How to Succeed with Social Media Marketing
Market Where Your Customers Are
Know Your Audience
Any type of marketing fails if the marketer doesn’t develop a firm grasp on their intended audience and potential customers. Regardless of differences in industry or the target customers, ALL marketing needs to resonate with readers or viewers of the content in order to run a successful campaign.
In an “old-school” method of advertising, it wasn’t too difficult to target an audience. If you were promoting a technical product, you might take up ad space in a tech magazine or business journal. If your product was a new children's toy, a commercial on a children’s network would make sense.
Fairly simple, right? But how can this translate online? Using the same methodology, marketers must market where their customers are. But where are they?
Just as you might set a television commercial to air on a specific channel, or at a specific time, online content marketing works the same way. Content marketing is a great tool to reach a wide audience without bombarding them with overtly “sales-y” language. A well-crafted blog post or white paper can compel a reader to become a customer, if done right.
Social Media Promotion
But the problem is: how are new customers going to come across your content, if they don’t know about your company? Maybe they’ll find you through a search engine -- but the best way to amplify your message is through social media promotion.
Social media marketing isn’t quite as easy as telling your followers what you had for breakfast. Just like you wouldn’t advertise power tools on a children's network, you wouldn’t blindly post links to your content wherever you want online -- some thought needs to go into it.
There’s a Group for That
Two of the largest and most widely used social media sites -- LinkedIn and Facebook -- contain user-created “groups” specific to certain topics. Chances are you’ll find one related to your business. Find these groups, participate, and monitor -- they are fantastic ways to learn about your customers and your competition, as well as a forum to share your content with targeted readers.
The third major social networking site, Twitter, doesn’t have groups to join, but uses hashtags to organize content. For instance, I might use the hashtag #socialmedia to promote this post through Twitter, or perhaps #contentmarketing. Users can search based on hashtags, and if you want your content to be viewed by more than just your follower list, find out the most used hastags in your industry and use them.
Interact at your Customer’s Level
With the Internet and social media, customers are taking greater control of the sales process -- buyers are going through 70% of the buying process before ever dealing with a sales department, and accordingly, marketing must adapt.
By utilizing and leveraging social media, marketers are able to interact with their potential customers in a way that feels natural to them. Social media allows businesses to expand their reach, and interact with their customers at their level, building loyalty and trust.
Social Media marketing works, and if your marketing strategy doesn’t include this, start now or risk your business falling behind (and losing sales).