July 16, 2015
Does social media confuse you? Perhaps even scare you? In today’s world where companies are jockeying for market share and exposure, social media marketing has become perhaps the single most important tool for companies, especially small ones, to not just survive, but to thrive.
Social media enables companies to both connect with their customers and to allow for instantaneous consumer feedback, thus helping to establish and solidify brand loyalty.
But unlike 10 years ago when there were only a couple of social media players in the game, today there is a crowded playing field and for some companies it cannot only be confusing, but overwhelming on which sites and apps to choose.
There is a solution.
Remember in the old days when it was all about location, location, location for brick and mortar businesses? Believe it or not, that still holds true today. A smart business owner, for example, would never open a yacht dealership in the middle of the U.S. State of Montana. Well, when it comes to social media, in order to engage your customer base, you must be seen where they are located and knowing which social media site to target is important.
Unless your business targets people over the age of 65, which usually has a low engagement rate for social media, every company should have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Instagram and Pinterest are good too, but for a younger demographic (under 30). As for Google+, while it didn’t pan out the way the company hoped, it does appeal to devout Google product users.
Regardless of what social media sites or applications you use for your business, to have a successful campaign, always remember these three things: (1) Never buy likes, followers or viewers. All of your campaign traffic should be grown organically and come from those who really use your products or services; (2) Be sure you provide an equal amount of altruistic information to counterbalance whatever sales materials you are pushing as people do not like to be force fed and they will know when you are being too pushy; and (3) Minimize your engagement of family members and real life friends on your business social media accounts as they tend to clog up the funnel and prevent you from reaching your real consumers.
Update: This article was originally written in June 2015 and appeared in the August 2015 issue of StripLV magazine and later, on VegasSmarty.com. Since this first appeared there has been a lot of buzz about the downfall of Twitter. In February 2016 Victor Luckerson of Time magazine wrote an article titled “This One Chart Explains Why Twitter Is in Trouble,” which pointed to a declining user base and questioned whether or not Twitter could effectively monetize their market the way Facebook was able to. But, don’t count Twitter out just yet. Those users who’ve dropped off were the casual users. Twitter still has a loyal user base and since it will be some time before it becomes another Myspace, your company should maintain a presence there.