Do you think that the importance of social media is overrated? And, that creating the right marketing message, with your hard work, will not attract customers?
Be that as it may, social media is an integral part of people’s lives. And this is the environment where your customers “live.” It does not matter that you are not fans of Facebook or Twitter, but what is important is that your clients use these social networks.
Over the past 5 years, I have been active in social life on the Internet, and this gives me a great opportunity to promote business.
Here are some ways that helped me.
Forget about ROI and sales
Often executives and financial directors are concerned and irritated by the expectation of profits from investing in social media. Undoubtedly, this is their primary task, to be sure that the money they spend is used expediently.
Therefore, resorting to the use of social media in business management, postpone the desire to see immediate results. Instead, build a relationship. And the way you build them is of great importance. Just being a businessman does not mean that you have the right to sell everything on social networks. People will see right through you, and you will look like spam – a bot that does it automatically.
Here are some tips on how to build relationships:
- Talk to people with interest
- Encourage employees, not just themselves
- Share your stories.
- Participate in discussions.
- Say thank you.
- Ask the right questions.
Do not follow followers
If in 2009, when Twitter was at the height of popularity, it was easy to follow someone and make them follow you, then in 2011 this strategy does not work anymore.
The reason for this is that many companies bother the followers with the abuse of spam. These companies refused to participate in discussions or to provide anyone with anything of value. They led the business with thoughts only about their own profit, not being interested in the needs of customers. Also, the persecution of followers makes you look hopeless and desperate.
What if I do not follow followers? You need to fill your site with compelling content and creating topics for discussion that will interest people to join.
For example, on my blog “How” I try to provide information that you can apply in practice, and respond to every comment, whether it’s a question or just a thought.
On Twitter, I share articles that can benefit you, and I try to give as many answers to your questions as possible.
On Facebook, I like to communicate with friends and make statements that can make things a little nervous. Why did I do this? Because of people like social media, it’s like a valve where they can release a little steam after a busy day. And, if every day you press them with your sales, they will only turn away.
Offer a free consultation
One of the main advantages of social media, which I like most of all, is the opportunity to study for free. Learning is something you should do all the time, especially if you are an entrepreneur.
In my blog, I would like to give you advice on how to start a business, as this is a really useful treat. Sharing what I know helps me learn new things. But blogs are not the only place where you can give free advice.
Twitter is ideal for spreading simple tips for business in the form of small proverbs or quotes of famous and successful people. Also on Twitter on a particular hashtag, you can search for names of topics that people are discussing, and where it is possible to withdraw various ideas on how to help customers.
Facebook as email 2.0 allows you to truly immerse yourself in the topic. Suppose you run the board as a status, and people start to comment. As in the forum, people actually start to help each other, or you and another person can participate in carrying this thread. Unlike e-mail, this information is on public display.
Plan of interaction
Do you have a business and not enough time for social media? I understand. However, you must plan your actions.
The funny thing is that most people have problems with social media, due to the lack of an organized schedule of activities. They end up spending all their time in social networks, distracting from important work, and then they have a feeling of disappointment, and they just give up. Have you ever felt this way?
You must remember that you are a connoisseur of social media and you control it as a tool for promoting your business. Your first step is to participate. There are two ways to do this:
- Take an hour or two a day to check out all of your social media websites.
- Take a moment from each day in one particular social media site. For example, Monday can be for LinkedIn, Tuesday for blogs, Thursday for Twitter and Friday can be dedicated to Facebook.
Attracting local customers
You probably have friends on the Internet who live around the world, for example, Canada, Russia, China, India, etc. Not surprisingly, when you are on the Internet, it’s so easy to forget about people who are physically close to you. Do not neglect them, because they can be a good source of business.
What do you think to meet with them? Make sure your location is installed on all of your social media networks. And it’s better to be as accurate as possible. I, for example, have Seattle, Washington.
Also, to attract local customers, you can only ask where they are, and whether they want to meet. You can always post on Twitter or Facebook, “Hey, I’m going to the bar, does anyone want to join?”
The “Places” service is a great way to tell where you are, in case someone is near you. If you happen to see a client you know, lunch at a restaurant located close to you, write him a quick message and ask if you can join him. If he accepts, forget for a while about the return on investment and sales, and give him some good advice, while asking him questions, how would you be able to help him.
Participate in groups
I’m a big fan of Moomkin.kz, as this network is more professional than social. Joining a group is an excellent way to meet a large number of like-minded people. But the trick of business promotion is to join those groups where your clients spend the most time.
Once you connect to the group, start answering questions that people ask. Your task is to use your experience, and help people to solve their problems. Solving their problems will quickly raise you to the level of an expert in this group, and people will start to contact you for advice. And also, it is critical to have a desire to help people. If you do not have it, it will be a waste of your and their time.
Show yourself on your Facebook business page
Creating multiple accounts on Facebook can seem daunting, but it is necessary to attract attention to your company, so people will recognize you with business. Showing your identity on the Facebook business page is okay. Bright examples are “Redhead Writing” and “Copyblogger,” which cope with this with great success.
As I said above, people like to combine business with pleasure, create it on your business page. But do not get carried away this much, control your emotions!
Act as a “man.”
If you want to attract followers to your social network and create a good atmosphere in it, you must behave like a “person.” If you only send messages to sales, people will think that you are spamming or worse, a bot.
How is it best to behave like a “man”? Some tips:
- Ask questions.
- Let your followers know what you think about this topic.
- Do not agree if you do not believe it’s necessary.
- Get up on the opposition against only “meaningful and worthwhile”.
- Talk about the reasons you are worried about
- From time to time, cover topics related to your family and friends.
- Tell stories.
- Use the real picture.
Bots can not do all this! Your customers are more likely to have business with you if they feel they can trust you. When you act like a real “person,” you build trust.
I used to call on entrepreneurs to be independent, that is, to work independently at their own discretion. But that does not mean you have to reinvent the wheel.
You see, you have to watch the person who has achieved great success and learn what he is doing, and then does what they do.
Chris Brogan and Darren Rose are great examples for studying in the field of social media. Michael Stelzner and Guy Kawasaki are two more bright personalities that you should meet.
You do not have to copy these people. Otherwise, you will lose confidence. Instead, take their ideas and turn them into your own. Here’s how you can do it:
- Observe who is successful.
- Take notes.
- For these notes, write your own version of this idea.
- Work on this design.
- See if the idea worked.
- Adjust the idea until you get a formula for success.
This may seem like a laborious task, but remember, if you want to succeed, then you must be ready to work.
Switch to offline mode
I love the new advertisement Toyota Venza, where the girl worries that her parents are closed, having only 16 friends. She says that she has more than 600, and then adds: “People, this is a real life.
This advertising shows that social media are useful for communication, but real relationships, real life, and real business are made offline. It ‘s hard to build business relations, exchanging just a few letters. Ultimately, you will need to meet this person face to face.
To awaken the desire of your customers to meet with you can be by making a statement on Twitter about your plans, where you are going to spend time, or tell about the conferences you will visit during the trip.
It can be as simple as inviting people to spend time with you during your morning run or go to the cinema.
It may seem difficult, but I think that social media is a great way to promote your business. Also, it is not necessary to be an expert … you just have to proceed. Anyone can jump in and start work.
If you are too busy to do this for your business, think about hiring a person who will do it for you. There are many options, Investments can be worthwhile if you follow my ten tips above.
Originally published on Epic.