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!
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.
What are the 7 key things every start-up company should be doing to market their business?
1. Build a website
2. Get traffic to that website
3. Build a list of prospects
4. Build relationships with prospects
5. Get feedback
6. Sell product
7. Get feedback – the second cup
You’ll notice that all the way down in 6th is the selling, and get feedback is before and after the sale. Feedback and customer opinion is important in any business. In a startup business feedback is essential in developing the offer and product.
You may be aware that many startup businesses have a great product or service and then proceed to fail in taking it to market. One of the main problems is that as an entrepreneur or business developer you can get so involved in your amazing new product that you lose sight of what the real world will thinks of it.
I am sure that you will agree this is one of the reasons that market testing is essential before committing to a big launch. If you have ever seen Dragons Den on TV you are sure to have seen entrepreneurs that are very enthusiastic about their product. But the sum total of their testing is often just asking their friends what they think. Dragons want to see sales to the public and public feedback; not mates telling you your widget is great.
So you can see the advantage of a soft launch before committing a lot of money to a big launch: See if you can get a few early adopters. Then get feedback from them and develop your offer so that you can get to the next stage and on to the mass market.
Let’s assume that you have some product to sell or your beta system is ready to trial, then the steps are simple:
1. Build a website
You’ll probably remember that a few years ago websites were very expensive things built by geeks. Now ... well actually if you go to a web developer you will be told you need the latest bits, bobs and features to make your site cutting edge. Suddenly we are back to expensive again.
But you know it doesn’t have to be like that. 99% of businesses do not need a fancy state of the art website. 90% of developers know little about making money with a website. So I suggest starting with a simple site. Don’t go mad because you will have to make changes.
If you are building an online shop, try a template, if you want an app do the same to start with. Most things have been done and unless you are in software or web development the chances are you can find something similar and have it adapted rather than pay for development from scratch.
KISS – do the KISS test – Keep It Simple Stupid! Pick a launch date and stick to it. Don’t over develop. I know of startup businesses that kept adding to or adjusting websites before launch and never launched. Just get it out there and start. Add features and usability as you go along. The early adopters will not mind if the offer is good enough.
2. Get traffic to that website
I am sure you know that this is a big subject. How do you get traffic to you website as a new business? Well one way is to employ a marketing company. The other is to do it yourself. Do you or one of your team have the time? If so you can get a book like The Results Marketing Workbook and set up multiple marketing systems yourself.
If not then you will need to spend some money: but don’t blow the budget before you have tested and got feedback from the early adopters. Far better to go in slow and see what works. A little at a time. Here you can use a service like CR4L.com offer to drive traffic to your site and move you up the rankings. Get your fist customers and learn.
The key first steps must include: SEO, great content on the site; PR, back links, a blog, guest blogging, video, social media and above all else data catchment...
3. Build a list of prospects
You will see here that data catchment is essential to success. After all, it’s hard enough getting visitors to your website in the first place, so whilst they are there you want to get their data so that you can engage with them. Data catchment is as simple as asking for visitor’s email address in return for a free product or offer.
There are several companies out there that offer data catchment on websites. Personally I use Aweber but Mail Chimp is another option. Your web developer can help you with that and install the widget on your site. If you develop yourself it couldn’t be easier. Just like adding a PayPal purchase button you get some code from the service provider and pop it on the page where you want it. Use Java script so that any changes you make to the widget later will come through to the site automatically without having to change the code.
How do you get people to share their email with you? In the old days that was easy but now people are weary of giving out their email, they wonder what they will get in return. So you need a really great offer, or fantastic news that they will want every week/month from your newsletter.
There are some great new widgets available too; such as from Rafflecopter which allows you to offer your product in a raffle. People enter through the widget and their data goes to your Aweber list (if that’s who you use).
2 negatives with this offer: $59,99 a month and the biggest one; just because someone wants something for free does not mean they will pay for it. However, because it costs you no more to service 10 people as 100 people with automated emails what does that matter?
There are lots more ways to build a list and once again, if you are doing this yourself I suggest referring to something like the Results Marketing Workbook for ideas.
Your list of potential purchasers is gold. Build the list, build relationships and build profits...
4. Build relationships with prospects
#1 Rule – give value first. There aren’t any other rules to speak of; that is the be all and end all of selling to your list. Form the free offer or product they get to join the list to every email they subsequently receive: send them value and lots of it.
That value might be useful information or it may be ideas or ways to make their life better in ways related to your offer. In my case I am a marketer so I give people help marketing their products and businesses. I give as much away as I can so that people get incredible value and can see the quality of what I offer.
The idea is that if you like what I do for free you should try being a client and then you will get amazing value!
5. Get feedback
This is also a time for you to engage with people. Get them to comment on your blog or Facebook page. Get some feedback. Answer questions that are important to your business development. There may be something stopping people from buying from you that the public can see and you can’t. It may be simple and easy to change but make all the difference to your conversions.
6. Sell product
You will know that in sales people buy from people, or more accurately; personalities. People would rather pay more and buy from someone they know and trust than pay less from a stranger. In mass retail people buy from brands that they identify with and associate themselves and their values with.
Think of Apple and Nike. People buy from Apple because that is the kind of people they are, or want to be seen to be. People put on Nike because they are the people who Just Do It!
During the relationship building phase you should have got your message out about who you are; your company’s personality. You should have built trust through giving value first. Then people will be willing to give you a try and buy from you.
Hopefully your prospects are aligned with your company’s ethos and that will make the selling stage all the easier. It will also help you to retain customers.
7. Get feedback – The Second Cup
I am sure that you can see a pattern building here. You will understand how important feedback is. However many companies just move on to the next prospect once someone has bought. Don’t do it! It cost you a lot of effort and money to get that sale. So now you will want to nurture your new customer and reinforce your relationship.
You may ask them what they think of their purchase. Get some ideas of how you can make it and the sales process better. If people buy in to the company in this way and feel involved then you will have a customer for life.
As we used to say at CR4L; Customers are for Life, not just for Christmas.
The Second Cup: There is a wonderful little book by Mark Joiner called The Irresistible Offer. In that he talks about how to build an irresistible offer; an offer so good that people will just have to buy. You get your offer before a thirsty crowd and they will buy, then you sell them the second cup. The Second Cup is where the profit is. This is the ongoing relationship and where a business makes most of its profit.
Getting customers is expensive, keep them and keep selling them more great value.
8. Do more of what works – Turn it up!
You will have seen by now that I preach a system of marketing that uses multiple systems of marketing all working in concert to maximum effect: PR, PPC, SEO, article marketing, blogs, data catchment, social media, video and many more.
You can start with a few key systems and trying a few others such as social media and video. Test and do analytics and monitor closely what results you get. Then drop what is not working and do more of what is. It’s that simple. Don’t keep on putting money in to systems that don’t work; too many people do.
You can see the benefits of continually trying new ideas out. A lot of them will not work so stop them immediately as soon as you see that. If you find one that does work then do more of that.
You probably know that most start-up companies lack marketing skills in their team. As someone once said; having a great product but bad marketing is like making love in the dark: you know what you are doing but no one else does.
So you now have the key 7 Marketing Essentials For Startup Business. You will have seen how important testing is. You know that value first is the best way to build relationships. And you also know that is how I work. So if you need more exposure and clients, call or email me for help and advice; you know that I love giving value to people and if you like what I do for your business maybe you will become my customer for life.
PS. October sees the launch of my Irresistible offer – see what it is at http://www.cr4l.com/special-offer.html
Self Marketers should be using video more than anyone else - it is HUGELY powerful and FREE
Video On Your Website - the statistics...
Whichever way you look at it – Video is a powerful marketing tool. If you are not using video on your website you are missing out. Don't think that it costs money either; just watch my YouTube video to see how to make professional looking videos for NO money...
1. Use a short video clips to move fans from your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites, to your landing page.
a. Make a short video clip with a clear call to action and incentivise their action
2. Plan a mini campaign with a theme – this can be ongoing.
3. Leverage your clips over several media
a. First things first: upload your video to YouTube and optimize it with a URL (in the description), a great title and a clear call to action. Also, consider adding a video overlay that links to your landing page for extra traction. These are basically clickable banner ads.
b. Share your video in a status update on Facebook with a clear call to action. Then you can push additional traffic to it using Promoted Posts (set these up right on your post) and Page Post Ads (which also appear in the right-hand column and can be targeted to non-fans too).
c. Twitter is a platform we don’t associate strongly with video yet. So tweet your YouTube link (along with a link to your opt-in page) and stand out from the crowd!
d. Adding YouTube videos to Pinterest is a great way to spark shares. Whenever someone comes across your pinned video, the PLAY button is featured over the image, so it stands apart from all of the static images around it.
4. Armed with a quarterly strategic plan and premium content (your video, your giveaway, plus all the indirect content that supports both), you can convert fans into quality leads and eventually, loyal customers.
a. And you can continue to do so all year by focusing on new campaigns, themes and content, giving structure (and measurability) to your editorial calendar.
I have just started a mini campaign with the theme of tips on making marketing videos work for your business. Each one will go with a blog post and I will add some short clips to Vine and Instagram for extra coverage.
If you are not sure how to make a short video clip check out my YouTube Channel and this particular video. It shows how I make all my videos. Shot on HD with great looking lighting and background you might think that they cost a lot to make....
...But take a look at this video where I reveal the secret of how I made all my videos with my iPhone and some free software I downloaded. YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/cgSkkSmh4aw
Now it’s your turn... What’s one video tip that should be part of every “mini-campaign”? Share your experience in the comment box below.
How to Shoot Great Looking Video Clips for Nothing
Free Self Marketing tips
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