Tips and Tricks
They started off as nothing more than some online platforms for chatting, updating funky status and uploading pictures has now become an important marketing tool in the corporate world. Facebook, Twitter and all such social networking sites have changed the face of the business sector. Who would have thought, a few years ago, that the websites visited solely for the purpose of having fun and playing games would affect almost every company and industry in the world?
The smart entrepreneurs took this revolution as an opportunity and are making billions in profits out of it. Do you know that many people these days start up and even manage their businesses on Facebook? Search for some and you will find numerous virtual offices and entrepreneurs who run their business solely on Facebook and Twitter.
No matter how much attention this marketing medium has attracted in the last few years, numerous entrepreneurs and business entities are still deprived of its benefits. The reason is that they are not making the right use of social media. It is not a magic wand that you just wave and watch the magic happen. There are some rules and tricks for using social media marketing in your favor.
The following are five tips for entrepreneurs on how to make most out of this rising star in the business arena:
The first and most important thing that you need to understand here is that social media is not the same for business purposes as it is for fun. You will find numerous people who join every group and network just to make their presence known. These are generalists. Well, you can start off this way just to get enough fan following. However, this strategy does not work for the long term. Don't follow the online promotional campaigns of others. See what they are doing and then plan something different and unique. Just make sure that whatever you do, it should reflect your company's vision.
As a social media marketing expert said, “Social media is extremely noisy. You've got to be able to stand out”.
This is one of the common mistakes that entrepreneurs or their PR personnel make. They make their own group or community on social networking sites, publish all about their company and a couple of promotions and then disappear from the forum. Your fan following would soon get low if you don't remain active on your own forums. Make sure you send a reply immediately to any query or comments posted on your company's page or group.
This is the most effective tip to get success in social media. Update status and tweet at every occasion. If you are operating in an international market with customers from different parts of the world, then you will find a reason to celebrate every day. Apart from common events that are known and celebrated worldwide, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Halloween, try searching for nation specific occasions. For example, celebrating U.A.E’s Independence Day on your company's page or group would get you closer to your customers in the Middle East. If you have a limited target market, then create your own occasions. You may share, for example, the success of a new product or campaign with your online customers and fans, or it may be your company's birthday etc. Come up with contests and ideas that are rarely found on other pages and encourage your users to take part in them. Try to be conversational so as to engage your fans and potential customers.
It is very important that you add value to your content. If you will just write about your company, the new campaigns, and products, then your users will get bored soon. Try not to promote your product directly. Think of it this way. You would believe and agree more to the opinion of a stranger roaming in a departmental store compared to a sales person. The same phenomenon applies to the online market. Online buyers would go by the comments and posts of unknown people about your product rather than what you publish about it. The best trick here is what we call “word of mouth”. Understand your target audience, their demographics and preferences, and then create campaigns to lure them to your page. For example, if your target audience is youngsters or teenagers, then post articles and blogs about the latest gadgets and games. This would surely attract them. Write positive reviews about your product in those articles. Make sure whatever you write about, your company should not at all be exaggerating. It should look like its coming from a neutral third party user. Indirect marketing is the key to success in social media and networking websites.
Give and Take
It is a time for give and take. You cannot expect others to talk good about you or your company if you don't do the same for them. We are not asking you to promote your competitors! What we mean is that you should try to make your presence known in other popular online circles. For example, join some popular Facebook groups and participate actively. Once you get enough fans on that community, then you can casually talk about your own company. In simple words, this trick would allow you to attract their fans and customers to your side.
Summing up, everything has its pros and cons. When we talk about online business and social media marketing, its major drawback is that you do not get to meet or convince your potential customers in real. Conventional ways of marketing hold an upper hand in this regard. However, in totality, social media marketing can be more effective and beneficial compared to conventional marketing, provided you go about it in the right way. Just a little bit of creativity at your end and this new form of marketing may get your business to unimaginable heights.