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!
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