There’s no doubt that social media is here to stay. As an online marketer, the sooner you accept this reality, the better it will be for you and your business. In today’s age of Web 2.0, social media is the preferred marketing channel for many businesses and there are thousands of success stories of how companies of sizes and business interests have managed to use social media as an effective means of marketing.
If you are a champion of traditional marketing techniques but are scared or reluctant to use social media, you are missing out on a massive opportunity. After all, a marketer is only as good as the marketing techniques that he/she uses. I personally find social media to be a perfect channel for marketing for the following reasons.
- Wide Audience base and Far-reaching appeal
- Instantaneous Feedback
- Low Cost
- Improved Brand Credibility
In this post, I present five highly effective marketing tips for engaging with your customers via social media.
1. Do Your Homework First
Social media is not a short cut to successful marketing. Whether you use traditional marketing techniques or social media, there is no substitute for hard work. Make sure you do your home work first. Spend time researching about your competitors and their marketing techniques. Try to learn more about your customers and their preferences. Conduct surveys (using Facebook fan pages) and ask questions (Twitter/ Facebook) before you develop a marketing campaign. There’s nothing better than getting first hand information from people who’ll be driving your business.
There are millions of Fan Pages and Business Profiles on Facebook and Twitter respectively. You surely do not want to build another run of the mill marketing campaign which does little to attract customers. Innovation is the key. There’s only one golden rule to launching a great marketing campaign and it says – Follow no rules. I personally like the lethal combination of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube working in unison for marketing campaigns. Create an interesting video, publish it on YouTube channel. Link it to your Facebook Page and tweet about it. Many people would argue that there’s hardly any innovation involved in this approach.
Well, the innovative part is to develop a video which appears interesting, tag it in a way so that it attracts a large audience, promoting it on Twitter and Facebook so that people are curious to know more about your product.
3. Offers and Promotions
Social networks are a great place to launch offers and promotions for your products. Reward your Facebook fans and Twitter followers and I’m sure they will reciprocate your kind gesture by helping spread the word about your business. Throw in exclusive offers and setup doorway pages for your social media followers. Online promotions can be far more effective than traditional print ads and billboards.
4. Maintain Transparency
The best part about using social networks for marketing is that they are under the public eye. Everything that you do is viewed by your followers. Therefore, it is important to be transparent while you deal with your customers on social networks. A social network provides an entity to an otherwise faceless corporate image. Transparency sells.
5. Sell using social media
Customers hate it when they are redirected to different sites for buying products. Learn to sell using social media itself. Facebook pages are a wonderful means of setting up an online store in no time. If your fans can initiate a transaction from your Facebook page itself, they get a sense of continuity and security. It’s no fun asking a customer to go to a certain site and then select “blah blah” in order to purchase a product. Customers hate it. The purchase process should be simple and intuitive and linked directly to your business page on social networks.
Think Different, Think Social Media!