Social media is now a given in our daily lives as a business it can be a big opportunity for you. Here’s just one example of how Rachel used social media to great effect when promoting her cupcake business at a particular time of year.
This is what she has to say:
“A good example of social media having a positive impact on the business would be Mother’s Day. Llast year we ran a competition for friends on Facebook to give examples of why their moms are the best moms and that they would win a box of cupcakes and people added really gorgeous stories about how great their moms were and there certainly was a positive impact on sales from that campaign as part of all our marketing activity for Mother’s Day.”
Social paid a really key role in that online networks or social media as we call it allow people to link, interact, share and exchange information. They’ve quickly become something we can’t seem to live without. Literally millions of people connect and share on social media every single day but it can also be a great tool for businesses. Social media can be a platform that lets you talk directly to your customers and prospective customers alike, to share content, get involved in conversations, to build trust, reach more people, grow your sphere of influence and ultimately understand your customers better.
Imagine you own a vintage clothing shop. Your customers might already be using social media to talk about you. They might be sharing their amazing finds, asking for advice about alterations or even to post photos of celebs in retro outfits. When you join these social networks you can join these conversations and start new ones. Maybe you’ll start by sharing photos when you get new items in stock and this will help you stay top of mind. It also gives people a reason to visit again and again. This way your network can grow quickly. Those people might see your posts and share them with other fashionistas which can score you new followers and new connections these are people who might become your next customers.
Social media can also help you build trust with your audience. Imagine a potential customer reading reviews or watching videos of real people not models wearing and raving about your clothes. Social media provides an opportunity for your customers and fans to promote your products and when this happens you earn trust. Why well when someone else says how great you are it carries more weight you’re not promoting yourself your customers are doing it for you.
And there’s one last benefit of social media for your business. You can learn by watching how people interact with your brand online. Maybe no one’s interested in a blog post about the history of brocade but a video showing twenty ways to tie a silk scarf gets tons of shares. Figure out what people like both online and in your shop and give them more of it sound good, right.
Let’s talk about how you can make social media really pay off for your business, by joining the right social media sites sharing content and participating in lively conversations and growing your networks.
You can’t tap into the power of social media unless you’re there. First you’ll want to get to know the different networks. Which ones are your customers using most? This will help you decide if you need a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Pinterest account, a Twitter handle, a Google+ page, a LinkedIn company page or some combination of these and others then you’ll need to create your profile or what usually ends up being your homepage on each of the sites you’re going to participate in. Each social network is different but whenever possible you’ll want to add particulars about your business like your location and contact information. Some let you add more information about your business or even photos and video.
Once you move into the social network it’s time to get to know the neighbors. Making friends takes time and effort but if they can help get the word out about your business it’s an investment that really pays off. It’s important to know that while you may be using social media for business gains it’s a very different medium from your typical advertising channels. The people you interact with on social media don’t want to just be talked at, think of it more as a conversation, a give-and-take relationship there herbs and flows. Treat this network as you would your friends and colleagues in the real world.
Making friends on social media won’t happen overnight and it can’t be forced. Start by recruiting existing customers maybe with a sign in the shop that says follow us here or even better a 10% discount if they connect with you online. Follow that up with other ways to grow your network like real face-to-face meetups for members of your social circles
And remember every member of your social network has a network of their own. Social media is all about sharing. As you add posts and photos and get involved in conversations it’s easy for people to connect with you and that means more eyeballs on you and your business.
Social media offers lots of opportunities for businesses unlike anything else. In the online space you’ll need a plan. We’re going to cover everything from what kind of social networks are out there how to build your presence on them and manage the content you create and share, to setting goals with social media using paid social advertising and measuring success.
Social media is a great way to start a conversation with people and ultimately grow your customer base. So let’s get working and make some new friends.