“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”-Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin’s concept of inviting everyone in to converse and build relationships also applies to social media.Many business people are either afraid of social media or feel that they don’t have the time to devote to it. It is true that a certain amount of time needs to be dedicated to social media if you want it to benefit your business. In the case with social media, the benefits far outweigh the effort that you will need to put forth.How much time should be devoted to social media?It doesn’t actually take as much time as you think to get social media to work well for your business. You certainly don’t need to be connected 24/7. Consistency is critical when it comes to your social media strategy. You need to pick a schedule and stick to it. Initially, you don’t need to be connected to more than a few social media platforms. Over time, you can build up your list with appropriate social media sites that work for you and your business most effectively.When it comes to working with social media, you need to make sure that you have a definitive strategy, which takes into account how much time you are able to realistically dedicate to your online marketing efforts (at a frequency of your choosing). If you plan and organize your online activities properly, using time-saving tools and making certain that your return on investment (ROI) expectations are reasonable, your online marketing strategy will succeed.How much time will it take until you see results?Social media is an absolutely amazing tool. It is the most innovative marketing development that has come along in a very long time. One thing that is important to keep in mind is that it takes some time (6 months or more) for you to see the fruits of your labor when it comes to social media. However, there are some positive changes that you will notice along the way because of social media that contribute to the overall picture of increased success for your business.As you start to share large amounts of content, you will notice an increase in traffic to your website almost right away. If you have a blog, you will see that other people are making comments on your blog postings and more and more content will be generated that way also.Once people start to notice that there is value in your content, they will be inclined to want to share it with others. This will lead to your acquiring more fans, followers and connections. All of these positive changes are contributing factors to building your online communities and acquiring loyal fans who will be partial to your brand. The ultimate result of that is that your loyal fans will share your content with other people without asking for anything in return; they will share your content because they believe in it and in you.Persistence, persistence, persistenceA large part of your success in business through social media will be due to your willingness to be persistent. If you continue to work at social media marketing for your business, you will undoubtedly achieve success. The simple fact is that in order for you to get more leads for your business from your website, you need to attract more people to your website. The more leads you get, the more business you will get.Inbound marketing, which is a marketing technique that brings your customers to you instead of you having to go after your customers, is very effective at generating leads and thus generating more business. Inbound marketing works and there is minimal cost involved for your business to become successful when using that method.Content generationThe most essential part of guaranteeing the success of your business through social media is content generation. The more content you generate, the more people will pay attention to you. The more people pay attention to you, the more they will be interested in learning more and more about you, start to consider you a subject matter expert, become loyal to what you are offering and eventually, want to buy from you.ConclusionSocial media is an essential part of all businesses today. If you don’t take advantage of it for your business, you are doing yourself and your business a great disservice. Social media is an easy, inexpensive and extraordinarily effective marketing tool and everyone should take full advantage of it.We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team.
Why use social media marketing?Many of today’s successful businesses have been around for years, long before the internet was a viable option in marketing a product. Although billboards, TV commercials, and radio and print advertisements have been successful in the past, they will not have the impact they once did in today’s market. Many people no longer check the newspaper for movie times, they reference online venues. Many people no longer hand-write letters, they electronically draft emails. Many shy away from garage sells when they can utilize Craigslist. While some may resist the facts, this country and the rest of the world relies on technology more and more every day. This is not something to dread or dwell upon; it is something to take advantage of!For anyone born after 1980, it is easy to notice the growing popularity of social networks and it does not take a genius to identify the direction in which our world’s social media market’s popularity will continue to move. People from the age of 20 to 29 use social media more than any other age group, with 41% spending 11+ hours a week on social media sites. Age 30 to 39 is the next most frequent user base of social media, with 37% of them spending 11+ hours a week on social media sites as well. While the younger age groups on these networking sites will be more interested in social status, the older groups will focus on marketing and advertising. Understandably, most people have heard of Facebook, which has become the largest social networking website to date. Facebook has over 500 million users, half of which log-on at least once per day. Among the US internet populace, 72% are members of Facebook, with ages 18-24 seeing the most rapid growth. That is 36% of this country’s internet users visit a single website each day! It would be exceptionally hard to find another channel with that kind of impact. Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs are just a few of the other popular social networks available today, all providing remarkable accessibility to a large group of people.Social media is the fastest growing marketing tool, and any business not capitalizing on its numerous capabilities could be at a disadvantage to its competitors. Waiting around and not taking advantage of this vastly growing marketing tool is an opportunity that companies are missing. Business is ever evolving and so must marketing campaigns in order to keep pace with the competition. So then why wouldn’t someone immediately get involved with social marketing? It cannot be money, as most of these networks are free. It cannot be experience, because anyone can outsource their social marketing for dirt cheap. Most people just do not know. They do not know what it is, nor understand its capabilities. But most importantly, they are unaware of the positive economic growth it will potentially have on their company.Social media marketing is the attempt to broadcast various forms of media over social networking technologies, plain and simple. A few perks of social media include increased exposure, increased lead generation, gaining of new partnerships, increased traffic, and marketing cost reductions. On average, 88% of marketers using social media have reported increased exposure for their business. Almost half of these individuals who employed marketing tactics through social media for 12 months or less reported new partnerships gained. Users who spent 6 hours or less per week saw their lead generation increase, and 58% of small business owners using social media marketing were more likely to see marketing cost reductions.The internet is providing this world with new products, capabilities, and tools that have never before been possible. Social media marketing provides the ability to potentially influence hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people for a fraction of the cost of outdated marketing methods. It is the responsibility of today’s businessmen to focus on the future of every market and the direction it is heading. Social media is a wise investment for almost any company and will be more beneficial the earlier it becomes integrated within a company’s strategic initiative. Social media networking is only going to grow, and my best advice at this point is to establish your brand as soon as possible through these means.
Starting at Base Camp: 7 Strategies to Post You’re Way to the TopNo matter what size or stage your business is in you know social media is a biggie in today’s world… you might also know that it can feel like an impossible task.Like anything else, there are some strategies to accomplishing the impossible.If you have a plan in place and understand what it is that you want to accomplish Mount Social Media can be conquered with ease.Whether you are jumping with excitement to get started, or a bit weary of the whole thing (like I was not long ago) social media is an important reality for any business.It can help you to increase your search rankings, brand identity and most importantly it allows your business to have a personality and voice that potential customers can start a conversation with easily.If you need some motivation, here it is: EVERYONE can be good, great, amazing at social media!But it isn’t a random thing, there is strategy involved so you’re not wasting your time and efforts.Below are seven strategies to get you on your way to the top:Strategy #1 – Develop a Goal
Understand why you want to embark on social media to begin with. What is your ultimate goal? Is it to get new clients, build your brand exposure, provide customer support, or gain a loyal following?
It is imperative to understand that social media is not going to get you an immediate return on your time investment. No matter what your goal is, your efforts should all be geared towards building relationships with your followers.
Determine how many times a day/week you will post, and block off this time in your calendar. To start, make a commitment to post at least once a day on each of your main channels. Ideally, you will want to post more than that, but this is an achievable goal to get you started.
Strategy #2 – Create a Clear Target Market
Who is your ideal target market? The more clear you are on the specific persona of the new client or purchaser of your product that you would like to attract, the easier it will be to fulfill your goal outlined in Strategy #1.
Avoid making it a means to advertise – this is NOT where you want to “push” your wares on people. It is all about pulling people in and allowing them to get to know, like and trust you.
Strategy #3 – Start Small
Feeling a bit confused as to what networks to be on? Fear not. Start small and build.
The best thing to do is to start with one network that you feel your ideal target market hangs out at and focus there.
Build your followers and get comfortable with the one platform. Once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s time to add on another channel to continue to build your online brand presence.
Strategy #4 – Slap Those Social Media Icons Everywhere
Include icons/links to all of your marketing materials, such as your email signature, your website, your newsletter/eZine and even your business card if there’s room (But only if you can include the whole URL. It does no good to just have the Facebook icon without telling people where to find you!)
Cross reference between channels as much as possible. If there is no specific field to add in your other social media channel links, add the full URLs into your description field, accompanied by a call to action such as: “Follow me on these other social media channels as well!”
Strategy #5 – Be Recognizable
Optimize your profile description so that it is clear and concise, and uses keywords that your ideal client would be searching for if they were wanting to connect with someone that offers solutions to their problems.
Have consistent visual branding across all social media channels. The most prominent brand representation you have is your website and so let this serve as the central theme to all of the visual designs allowed in each of your social media channels.
Strategy #6 – Stay Dedicated and Consistent
Don’t bother getting started if you’re not prepared to stay consistent in your efforts. People will forget about you faster than you’d ever want to admit, so consistency is the key to make this work. (If this strategy is stopping you from starting at all, you might want to consider participating in a group social media membership program)
Schedule your posts to save time and ensure posting frequency. There are many tools to do this, one of them being largest – Hootsuite.
Strategy #7 – Hash With a Purpose
Hashtags (#) have become very popular on many social media platforms. When planning it is important to make sure they are targeted for your industry and offering.
Each industry may have unique hashtags that you can study by being active and engaged in your social media community.
Using targeted hashtags will allow you to make more valuable connections and reach your target market.
If you think you are alone in the social media fog, you are not. I often have clients come to me feeling like they are lost when it comes to social media, not knowing where to start or what to do.I too felt this way not too long ago… but I am here to tell you that there is blue sky ahead! Mastering social media is possible and by following these seven strategies you will be soaring to the top in no time!What is your biggest social media challenge that’s preventing you from starting that “Mount Social Media” climb?