The first step is to find the right audience & then become a part of that community. Building relationships is really the key to social media success. Majority of people wont purchase right off a social media site. Your goal should be to bring people into your community so that you can strengthen relationships with them. Read more to efficiently leverage social media channels for your business.
1. How You Can Make Social Media Work for Your Business Social media can be defined in a number of different ways, depending on who you ask. A general definition of social media is that it is any form of online publication, software or presence that allows users to engage in multi-directional conversations to share information, ideas and current happenings. Social media includes blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, My Space, Video Hosting sites like YouTube and can even extend to social news sites like Digg or Reddit. User interaction is really the key component of social media. Businesses will sometimes refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). For businesses, social media offers a new method of reaching consumers and has changed the way businesses are marketing and utilizing marketing campaigns. Larger percentages of marketing budgets are being allocated to social media and marketing studies are constantly being conducted into every imaginable aspect of social media, with results that are tallied, analysed and debated. The difficulty in using social media from a business or marketing standpoint is that the medium itself is constantly in flux, always changing and therefore it becomes difficult to keep up. As a result, businesses can often find it difficult to figure out how to use social media in a meaningful way to build a customer base and expand marketing.
2. Christine Gallaghers article The Top 7 Facebook and Twitter Strategies That are Working Right Now has a number of excellent tips for businesses who are looking to take advantage of social media, but arent sure the best strategy to take. Gallagher suggests that the first step is to find the right audience and then become part of that community. To do this you need to understand who it is your business or service wants to target, and then find out what sites these people populate. A big social media error that many businesses make once they find the communities their target audiences frequent is to spam these communities and over advertise by aggressively pushing their products and services. This type of approach is a big turn off for potential consumers and really defeats the purpose of social media, which is to make connections with people. The reason this approach fails, according to Gallagher, is because most people are there to build relationships and interact, which means that this should also be a goal of your business. Its appropriate to let people know whats going on with your business sometimes, as long as you maintain two-way conversations and use social media to build relationships and connections with your potential consumers. Building relationships is really the key to social media success. If your company is using social media to get a person to purchase from you now, then you are destined to fail. The majority of people wont purchase from you 3. right off a social media site like Facebook or Twitter. Instead, your goal should be to bring people into your community so that you can strengthen relationships with them. Email can be a good way to accomplish this. Ensure you give people an opportunity to provide their email address on your website or blog so that you can keep in touch and continue to build relationships. Building relationships and keeping in touch can be time consuming, which is why many companies are turning to social media experts to take care of this for them. Internet marketing experts can maintain and manage the social media aspects of your business.