By James Adams
Small business owners in today’s world need to use any tool at their disposal to bring in sales to their business, and one particular tool that has proven successful over and over again is social media. This puts word of mouth on a grander scale, especially since businesses thrive when they can be accessed on the Internet. However, there is a certain art to doing it properly.
- Have a strategy: Just like other marketing tools, social media requires a strategy in order to be effective. Know what your main goal is, know your target audience and know how you want to get in touch with them. Also, just like any other marketing tool, there are some methods to social media that are going to be more effective than other kinds are at reaching your audience. Facebook, like LinkedIn, is considered by many to be a central hub of social media, visited by many professionals and it is inherently more active than any other social network.
- Build relationships: Building trust with customers is one of the more important aspects of driving sales, and social media can help accomplish this task. When you have a relationship with your customers, it gives them the chance to leave feedback on your business. They will also keep you in mind for the next time they need service in your field. Simply put, when they trust you, know how you work, and understand you as a business and a personal contact, they are comfortable buying from you.
- Maintain relationships: Offer incentives to your customers, engaging with them personally. For instance, if you have customers following you on Twitter, have them respond to a specific tweet and give them a coupon or some kind of product discount once they do. The purpose is to start a conversation regarding your products.
- Deliver great service and content: In social media, the content gets the crown. It is of vital importance to get out your information while it is still relevant and in a timely manner. Reaching customers is also important, no matter how they access their social media. To illustrate, cell phones are a popular gateway to access, so it would be wise for your information to be accessible through them. It would also be wise to avoid mistakes and to always maintain a professional outlook. In today’s world, once content has been made public, it stays public.
- Maintain consistency: Always be on your social media platforms. Once you have started, do not hold back. There is no forgetting about your platforms, lest you want your brand to appear less credible than it is. This rule also applies with your branding, which should always been the same. Make sure your advertisements are always clear and does not retain the clutter that other, less credible companies and brands set out.
These are five essential rules to follow when partaking in the social media platform. Make sure to follow them carefully; as many agree, it is better to avoid social media and not to participate than to indulge and do an awful job with it. After all, you do not want to lose credibility with your potential customers.
James Adams is a staff blogger for an online ink cartridges supplier. Suscribe to their blog for his writing on design and media.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sepblog/3675599842