Social Media Marketing - Why Bother..?
There is a lot of talk about social media marketing on the web but what is it and how does it work?
There are many social media networks and each has its website. The most popular and known are Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and YouTube. There are many more and the biggest newcomer of late has to be Google+. Although new it has the weight of Google behind it and coming late to the scene they have had the chance to see what works and what people like and incorporate these features to it; it is set to be big.
But what does all this mean to an individual or small business? What is the big deal, why does everyone go on about it and how does it create business?
People like to buy from people. People love it when their friends recommend a product or service to them and they will be much more inclined to buy it. As sellers businesses can say all they like about their product but who is going to believe them? 8 out of ten cats preferred it... studies show... laboratory tested... etc...
We have heard it all and then some. But when a friend tells you they have just bought an iWidget and it does this and that and the other and was only £9,99 you may well take notice. You may even buy one. That is the power of personal recommendation.
81% Of People Are Influenced By Social Media When Making A Purchase
In a previous article (http://www.cr4l.com/1/post/2013/10/word-of-mouth-marketing-demonstrably-effective.html ) I quoted a study by WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) which showed that 72% of people have been influenced by customer reviews and a whopping 81% are influenced by their friends and social media.
According to a Nielson study carried out in September 2013 84% of people most trust “recommendations from people I know” when purchasing.
In the old days you heard about new products or great restaurants from your social circle down the pub or at work. Now those social circles are much bigger and they are on the internet. Businesses need to engage with this medium in order to spread their message and get customers to recommend and talk about their products.
And that is what Social Media Marketing is all about.
Getting a Return on Your Investment
Whether you spend money or time on social media for your business you will want to maximise your return on investment. To do this you need to have a plan and stick to it. One of the biggest problems that most D-I-Y social media marketers have is distraction and lack of focus. It is all too easy to get side tracked and end up spending hours and get nothing for it.
3 Steps to Success With Social Media Marketing
· Step 1 is to make a plan
· Step 2 is stick to it
· Step 3 is monitoring it.
Golden rule of marketing is never to invest in something that you cannot tract the results from.
Let’s look at each step in order...
Step 1 – Make a Plan
You can get a useful template for planning your marketing from the free downloads page of CR4L (http://www.cr4l.com/free-downloads)
For a simple social media version you need to set your goals first. All good campaigns start with the end. These goals may be; traffic to your website; building a mailing list; building a fan list; brand awareness; brand confidence; actual sales... or one of several other outcomes.
Next you need to think about how much time or money you want to give to this. This will depend largely on the outcome you are looking for. Sales will directly pay for marketing so that is a lot easier to monetise. Bigger businesses will have a brand advertising budget, but that tends to be a luxury for a small business and not a wise investment.
Now you need to find out where your target audience are. Where do your current customers socialise online? What is their demographic and how do they best like to share things?
In general terms Twitter tends to be a younger crowd but of late the fasted growing group has been the 45 to 55 year olds. Facebook is for the majority so has been a safe bet. But it does not always give a good return on investment.
Step 2- Stick to it
As mentioned you can get distracted. You can also always find better things to do in a business than surfing the web. But social media marketing works over the long term. So if you decide to start stick with it and be consistent.
Twitter and Facebook are littered with accounts businesses have set up with good intentions. There are a few posts, maybe an initial spurt of energy and then it peters out to nothing. That is worse than not starting in the first place as it makes your business look neglected.
The rule of thumb is 4 to 6 interactions a day on each channel for best effect. This is a big commitment but you can ease the work with tools such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. These allow you to schedule posts and do all your work in one go.
Add to this systems like the “5 Step Google Traffic Booster” available on the CR4L free download page as a featured download. (http://www.cr4l.com/free-downloads)
Step 3 – Monitoring Results
Vital in any investment is knowing what you get back for your money. With social media activity you need to know what is giving you the results you see and focus on that. If something is not producing results stop doing it. At first this is hard as you do need to give it some time to have an effect.
Before long you will see what works and what doesn’t. Keep on with what does, axe what does not and try new things all the time. Keep up to date with blogs like this one to see any new helpful tips and keep at it.
The above process will work for any business. It is perhaps a little vague so if you would like to have a more concise plan and some bespoke advice on making Social Media Marketing work for your business then just get in touch through the contact page or visit http://www.cr4l.com for a full service that comes with the benefit of guaranteed results.
You may also like to see a related article:
Good luck and don’t forget to ask if you need help!
No matter what size your business and who your target audience is the most successful marketing strategy is to stand out and be different. That can mean all sorts of things but in an essence don’t be new and improved, be remarkable....
Remarkable – the key part of that word is “remark” – you want to be so significant that people talk about you to others. Do you remember the last really great product you came across? Was it good enough to tell your friends about?
This sharing is the key to success with social media. It’s easier now than ever for people to share your outstanding business with their friends and colleagues. Your business must have social media sharing icons on its web pages. Your blog must stand out and offer something remarkable. If you Tweet make it relevant and worth re-Tweeting. Become the subject of conversation.
All this is easier said than done. If you are a widget manufacturer just like many others how do you stand out and be remarkable? The same is true of restaurants, hotels, shops, garages, plumbers, builders, architects, engineers, designers and almost anyone that needs to attract new clients and business.
So many articles now have great content but then end with no real solution. Well I don’t want to do that here. No matter where you are and what your business is you can stand out and be remarkable. And I will prove it to you. CR4L offer “Results Marketing” – that means we get you results or you don’t pay (by the way that’s what makes CR4L remarkable) and we guarantee we can make your business remarkable too. If we can’t make your business remarkable you don’t pay.
Challenge CR4L to make your business stand out in 2014 by clicking the link.
Word of Mouth Marketing – demonstrably effective
There is a growing amount of data that indicates why word-of-mouth marketing is so appealing.
US trade body Womma (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) has conducted research showing that 72 per cent of consumer credit reviews from family or friends have either a great deal or a ‘fair amount’ of influence when deciding whether to use a product or service, while 81 per cent of consumers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts.
According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages report, published in September 2013, ‘recommendations from people I know’ are the most trusted form of brand advertising, with a score of 84 per cent.
And as digital communications have penetrated our world, this figure has grown, having been just 78 per cent in 2007.
It is also far more popular than the alternatives. The same report scores branded websites at 69 per cent, TV adverts at 62 per cent and emails – even those that consumers have consented to receive – at 56 per cent.
How Can Your Business Use This To It’s Advantage?
Word of mouth advertising has been around for a long time. We all love to be recommended to companies and products. When we are, as we have seen above, it makes a big difference to our purchases.
But how can we use this in our businesses to full effect? Personally I think that social media has given every business, no matter how big or small, a great opportunity to engage with their customers and prospects. Now we can use positive feedback and reviews as well as other social evidence to full effect online.
Not only that but as we have seen with the example of Plusnet we can use incentives to get our existing customers to bring in their friends. And customers that are recommended by a friend to Plusnet have a 50% lower churn rate.
Is It Time You Leveraged This Powerful Technique?
At CR4L Results Marketing we are implementing schemes like the Plusnet one for our clients. The numbers speak for themselves and we suggest you try a similar plan; especially if you sell to the public.
For more information see http://www.cr4l.com
I just had to share this article on social media marketing. It covers the basics and tells you about each social media platform.
If you if you want details on how to market on Facebook click here to see a recent article - alternatively click this link to see how to use LinkedIn to sell your product or services.
I love LinkedIn and wrote an article on how to best use it to get hot leads for your business (see the article here). Now it’s the turn of Facebook...
Facebook is a strange beast, and I mean beast:
But speaking from experience advertising on Facebook does not increase the bottom line. It’s cheap and gets traffic but actually getting sales from Facebook adverts has been hard. Until I stopped paying...
Now I don’t pay for adverts on Facebook but I am starting to get traction. Here is my latest figures:
Does that mean sales? No. But keep reading to find out to get more likes, more readers, more exposure and, yes, more sales...
Facebook lets you engage with your target audience. It also lets you capture their details and that is the key to success. Once you have their details you can engage with them and they will buy from you.
The step are simple enough:
1. Build a business page (not a personal page)
2. Add great content
3. Get likes – build your audience
4. Convert likes to contacts with data catchment
5. People will buy from you
Some businesses set up a profile for their business as if it were a person. It’s not effective so don’t waste your time. Be professional from day 1.
As with all successful strategies online content is king. Add great content to your Facebook page. Take it from your website and blog posts. If your company has brochures add them too and offer them as downloads.
Every time I post on my blog it automatically posts to my business Facebook page. It has a back link to the blog so drives traffic there. This has the dual effect of adding great content and getting people to my website.
Once you have something worth seeing you can start attracting visitors. Remember that your page must offer great value to the reader. They must want to go there and return. The truth is that after liking a page most people will not go back to it. However they will receive your posts directly on their news feed.
But be warned: if they do not engage with your content by commenting, liking or sharing it Facebook will notice. After a while Facebook will stop sending your content to their newsfeed. So keep your content informative, of value and engaging. Be fun and quirky too and you can even be controversial so that people comment more.
So how do you get likes?
1. Invite your personal friends
2. Invite your email contacts
3. Invite your business database
Join relevant groups on Facebook. Post on their timeline and attract people to your page. People on Facebook like to stay on Facebook. Make it easy for them. At the same time you can enhance results with offers of benefits if they like your page. This could be anything you can give away for free and preferably via email; like and eBook. To help with this kind of giveaway you can use a service like Rafflecopter. They have a free version which will suffice as the premium is a bit expensive.
Groups are key. Just as on LinkedIn you need to find and engage with groups relevant to your business. Then you post your articles and blog posts with these groups too. I post all my blog posts on my blog, Facebook page and in all my LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Maximum coverage and impact.
Your goals are to increase engagement, build authority and trust. Comments from customers are great here so ask some happy customers to posts some good feedback on your page for you. Once your page gets bigger you can even segment it and have sub groups. You may have a testing group for new offers or ideas; another of existing clients and another for people interested in one area you deal in.
Next put links to your page on your website and blog. Add like buttons everywhere you can and use the send buttons too so that people can share your posts with their friends. This is where valuable information is key to success. Your articles must be worthy of sharing.
This article is a prime example. I know of one marketer who charged $40 for an information product which said pretty much all that I am. However he left out one vital point about data catchment. You see its all very well having a great Facebook page and lots of likes. But as I have already said people on Facebook like to stay on Facebook.
So now you have to entice them off and into your data catchment. But let’s not leave just yet. You can use events to get leads and you can use the Raffelcopter system I mentioned earlier. They are both hosted on your Facebook page so that is a big plus.
Of course all of your blog posts and articles will entice people away to your website where I am sure you have great data catchment (if not call me!). But one thing that is overlooked by almost all Facebook business pages is that you can use the "about" section at the top left of your Facebook page. This little box is edited in the admin and called “short description”. Use it as an advert and put your website link in it (use the full http:// version).
Entice people away for a great offer or free product. This section stays on top of the page ALL the time. People will see it and if it’s a good offer they will click the link. Have a look at mine on the Results Marketing System page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/resultsmarketingsystem?ref=hl)
So in a nutshell.:
1. Great content
2. Attract relevant visitors
3. Give value and engage
4. Capture data
Happy Days! More sales :)
Alternatively: if you don’t have the time to do all of this for your business but would like the results, you can get CR4L to do it for you. We have a package that is guaranteed to work – or you don’t pay!
This is another offer from Results Marketing. See more at http://cr4l.com
How to Shoot Great Looking Video Clips for Nothing
Free Self Marketing tips
If you want to know more about self marketing then fill in the form below.