Still trying to learn how to market on social media? You have probably learned that social media marketing is anything but easy. Let us take a look at what it actually takes to market business on these social sites.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest are all totally cost free platforms that any business can utilize to engage directly with their audience. However, many people have mistakenly gotten the notion that this engagement is free and easy. Amy Vernon, who is a social marketing adviser, as well as a cofounder and CMO of Predictable.ly agrees. “One of the biggest false assumptions about using social media for marketing is that it doesn’t cost money and it’s fast,” she says. “Like all good things, ‘getting the word out’ takes time.” Fortunately, there are things we can do to speed up this process.
Build Your Channels Early
“Don’t wait for launch day to create your social media channels,” says Vernon. She strongly urges that you start creating and building your social media sites – as well as your online presence as soon as possible. There are actually some things that you can share prior to launching your business. “Share information relating to your industry,” stresses Vernon. “Become a resource of information. Connect with others in your industry and talk to them.”
Build Relationships with Influencers
“Just like your social media channels, you need to build relationships before you ‘need’ them,” Vernon points out. She recommends that you should begin by seeking bloggers and journalists who typically write about your market or niche. “Read, comment on, and share their posts, if appropriate.” You need to begin connecting and cultivating influential relationships with experts in your niche who can give you great help down the road. “When you approach them later, they’ll be more likely to recognize your name, or at least be receptive, because it’s obvious you know what they cover,” said Vernon.
Find your Audience
If you still have not started building your social networks and developed relationships ahead of time, Vernon recommends that you figure out the social platforms that can reach your target audience the quickest and most effectively. She urges that you study those platforms and, when it is possible, start targeting that audience with your advertising on those platforms.
“Find out who’s talking about what, where they’re talking about it, and then start listening there,” Vernon said. And you have to understand that determining where you can find your target audience on social media will take time – it requires that you search for those people who have been chatting about topics that are critical to your business. There are lots of tools out there that help you listen to all the conversations on social media. She actually recommends FollowerWonk and SpiderQube.
Join the Conversation
One vital thing that you can do to promote your business is by becoming a part of the conversation. “You can participate in Twitter chats and Google Hangouts that relate to your business,” she suggests. You can always jump into ongoing conversations pertaining to your market by using trending hashtags on most any social media platform.
While Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are generally the most receptive social media platforms for businesses, Vernon emphasizes that no social media platform is off limits – you just have to a modify your content to the standards of any given platform. “I’d have thought, for example, that people would hate seeing businesses on Tumblr,” Vernon points out. “But IBM does a fantastic job on Tumblr because the content they create for it and share there really taps into the type of content that Tumblr fans like.”