A lot of business owners who are not on social media think that getting on Facebook or Twitter is a very complex and time-consuming task. On top of learning the technology used in each social media platform, they would have to interact with the customers and get involved in a lot of processes.
This is why many business owners still shy away from social media even if they understand that it would help them sell more and better market their products and services.
But is social media really that complex? We think that it is not. It is actually just very simple. When you think of social media, think of P.R.I.M.E.: Promotion, Response, Information, Measurement, and Engagement.
Although marketing your products and services using your social media efforts is always downplayed, it is the main reason that you must set up a Facebook page, a Twitter account and any other social media profiles. Remember that promoting your products and services on social media outlets is not a no-no per se, but you have to do it sporadically. You should also be creative about how you promote your products or services. Instead of just saying “buy now” create an interesting video about your latest product, or come up with a contest or giveaway that would involve the goods you offer.
On social media platforms, the conversation may be started by you or your customers. The control over what information is put up on social media is not exclusive to businesses and this is where most owners cringe. But remember that every question, complaint or reaction that appears on your social media accounts is a great opportunity to sell your products, do some customer service, or generally engage your customers. Respond to questions in a timely manner and you would be able to gain that customer’s trust.
When you receive a complaint about your product or service, do not erase the complaint, or worse, fight with the customer. Instead see if the customer has a point and whether you or your staff is in error. Try to remedy things and see that you address the complaint satisfactorily and ensure that it does not happen again.
There are two ways to get your customers to come back to your Facebook page or Twitter account: entertain or inform them. Sharing informative content on your page is a good way to hook your customers, get them to start talking, and start a relationship with them.
Information about your products and how to use them is a good way to sell too. For example, if you run a grocery, then you could consider coming up with recipes that would make use of your merchandise as ingredients. Or perhaps you could do how-to videos, such as how to assemble your DIY furniture or how to create a cross-stitched coaster using the things you sell at your crafts store.
If you run a service, share information about the latest in your industry. For example, a SEO company on Facebook can certainly benefit from sharing news and updates about what’s going on in the world of search engine optimization. This will paint you as a credible and authoritative source who knows what he’s doing.
No marketing campaign should be put in place without some way to measure the effects or results of your efforts. Make sure that you have a clear goal in mind when starting your social media campaign and find ways to measure your success. The best thing about social media is that the data and information you need to see is easily obtainable. If your goal is to sell more, then take a look at your sales and see how it changes with your social media efforts. For example, see if a contest that you launched on Facebook was able to drive enough sales to make it worth your while. Or try to see if your sales increased as your activity on Twitter also increased.
There are different metrics that you could tap for each goal that you might have. Understand how the data that you have could give you insights into these goals and monitor your results. Focus on these data and results and keep the others in the background, this is the only way you can avoid being overwhelmed by all the data that is available.
Monitoring your social media efforts can also help you fine-tune it. For example, if you see that a recent giveaway you had did not do much for your sales, then take a look at what might have gone wrong. You could learn a lot from this exercise so that your next promotion becomes an astounding success!
Most social media practitioners would probably tell you that engagement should be your primary goal. But in reality, engagement is the end result of a properly executed social media campaign.
In order to engage your customers properly, you should do all the previous steps well. You should know how to promote creatively, respond promptly, give out timely and relevant information, and monitor results effectively.
It may be a difficult thing to achieve but it is well-worth the effort. Not only do engaged customers give you lots of repeat business, but they are also very loyal advocates of your brand. These are the customers who recommend your business to their friends, give you free advertising on their own Facebook walls, and even defend your business when the need arises.
How can you apply the five pillars of social media to your business?
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