Every business, online or not, has several of the same basic goals, but there are 5 business goals that social media allows you to accomplish quickly – much faster than normal. This is why everyone should learn to use social media and learn to apply it with skill and use it extensively.
Never during the history of marketing and promotion has there been a medium as effective and as targeted as the world of social networking. In many ways, it has level the playing field. Any one of us as individuals can make a huge mark in the social media world. Most notably, there are the 5 business goals that social media allows you to accomplish quickly – traditional businesses work hard for years to achieve these.
Harnessing the Powerful Influence of Social Networking
Today, we can create and promote brands that are capable of dominating many mid-level markets and niches. When using social media strategies, many of us have gone out and created brands, promoted them aggressively, and have grown online audiences that most any traditional business would envy.
The remarkable thing about this is that this outrageous feat can be accomplished for little or no costs at all. In fact, there are several marketers out there who have spent no money at all and have amassed literally millions of fans and followers online. The secret is that most of these savvy marketers have mastered one or two powerful methods with only one social media channel. There is certainly great power and influence in specialization.
Accomplishing Traditional Business Goals Much Faster
Using social media allows us to do many things that we haven’t been able to do before. For instance, we can now define an exact customer – right down to the hair color and number of kids they have – and then promote our brand only that customer. This is the power of running paid ads on social media advertising channels – where we only pay for that customer profile to view our ads. Never in the history of advertising have we had this kind of precision available.
But there are certain traditional business goals we can now accomplish with great ease. In fact, there are 5 business goals that social media allows you to accomplish quickly. And we are talking about goals that every business in the world is seeking. Let us examine them one by one.
1) Building Trust
Every business needs to cultivate trust within their potential customer base. When you use social media, you are creating more and more opportunities for yourself to build that trust. In a traditional business, the only chance you have to demonstrate that your business is trustworthy is when a customer visits you in person – and the amount of time is limited during those visits.
When you use social media, you are able to post communications on a daily basis. Many of these posts can be delivered to specifically foster trust with your audience. Let us look at ways to build trust online.
Be authentic and sincere. You must be real and sincere as you communicate with your online audience. Do not be afraid to share some personal stories about yourself. Experts tell us that one of the quickest ways to build rapport with others is by sharing personal stories with them.
Another way to be real is to use only authentic images in your online posts – never ever use stock images. Take pictures of your business and your staff. You can also design your own graphics.
Be humble. All of us admire humility in others. Do not be afraid to poke fun of yourself occasionally – it is tremendously endearing to the masses. Try to come off as a “home boy (or girl) who made it big”. Be almost apologetic and surprised by your successes.
Show your selflessness. A great way to demonstrate you are trustworthy is by using social proof. You should post and share testimonials from your previous customers. Share their stories with your online audience using verbiage that your readers can empathize with.
You can also show selflessness by sharing content with them that is very helpful. If you can help them solve an annoying problem, then they will love you for life.
Demonstrate devotion to service. Whenever someone complains about your product or service online, you must address immediately. If you run and hide from online complaints (like many others tend to do), then your business will suffer irreparable damage because many potential customers are watching to see what you are going to do.
Instead, look at these online gripes as fabulous opportunities for you to demonstrate how devoted you are to solving their problems. If you sincerely make a huge effort on a public social media platform to help unhappy customers, everyone will see how devoted you are and this will earn you a huge amount of trust.
Keep in mind it won’t matter whether that particular customer was ever satisfied or not, observers will understand if unhappy customers are unreasonable and will not hold it against you. Building trust is certainly one of the 5 business goals that social media allows you to accomplish quickly.
2) Building Authority
When we operate businesses in the traditional manner, it is extremely hard to position yourself as an authority. The only means you have to build your authority is when a customer actually comes into your business. And even if they do visit your establishment, you have to interact and engage with them to demonstrate your knowledge about your market.
The only other way a traditional business has to build authority is through various advertising mediums. Often times, the problem with these advertising mediums is that a lot of customers have been mentally ignoring them for years.
Let us look at how you can build authority on social media:
Knowledgeable content. Posting content that is both valuable and informative will build your online credibility as fast as anything. Ensure that your content is not rehashed garbage that everyone is already heard a dozen times. Create fresh new content that is unique and demonstrates your command of your niche.
There is no substitute for amazing content. You want your content to be so great that when it is rehashed (and it will be, if it’s good), everyone will know that you were the one who created it in the first place.
Identify the most effective times to share. Each and every social media platform has its own “sweet spot”. This is simply the best time of day to post on that particular social networking site. Make sure that you are well aware of the best times to post as this will be the times when most people are spending time there. Also, you need to know how many times you should post daily on that platform for maximum effectiveness.
Post your great content in a timely manner. When you are timely in posting your content, it means that your post compliments and corresponds with current news and events that are presently trending in your market or niche. There are a few great reasons why timely posts are so effective.
General interest is elevated. When a trending news story occurs, it generates an interest and curiosities about that particular niche or market. This means that your timely post can potentially attract a lot more interest than it normally would. Thus, your posts should address an audience with a basic knowledge level in your niche.
It positions you on the cutting edge. When there’s a big news story, and you post content that compliments that news story, then get to enjoy some added authority. This is because readers will automatically associate your timely post with the news story. It gives your audience the impression that you are actually on the cutting edge of your market.
Create connections with like-minded people. You can deepen your association with your market by associating with many other people and businesses within that market. Engage with them online as often as possible – in full view of your audience. This practice will allow them to see your as more of an authority in your niche.
3) Become a thought leader
These last three goals are probably the most previously elusive from our list of 5 business goals that social media allows you to accomplish quickly.
Becoming a thought leader was previously something that very few traditional business leaders ever accomplished. This is simply because it requires a comparison to other leaders within a given market. The Internet is what makes such a comparison possible in the first place.
Before even being considered as a thought leader, you must have already built a significant amount of authority in your market – as described in the last section. Once you have authority, it’s a matter of winning over other figures of authority in your market as well. Here are some things you can do to make that happen.
Craft your elevator story. We have all heard about the ‘elevator story’. It is simply a response to the question, “What do you do?” We craft our response as if someone very important had just asked us in an elevator, and we only had a moment to respond. Our statement would have to be brief, informative, while presents us in the best light.
We need to have a compelling elevator story, if we want to become a thought leader. In fact, we would need something like a campaign slogan – something that people can relate to and is catchy.
Our main focus must be a sustainable interest. We can’t expect to be seen as a thought leader in a trending niche or market. Our niche needs to be both evergreen and sustainable.
Discover the perfect platform for your messages. Pick a social media channel that works the best for your message and stay there. This is not to say you should ignore the other powerful social media channels, you just need to pick the one where the majority of your followers will go to hear from you.
Your goal is to reach an authority status to the point where if news occurs within your market, then your followers will look for your response to it. This is why they should know where you will most likely respond.
Create some videos. Even if your perfect platform is not YouTube, you should still create some high quality videos. The reason is that high quality videos have a way of boosting credibility by themselves. They are seen to have a natural aura of authority and you should take advantage of this.
Participate in every major online conversation in your market. Make sure that when conversations among the experts and gurus in your market begin taking place online, you become engaged with them. It doesn’t matter if you are invited or not, what matters is what observers perceive. And when you are taking part in major discussion online, you are immediately seen as an authority and eventually – a thought leader.
Connect to global markets. It wasn’t that long ago when tapping into global markets was simply a wish and a prayer. Unless you were involved in an export/import business of some sort, you couldn’t do any business overseas. Not the case anymore.
Online businesses today can engage a foreign audience immediately through their social media accounts. In fact, they are probably already making a few sales in foreign English speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia.
If an online business wishes to connect to the other global markets, they need only to have a translator convert their existing websites and blog pages to their design foreign language. Then they can post that content on a new domain of that language. Amazing how something that was one practically impossible is now so simple.
Become well known or even famous. Getting to the point where you are well-known or even famous is something that you actually have very little control over. Certainly if you work hard on items 1 through 4 in this article, you will have a much better chance of getting there.
However, doing all these things gives you a better chance of becoming well-known than you had when you merely operated a traditional business twenty years ago. If this is your goal, then I would concentrate on building your authority and becoming a thought leader.
Possibly the best thing you could do to boost your persona is to write a great book and then make a big splash on social media when you launch that book. Create several videos that effectively promote that book.
Another thing you can do is create a high level course in your market or niche. This makes you an instant authority and everyone who takes your course immediately sees you as a thought leader. After that, you can begin attending seminars and conventions that are taking place in your market.
While you are there, make sure you speak to every major personality at the convention. Make yourself memorable to them. Remember you now have a book and a course with your name on it – this gives you some status.
Hopefully, you now understand the unique power that social media offers every single one of us. It all depends on how creative we are and how willing we are to work those channels. More importantly, we now know the 5 business goals that social media allows you to accomplish quickly.