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Secrets to Growing Your Business Using Social Media

GrowingwithSM

Social media has been so popular nowadays that is has entered the rare stratosphere of recognition and fame that is usually reserved for Presidents and rock stars. Ironically, rock stars of this generation bow to the power of social media.

You’ve probably heard that social media provides business owners an amazing opportunity to market and grow their business. So, how can you use its dominance on the world scene to grow your business? Here are a few tips.

Keep it short

Unlike the text written on your web page, your social media posts must be kept short. Considering that most social media sites allow users to type only 140 characters, you should strive to be concise with every post. Remember, your customers are more likely to remember short and focused messages as compared to long and incoherent ones.

Instead of trying to say everything at once, you should focus on one key message per post. Also, it would be a good idea to schedule your posts over the course of a day or a week.

Keep it fresh

With a continuous stream of new content, old posts rapidly recede. To make your posts stand out, you should post timely and eye-catching content and post regularly. Use videos and images whenever possible.

By creating fresh content, there’s a great chance that your followers will visit your page or site, purchase your products or avail your services.

It requires dedication

If you believe that a few random status updates, blog posts and a healthy number of likes and followers are enough to grow your business, you are wrong!

Social media marketing requires planning and dedication. In order to harness the power of social media, you need to listen to your audience, come up with high quality content and encourage others to share your content.

Whether you’re small or large business owner, social media marketing can be least expensive and most powerful marketing tool in your arsenal that will help you build authority and trust. Ultimately, it can help you grow your business exponentially.

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Reasons Why Facebook Likes are Important

Most people believe that being popular is not really important, but being popular does have a few advantages, especially if you are a business owner who uses social media to gain exposure, build relationships and engages with its target audience.

In this article, we’ll give you a list of some of the reasons why Facebook likes matter. Checkout the list below and see how important a Facebook like really is.

Raise your visibility

When a person likes your Facebook page, it won’t be long until some of his/her friends see it. This is advantageous as people in his/her network will be able to checkout your page.

This may also be seen as a subtle recommendation. If you are trying to decide where to dine out this weekend, a certain restaurant may cross your mind since one of your friends liked their page and you saw it in the newsfeeds.

Expression of intent to subscribe

When a user likes your Facebook page, they are expressing their intent to subscribe to your updates and see what you have to post on your timeline. Through this simple gesture, you can clearly see that he/she is interested in your business and what you have to offer.

Now that they are subscribed to your page, you have the opportunity to let them know what’s going on with the business, especially if you have new products coming out. With thousands of fans subscribed to your page, you don’t have to spend a huge sum of money on advertisements.

Builds trust

Forrester research has recently conducted a study about why Facebook likes, comments and shares are so important. In the said study, they have discovered that about 70% of customers trust recommendations from their family and friends, while only 10% of the respondents trust brand advertising.

Loyal fans

Once you develop a relationship with these people and they start trusting you, they may eventually become loyal customers. Keep your customers interested by posting interesting and informative contents. Also, keep them posted about any events like contests and promotions that they can take part of.

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Annoying Social Media Habits You Need to Stop Doing

No one is perfect. And sometimes, we have bad habits that we would like to get rid of. But while you’re trying to change how you do things and get too occupied, falling back into these old habits happens sooner than you might have expected. While some of these habits do not have an overall impact, some may have a negative impact, especially on your business.

There’s a good chance that you have visited a page that has done some of the things listed below. Make it a mission not to repeat them.

Overcompensating for inactivity

When you’re just starting and you don’t have someone to manage all your online accounts, your page may remain inactive for a few days. That in itself is a problem. However, some people make the mistake of overcompensating for being off the radar for a few days by posting numerous updates in one day.

While inactivity is not a good thing, keep in mind that there are only a few people who would choose to unfollow you due to lack of activity. However, if you bombard them with numerous updates and tweets, which is quite annoying, they are more likely to unfollow you.

Hashtag overload

Hashtags are a great way of categorizing content, providing context and curating information to help you reach your target audience. However, some people tend to abuse it by using like a dozen hashtags in a single tweet.

Depending on the platform, 2 to 4 hashtags are acceptable: 2 for twitter and a maximum of 4 for Instagram.

Asking for shares or retweets

Not only does it come across as demanding, it’s not also engaging. As a result, it does nothing for your cause.

If you post something like this, the only people who are going to enthusiastically oblige are your family and close friends. Everyone else will most likely ignore your post. Even if people did share it, it’s not because they believe in what you’re saying, but because you begged them to do so.

Posting only about your company

Social media may be comparable to phone conversation – it has to go both ways.

Creating great content for your page is important, but you also have to talk about something else other than your business. Find ways to engage with your audience and interact with them.

Make sure to share a variety of content from time to time. This would capture the attention of your audience and keep in them interested. Share inspirational quotes and images, updates from online sources or contents from fans.

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How to Bounce Back From A Social Media Disaster

Social media disasters may come in a range of fails and embarrassments. Insensitive statements and inappropriate opinion may reflect poorly on your company. Add this to the fact that social media is very public in nature, one mistake may become potentially disastrous.

If you have accidentally sent out a regrettable status update or tweet, don’t panic. Calm down and see if the situation is salvageable. If you’re not sure what to do next, read on and use these tips to help you bounce back from a social media disaster.

Disaster response

Being on the verge of jeopardizing your company’s reputation, it is important to come up with a thoughtful and well-crafted response. As much as possible, avoid a knee-jerk reaction.

In most cases, businesses are not prepared in handling social media disasters. Responding quickly and inappropriately will only make matters worse. Calm down and take a moment to deliver a carefully-worded and rational response to your fans and followers.

Accept your mistake

Everyone makes mistakes, including the most savvy social media marketers. However, the worst part of committing a mistake is by acting like nothing wrong has happened. Whether you have criticized a customer, made an offensive comment or post, or something else, it would be best to accept your mistake and be accountable for your mistakes.

We understand that damage control is on top of your priority list, but deleting the post or comment and acting as if nothing happened can hurt your reputation.

Rebuild your image

A lot of companies have survived a social media disaster, and so can you. After everything has been done, you now have to rebuild your image. Mind you, this may involve an extensive process and you’ll have to work for it for a long period of time.

The key to stopping a social media disaster is by building an incredible brand image. This can be achieved by serving your customers well. At the end of the day, it’s about being honest to your customers/clients and humanizing your brand.

Taking appropriate action immediately after committing a mistake will not only reduce harm, it can also save your brand’s reputation.

 

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How to Use Social Media in Launching a Product

Social media gives you the opportunity to connect and engage with people with minimal effort and limited budget. If you are on the lookout for a creative means of launching your product, you might want to consider using social media.

In this article, we’ll give you a list of ways on how to use social media in launching a new product. Read on as we give you a few suggestions that will help you with your next launch.

Teaser campaign

Before the launch, try to think of creative ways that could hint your followers that something big and exciting is coming very soon. This will spark the interest of your audience.

Months before the launch, you can post random images that could be associated with your product. Also, feel free to use code names in all your updates in order to create a buzz within the online community.

Create a video

Social media provides business owners to easily connect with their target audience. Why not take advantage of this opportunity and create a video that is focused on the need you wish to address while providing a hint at the solution you wish to offer.

Create a founder’s list

Create a list of people who shows interest in your product and would want to learn more about your launch. Create a special page where you can direct these people to. On this page, consider placing an option where they can sign up for special updates.

You main goal is to gather a group of people who have shown interest on the teaser and video that you have posted. You can ask for the help of these people to spread the word about your product later on.

Behind the scenes

After creating a founder’s list, it is important to provide them something substantial that would keep them interested in your campaign. Creating a personalized video and giving them a peak of what’s happening behind the scenes will get them excited about the launch.

Encourage people to spread the word

Building a loyal fan base is one of the key advantages of social media. When the time is right, you can ask for the aid of these people and encourage them to spread the word.

The simplest and fastest way of doing this is by creating a clickable tweet. You can use ClicktoTweet to do this.

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Benefits of Social Media Marketing

There are a lot of blog posts and articles which stresses the importance of
integrating social media into your marketing strategies. Most people believe that
social media platforms provide a great impact on a business’ lead generation and
sales.
Listed below are some of the benefits of social media marketing. Keep in mind,
though, that these benefits may not be seen overnight. You have to put in a great
deal of effort and wait for a few months in order to see significant results.

Communication
Social media platforms are created in order to share information and interact with
other people. To maximize your marketing efforts, it is best to develop a social
media marketing strategy that would encourage your followers to interact with you.
This has to be a two-way communication.

Networking
Social media does not only help you extend your reach and build new relationships.
It’s also a great place where you can deepen and maintain the existing ones.

Build a reputation
As a business owner, you know that having a good reputation is one of the most
important ingredients to success. While your marketing efforts are focused on
maintaining what has been created, social media marketing makes these benefits
more pronounced.

Drive traffic
While driving traffic to your site is the main reason why you decided to create a
social media account, this comes as a great bonus. You can post a link to your
newest post and see people click the link and visit your site.

Promotion
Social media platforms are also a great avenue for promotion. Promote your brand
or your newest products, provide information about them and increase awareness
about your brand. You can also use social media to promote your events. Capture
people’s attention, create buzz and invite them to attend your event.

Extend reach

There are millions of users who access their social media accounts on a daily basis.
With this, it would be easier to reach as much people within a single post.
With over 150 million registered users, Twitter has been named as the 9th most
popular website on the Internet as of May 2011

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Is Your Facebook Contest Special?

Any company can give out free gift cards or electronics, so that really is not enough to hold the attention of social media users anymore. What is taking your contest to the next level? If you are running a contest, you must make sure your contest stands out among the rest. Here’s how:

Do your users have a reason to keep coming back to your page? Include your fans and contest participants in every possible step of the contest. Brands often do this by allowing the fans to vote on a winner, respond to a question, or  answer a poll. Get creative here and choose what seems most relevant to your brand and product.

Consumers are constantly interacting with social media on their mobile phones. This means it is vital to take advantage of location. Urge users to check-in on social media when they are interacting with your company’s physical location. Offer some sort of incentive such as a discount, a charitable donation, a few points in a contest, etc.  Getting social media users to check in not only allows you to generate more traffic, but also creates a deeper user interaction (physical and digital).

Would other social media platforms be appropriate for your contest? Your contest may be Facebook based, but ask yourself if the nature of your contest could be enhance on other platforms. For example, say you are the marketer for a line of gluten-free butter and your Facebook contest asked users to post pictures and recipes of things they made with your butter. In this case, it would make sense to start a Pinterest board, displaying the recipes.  Using more than one social media platform can allow you to reach a larger audience. The key here is to make sure your second social media platform is relevant to your contest.

The whole concept behind Facebook contests is to increase consumer brand interaction. Remember that anybody can make a Facebook contest, but your goal is to expand that user interaction as far as possible. Think of ways to take your contests to other social media platforms, physical locations, and beyond.

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Use Your Employees As A Social Media Resource

Say you are in the market for a new car. Who do you consult for car buying advice? It is likely you go to a family member or friend that is auto-savy. They can tell you everything they know about car companies, makes, and models. Inadvertently, your friend is a brand advocate for the car they end up recommending. This is more powerful than any advertising campaign because your friend or family member is a source you believe is trusted and credible.

Brand advocates are essential to success. Who is advocating for your brand? Advocates give their friends, families, and colleagues advice. Companies should always be looking for brand advocates.  Often, the most obvious brand advocate gets overlooked – the company’s employees. Recall in the scenario above you went to your auto-savy friend for car buying advice because they are knowledgeable about the field and you trust them. In the same sense, it is likely your employees know more about the company and the brand than anybody else. In other words, your employees are credible sources and experts in the field. Whether you sell shampoo, vitamins or windows, use their knowledge. Position yourself on social media as an expert in your field, where friends and followers can come to for useful information about your product or service in general (not just specifically about what you are selling).

When you are stuck for content to post, it is a great idea to use your employees as a social media resource. Ask them how conversations go when they are discussing work with a person they just met.  Is the new person interested in your employee’s profession? What kind of follow up questions do they get about your field? Has your employee encountered any general misconceptions about your field?  The answers to these questions should be shared on social media and used for blog content. Ultimately, share these conversations on your social media sites.

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Drive Customer Loyalty

Your customers are already in the door.  How can you benefit from this?

To drive customer loyalty, you must reward your customers. Foursquare, the leading location based social network, offers a great medium to connect your offline and online audience. Foursquare allows users to check into locations on their mobile phones. Then, users can share that location with friends on other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. Your company can benefit from these check-ins. When users’ friends see where they are checking in to eat and shop, they are more likely to follow suit to eat and shop there too!

Your goal on Foursquare should be to connect your customer’s online habits and offline habits. You can do this by offering deals and specials on Foursquare. Use specials to attract new customers, and reward loyal existing ones.  Personalize your rewards to your customer. For example, to reward a first-time customer, award them a free cookie on their first check in. To reward a frequent customer, offer them 10% off their bill every third check in.  Use a combination of different specials to encourage a growing clientele and satisfy returning customers.

You must claim your business’s location! This makes checking-in easy for your customers.  Make sure to claim ownership of your physical location. If you do not see your business listed, you can access Foursquare from your mobile phone and select “Add this place”.  Provide as much relevant information in your profile as possible – this will help inform your current and future customers.

It is likely that your client base is made up of different kinds of customers. The loyal customer, the trying it out customer, even the out-of-town customer. Personalize your specials so that each customer experience is unique!  Your customers are your business. Reward them!

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Using Twitter As a Reactivation Strategy

 

 

 

 

While Twitter is great for sending out messages to a mass audience, its main strength to marketers is in its ability to build one on one relationships.

What marketers should strive to do is deliver campaigns in the public timeline when there’s an opportunity to get the audience’s attention by utilizing the @mentions feature. @mentions lets users put the @ sign before a username with a message that goes directly to that user’s homepage.

After the user sees that tweet, they either can reply, retweet, mark as a favorite, or ignore it. This is where an intimate relationship with a consumer can begin or be renewed.

To develop a Twitter reactivation program, start with an initial test group. Keep in mind that these campaigns will happen in a public timeline, so do not flood the stream with span-like behavior.

When choosing your test group, remember that it’s recommended to use a maximum of 30 total outbound tweets a day from any account. If you have an account that currently has high volume of outbound tweets for customer service, perhaps use one account for customer service and one for marketing.

To match email addresses to Twitter users, you can import your email list to a gmail account and upload it from the “find friends” tab of the “who to follow” tool on Twitter. You can then choose to follow all the matches, or save them to a list. Because you want to keep your following and follower counts in check, don’t automatically follow everyone. Try instead to save the matches in a private list.

Also consider using customer relationship management platforms, like Salesforce, to help maintain your lists, manage and analyze campaigns, and export campaign messaging for uploading to a Twitter dashboard like HootSuite.

 

 

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