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Social media is absolutely everywhere. Most of the traditional ads on television and the papers even include hashtags.
Consumers these days can directly communicate with companies through tweets and companies can now reach their clientele this way as well. In Facebook, users are not limited to young people. More and more users are aged 65 and older.
However, social media marketing is not as easy as just publishing posts on Facebook. Many businesses are putting a serious effort into their social media strategies without clearly understanding how it works and how it can work best for them.
But how does it work?
Here is the truth about social media marketing; seven truths that you need to know:
The truth about social media marketing: you have to be patient
The first truth is that you won’t see results immediately. You may post too much or too little, but no one seems to care.
But have you thought about why they would bother to care in the first place?
In the early phases of your social media marketing, you shouldn’t expect immediate results. Social media marketing is not a fast track to higher sales.
Social Times’ article “Facts, Figures and Statistics – The Marketing Benefits of Social Media,” says that more than half of marketers who have been using social media for more than three years say that it has helped them increase sales.
You have to build a community
While waiting for the success of your efforts, build an online community. This ought to be your ultimate goal because you will get to connect more with your clientele and build trust. This the truth about social media marketing, number two.
According to Huffington Post’s article “Marketing and the Media: Tips for Utilizing Social Media Marketing,” the use of social media allows your company to become more personal and more relatable. But just like any other endeavor, it will still take time.
In your community, share valuable content, participate in the discussion and don’t forget to reply to queries.
What this will do for your business is that you will begin to build credibility and greater engagement with your consumers. You will start to notice that your number of followers and the number of likes and shares on your posts are growing, and eventually, your sales, too.
Good marketing requires good money
You may decide to use Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform, thinking that it’s free. But here’s the truth about social media marketing number three: you will need to spend money to have an effective marketing strategy for your business.
Don’t get stingy on spending for targeted paid ads. It will pay off eventually. You are actually cutting the cost of your marketing strategies if you invest in social media marketing.
If you think about it, you’ll still be spending a lot less than conventional marketing. Social media marketing is one of the cheapest ways to reach your target audience costing you around $3,000 to $20,000 per month compared to a 30-second TV ad at $100,000. Now that’s a lot of savings!
You Will Make Mistakes
It’s a tough truth, but since anyone can publish a post with one click, it is easier to make mistakes in social media. Here are some ways you can prevent this from happening.
- Review and proofread your posts before clicking “Publish.”
- Do research about the meanings behinds the trending hashtags before using them.
- Don’t fight with your customers.
- Just leave the angry comments in. Don’t delete them. Always be polite when posting your reply.
- Post only original content.
- If you do make a mistake, apologize immediately and correct that mistake.
You have to know your clientele
To be able to formulate an effective strategy in social media marketing, you have to know who your target audiences are. This is why there’s no use in copying another company’s techniques because surely, their customers and yours are different. And that’s a good thing.
That means you can focus on learning more about your customers and how to better reach them. In Entrepreneur’s article, “10 Laws of Social Media Marketing,” success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking.
You have to focus on the followers you already have
Don’t worry about the followers that are not yet following you. Focus on the ones you already have; they are your community.
Again, it is important to engage with these followers. Reach out to them and be consistent in responding to their questions or messages.
According to Forbes’ article on “Top Ten Benefits of Social Media Marketing,” brands who engage in social media enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. It is important that they know that when they do reach out to your company, their words won’t just fall on deaf ears.
You have to be original
Invest in creating original content. Original content is a magnet that can attract new leads and improve your sales. Nothing can be truer.
Content can be articles, webinars or videos, among many things. After getting to know your clientele, it will be easier for you to create content that you know will be useful to them.
Social media marketing may be a new player in the marketing world, but it sure seems like it’s here to stay.
Businesses, like it or not, have to participate or else they’ll be left behind. Having an active presence in social media ensures that your brand can stay connected with your audience.
Hence, in this day and age, participation in social media is not a “should”. It is a MUST.
And that is the truth about social media marketing. 🙂
Nicolas Finet is the Co-founder of Sortlist. He attended Solvay Business School, where he earned his degree in Business Engineering (Management) with a Major in Marketing. You can visit his site at http://www.sort-list.co.uk/.
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