Your Facebook profile is a thing of beauty. You’re following all the right people on Twitter (and they’re following you back!). Your LinkedIn company profile is complete and you’ve posted quality content that got you noticed. Congratulations! You are winning at social media, sort of.
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“What should I do?” It’s a natural question. What’s the best approach to use when your business is ready to take the plunge and enter one or more social media services? Socialty can guide you in the right direction, whether you’re an “old pro” or a “newbie” using the social media websites. First, consider your reasons for using social media. Is it important to you that (relatively speaking) it isn’t expensive or time consuming? Do you feel like it will be fairly easy to do? Perhaps most importantly, is your existing customer base using it? What about potential customers? Which group(s) do you want to reach out to?
Second, ask yourself to mentally (or even better, in writing) list the goals for your business relating to online presence and social media use:
- Do you want to match up against your competitors? That’s a reason for a lot of business owners that have been “left in the dust” behind more tech-savvy companies. There’s no shame in that, but perhaps it’s time to get serious about social media and let Socialty help you catch up with them.
- Perhaps you just want a way to contact existing customers. “Liking” your business page on a site such as Facebook will keep the customer informed by opening a line of communication between you and them. You can tell them about special offers and discounts, for example, and they can tell you exactly what they like or dislike about your company.
- Maybe in your case the main goal will be to promote your products or services, which in turn will increase awareness of your business. You might only need to target a small town where you’re located, or a worldwide potential audience. The best news is that social media not only lets you easily self-promote your business, but good word of mouth is readily visible from one customer to the next through online reviews, comments and discussions!
Third, it’s time to think about the costs. Better than 4 of 10 businesses choose not to budget for social media marketing. However, a majority of businesses spend something – if only a small amount of money – on leveraging social media for their business, which greatly improves the likelihood that it will result in a positive impact on the bottom line. But it need not “break the bank!” Of those businesses spending dollars, more than 1 in 4 spend less than $100. As the old saying goes, a little goes a long way! Socialty can help you stretch those dollars to get the most out of them.
That brings us to another point. Who’s going to do all the work? It isn’t backbreaking, muscle-straining labor, but social media marketing is time intensive and requires thought, planning, and good old-fashioned follow-through. Many businesses don’t employ anyone to run social media efforts, but increasingly (as the benefits become more and more obvious) owners and management are realizing why they should do so. You can try to do it yourself, and sometimes that’s a successful approach.
However, we at Socialty usually hear from our customers that the plan didn’t work out. In one way or another, whether it’s a lack of time to write and post blogs or e-mails, difficulty learning the “ins and outs” of social media systems like Facebook and Twitter, or unexpected occurrences that shift attention away from the necessary upkeep like updating pages and responding to online questions, business owners often find that it’s worth using a service that has the skills needed and that will put in the time to make it work!
The next step is to figure out which social site(s) you want Socialty to target. For many businesses, using Facebook is a great place to start. According to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg the site recently surpassed one billion active users every month! It is a great site for “sowing seeds” to grow your business. Many Facebook users are more likely to buy your products or pay for your services if they choose to receive updates from you via their News Feed. You can “reap the harvest” by using Facebook to increase brand loyalty and to drive repeat business back to you! To complete the circle, promoting online social media is possible through your storefronts and/or through print, radio, television, or virtually any kind of advertising.
Another of the most popular social media services is Twitter. Unofficial estimates are that over 500 million people have Twitter accounts. You can “tweet” a message of 140 or less characters (letters, numbers, symbols) to consumers who choose to “follow” your business. Of course this can be a deceivingly easy process, with a language of its own that can take time to master. What you should write, when you should tweet (and how often) can change how successful or unsuccessful your efforts are. Socialty can help by formulating a plan customized to your business, its goals, and its customers.
Other sites you may want to utilize include YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn. Each of these can have a tremendously positive effect on your business, but each also has its own intricate features, strengths, and risks. For example, you wouldn’t want to post a video on YouTube that acts as a commercial for your business, only for a rival business or disgruntled customer to write hate-filled or obscene comments about it! Socialty can protect your online reputation and also help direct complaints to the appropriate people for resolution.
In short, Socialty is ready to help you today to reach your goals in social media marketing! If you have a plan, we can help you execute it. If you need a plan, we can help you create one.
The best approach is to let Socialty create, update, or take over your social media program. Your business will be in great hands with a professional company, you won’t have to worry anymore, and you can “Keep Social and Carry On!”
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