Successful Social Media Strategies for Your Business
Before planning your social media marketing, think about your audience and the variety of ways you want to share your information. Once you have this in mind, you can develop a regular schedule for reaching out to customers.
It seems like a no brainer to use Facebook, right? Well, maybe not. While I definitely will not recommend you discontinuing your Facebook marketing, I will caution that you must branch out further. You never want your whole digital marketing strategy to be just in one field. An entire industry of social networks is out there waiting for more users. This can help you reach out to more than just Facebook users. Many online profiles will overlap but just as many are using two or less sites. Other options for digital marketing through social media include using websites such as Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram and Pintrest. Here is a breakdown of each option and what strategy you should use to add them to your marketing plan.
- Twitter currently has nearly 500 million users. The site is used by individuals, businesses, news sources, comedians and more. Users can update with quick 140 character posts. Posts can include pictures, links, top stories and news articles. The downfall to using Twitter is the limitation of characters typed at one time. This can make it difficult to get out a full thought. Also, with so many millions of “tweets” per day, your material can quickly get lost and go unseen by users.
- Google+ is a new addition to the social media world. The site offers chatting and sharing information similar to Facebook but it is not yet as widely used. As of yet, the business page options for Google+ are not as developed as on other sites. Do not put a ton of your strategy and effort towards marketing on Google+ right now but make sure you keep your eye on it. This site is growing in popularity and may very well be something worth talking about sooner than later.
- LinkedIn is a networking site for professionals. This is a great network to be a part of as the site links coworkers, clients, and business owners for a professional purpose and not just for casual interaction. LinkedIn does not have as big of a volume as its competitors but it is one to make sure you use since it is so specific to the business world. To make things simpler on you, link your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts together to have one post update in both places.
- Tumblr is a huge group of blogs. This is different than your status updates or quick advertising as blogs are typically at least 400 words and contain advice, comments, concerns, opinions and everything in between. Blogs are vital to your social media strategy. If you can give your followers more details on what goes on behind the scenes at your business or share articles and relevant material with them.
- Instagram is completely picture based but if it is a product you are selling rather than a service, you can easily use it to share pictures of what you have to offer. I’d recommend adding this to the same “wait and see” pile with Google+. Personal use on the site is overwhelming. People love the quirky looks they can give their photos but business use has not caught on fully yet. It may be a future for wordless advertising though.
- Pintrest is a great tool to post links to your business material. Users then RePin your posts which shares it with all of their friends, who can RePin it to share with all of their friends, and so on. It is like word-of-mouth marketing online with just a few simple clicks. Pinterest can also be linked to Facebook and Twitter simplifying your social media updates.
Before planning your social media marketing, think about the audience you are trying to reach and the variety of ways you want to share your information (for example, do you want to post links to related internet articles or do you want to post pictures of new things you have for sale?) Once you have this in mind, you can develop a regular schedule for reaching out to customers.
Studies show that the best time to reach clientele is during the week Mondays through Thursdays and in the mid afternoon time frame. If you market yourself on the weekends or during meal times, you may be limiting how many individuals you can reach as these are times that people are less likely to be using online services.
With hundreds of users deactivating their Facebook accounts daily due to disinterest and privacy issues, remember to diversify your usage. Just a few years ago, using social media would limit you to a teenage or young adult audience but now that there are so many options for social networking, there is something for everyone. Baby Boomers (and older) all the way to Generation Y (and younger) are online and sharing and looking for information.