Social media marketing has become the Holy Grail of customer engagement for business. Whether your business is a small tech startup or multi-national corporate conglomerate, social media has become a major deciding factor in determining customer engagement and success.
Surprisingly, while many businesses have ran head-on into social media, in much the same way that every business jumped onto the web during the last decade, not all of have taken the time to ask themselves one simply question: Why? Why is social media an important marketing tool for business in 2016?
It’s Where the Customers Are:The most important reason that social media is important for business is also the most basic one – social media is where your customers are. In 2015, 75 percent of American adults were regular users of social media, compared to only seven percent ten years earlier, in 2005.
It’s Where Your Competition Is: A whopping 90 percent of businesses are now believed to have a social media presence on the internet. If your customers – or potential customers – are looking for you on social media, you need be there, if for no other reason that you competition is probably already there.
Social Media Drives Traffic to Your Site: Social media can also be used to drive traffic to your ‘official’ web site. Connecting with potential customers on social media increases awareness of your brand, and entices customers to visit your site and learn more about your product or service.
SEO Optimization: Social media can play a critical role in search engine optimization (SEO). Maintaining a well-cultivated social media presence can boost your business’s ranking in search engines and push more traffic to your site.
Now that we know why social media is important for your business, let’s take a look at the top ten laws of social media marketing:
The Law of Listening: Social media is a two-way street. It’s not just enough to just put out your message, you must encourage feedback from your social media audience. Take the time to join in with the discussion on social media and learn what is important to your audience.
The Law of Focus: You can’t be all things to all people, and neither can your social media presence. Take the time to build a consistent, focused brand message and content across all of the social media platforms that you use. Trying to build a different message or different image to satisfy specific market segments dilutes your brand, confuses consumers, and can be seen as pandering.
The Law of Quality: Take the time to build quality relationships with your followers. Ten thousand – or even fewer -- followers who are truly interested in your brand and your message are more important that 100,000 followers who connect on a whim but who have little-to-no interest or commitment to your company. Build a solid core of devoted followers, and give them what they need to grow their numbers organically.
The Law of Patience: Success on the internet follows much the same rules as success in the real world in that lasting success takes time. Success will not happen overnight, it will take time. It is critically important that any business trying launch a successful social media presence understand that it will take both time and commitment to see success on social media. The key is to be patient, move forward with a consistent message, and wait for success to happen. Resist the urge to immediately re-tool your social media presence if you do not see immediate success.
The Law of Compounding: Provide compelling, interesting social media content, and in return your followers will share your content through their accounts on other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This will have a compounding or amplifying effect that will take your message far beyond your intended audience and greatly extend your social media reach by encouraging your audience to act as an advocate for your social media marketing efforts.
The Law of Influencers: The growth of social media has led to the rise of a new class of brand ambassador, the social media influencer. Influencers generally have large, dedicated groups of followers who serve as a ready-made audience for the product or service the influencer has decided to support. Take the time to discover the largest influencers in your business sector, and work to build a relationship with those influencers.
The Law of Value: Resist the urge to use social media as a one-way street to simply sell, sell, sell your product. Give your customers a selection of quality, interesting content that can stand on its own and that has little or no direct connection your product or service. This will build both interest and loyalty to your social media presence and more importantly, to your business. This sends the clear message that you value customer interest more than simply trying to push your product and will yield tremendous dividends across social media.
The Law of Acknowledgement: Building relationships is critical to your business’s success both online and in the real world. A critical part of that relationship building is the simple courtesy of acknowledging your audience by replying to any questions or feedback they may submit to you. Make your audience feel valued and important to you by simply paying attention to them, and addressing their questions, concerns and suggestions.
The Law of Accessibility: Your audience must feel that you are accessible to them. This means that you need to be willing to consistently engage your audience and participate in a conversation with them. Do not simply drop content on your social media feed and then disappear – remember the importance of establishing and maintaining a consistent, two-way relationship with your audience. Social media audiences are notoriously fickle and will quickly drop a business which they feel is unresponsive or inaccessible.
The Law of Reciprocity: Other sites or blogs may be willing to share your content with their audience. This can greatly extend your social media marketing reach far beyond your targeted audience. However, for this to work, you must be willing to reciprocate in kind and share their content with your audience. This reciprocity is one of the foundations which can give you the edge you need to put your social media marketing effort in high gear. Be forewarned, however, that if you are not willing to reciprocate, you will quickly find your content shunned by potential allies. The internet is a big place, and it helps to have as many friends as possible to push your company and your brand to untapped audiences.
Social media can be a powerful marketing tool for any business.
Source: Susan Guneleius - https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/218160.
You may notice that Kerin spells her name a little differently than most. It happened in Grade 4 when there were a bunch of other Karens in her class. She changed it to stand out and has been standing out ever since.