Some small businesses are hesitant to embrace social media. Blogging seems time consuming, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook scary or unknown. At the same time, old marketing strategies don’t seem to work any more.
Business owners may not always realize that they need to re-visit their marketing plan to create and adopt a marketing system to get results. The same principle can be applied to Social Media – do your research, learn from others and create a well thought-out Social Media Marketing Plan to implement your Social Media Marketing System and benefit from social networking.
During last couple of months I have been helping my clients research social networking opportunities for their organizations. They have been using Twitter and Facebook to listen and learn before they plan and create their own Social Media Marketing Systems. This is what we’ve learned:
- Make Twitter a part of your marketing strategy. Create a Social Media Marketing System. Determine whether your business could use free social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook for market research, customer service and/or for reaching your target market.
- Improve your professional skills by paying attention to what your competitors, potential clients and current customers are talking about. Then meet their needs.
- Learn how to educate and inform your target audience. Share information about the articles, products and opportunities that your followers/fans may find useful.
- Person handling tweets/posts/fan pages for your organization should be familiar with the web and web-based tools.
- Make it your goal to become an “informer” who has the potential to be a “trust agent” – someone who is an expert and has an ability to influence other people.
- Use each Twitter wisely. Listen first, then chime in.
- Avoid words and phrases that may attract unwanted followers/fans.
- 100 loyal followers/fans/subscribers who look forward to reading your tweets/posts may be worth more than 1,000 random followers.
- Learn to use Twitter/Facebook/Blogs as your company’s online reputation management tool.
- Don’t waste your time if you don’t have a social networking strategy.