products and services you market, it’s important to first establish the principle values of your organisation, and allow that to inform development of your online ‘voice’ when leveraging social media to enhance marketing.
Identify the most positive channels
With the huge array of marketing vehicles available to you as you commence advertising through social media, it can be tough to determine the best possible platforms for various products or services. For example, when you are seeking to attract professionals, LinkedIn may be more powerful than Facebook or Twitter for posting up corporate-style messages. Similarly, Facebook’s demographic tends to attract a younger audience, so if your product suite is intended for that demographic, it’s worth investing more within the site. Choosing how and where to leverage social networking to increase business largely depends upon identifying your target customer base, and working with the platforms most closely associated with each, to gain the best returns for investment and effort.
Once you embark upon a social media marketing campaign, it’s critical that any channels you establish benefit from consistent and regular updates. It is only by investing time and resource into the campaign that you can generate ever-growing followers, and cement your brand in an increasingly competitive environment.