In 2014, you may want to turn at least some of your marketing focus to social media marketing. Social media is a great way for small businesses to engage customers, encourage brand advocacy, and may even provide a unique platform for “self service” tech support. Most importantly, it is a great way to interact directly with your current and potential new customers. According to HubSpot, an inbound marketing software platform, social media produces almost double the marketing leads of traditional outbound methods. Here are 3 questions to consider answering before launching your business on social media:
Question 1. What is your social media strategy?
Consider your type of business and customer base to determine which social platform is the right fit. Example, if you are selling ice cream directly to consumers, then a Facebook Fan Page is a perfect fit. Facebook is fun, light, and casual. If you are a B2B business then perhaps a LinkedIn Company Page is the better way to roll. LinkedIn is a more professional atmosphere, a place to make connections and deals happen. And don’t forget Google+ which is the emerging platform for both personal and business entities. Once a platform or multiple platforms are chosen, you’d want to define the “voice” to use in your messaging and what type of offers or incentives you’d want to create and implement via a marketing calendar.
Question 2. How will you make it your own?
While most social media platforms are limited to what page elements can actually be customized, there are still many opportunities to get your unique messaging and creative branding implemented. Think about what creative resources you have available and plan to have your design created in a way that represents your brand and engages visitors. If you are a complete newbie to all this, consider using an outside resource that is focussed on social media marketing to get you primed and ready to go.
Question 3. What are your goals for social media marketing?
It is always important to set goals for social media, or any other marketing vehicle for that matter. Consider providing better service to your customers as one goal. Many companies use platforms like Twitter to provide technical support. I have had some positive experiences with my own electric company, Unitil, on Twitter when the power was out at my house. Another goal could be to improve SEO on your website. It is always good to post links back to your website whenever possible to get traffic moving and to convert. These inbound links will help with your ranking on search engines like The Google. And my last suggestion for a goal would be to increase your customer base by “X” amount. Hey, this goal is good for any business, big or small, right?