Some studies have suggested that in the US, about 90 percent of companies use social media, and in Europe, that number is probably similar. Social media has become a part of marketing and is here to stay. In fact, a whole new field of study has opened up, and social media analytics and social marketing techniques are rapidly evolving.
Understanding your customers
To use social media for marketing techniques, you have to ask yourself some important questions. A good understanding of your potential customers and how they use social media is key. Do your customers use Facebook to connect with family and friends, or do they prefer Twitter, for instance? Both are different media and are used in different ways, requiring different strategies.
Understanding the prevailing culture on these media is also important. Some products seem to do much better than others. Perfect examples include electronic devices and gadgets – customers tend to buy these when they receive positive reviews or have been recommended these products on Facebook and Twitter. Do-it-yourself items, on the other hand, fare better on other networks, such as Pinterest – as do home decorations, and arts and crafts.
Aggression doesn’t necessarily pay
There are many ways to get your message across, but being aggressive in your marketing efforts is not always productive. In fact, it often repels potential customers rather than attracting them. Screaming headlines that encourage customers to “Buy This” or “Check Our New Offers” remind them that it’s all about the money and they may feel that they are getting pushed.
Creating a club or close community of ‘insiders’ is a smarter way of handling it – making customers feel more comfortable about engaging with the business on a regular basis. Consider the teenage clothing company that promotes new hangouts or gives information on where the cool concerts are. The coffee shop that keeps customers informed about upcoming events and new promotions creates a following of people who like to be in-the-know, and this technique is much more powerful than shouting discount prices off the rooftops.
Free stuff sells
Another way of creating a following is by giving stuff away for free. This may seem counter-productive – after all, a business is supposed to make money, not give things away. However, everybody loves free stuff, and an amazing number of people sign up and participate in raffles or contests for the chance of gaining something for nothing.
Incentives to “like” or follow your business are popular and create a valuable buzz. It’s a great way to create leads and build up a database for further marketing efforts. Imagine the Facebook user who contacts your site to guess how many chocolates are in the bowl for a chance to have a free box of bonbons, or new mothers who share a page for a chance of winning baby toys. Sweepstakes may not necessarily create a large group of diehard followers, but it can reach a wide audience in the short term.
What’s most important is that your business handles social marketing in a professional manner, and understands that while platforms of social marketing are free, promotional campaigns are not – it may require free giveaways or many working hours devising strategies and spending time on social media platforms, following up. Companies that are serious about their social media strategies can contact professionals, such as www.ocere.com, as these specialists provide invaluable insight and can lift your results to new heights.