The integration of social networks into businesses has come a long way in recent years and is currently being used to increase the amount of potential clients of small and large corporate organizations. For most businesses this process has been slow and even useless in some cases. This, however, does not need to be true for your business if you implement social media strategies the right way.
Those companies that implement social media strategies within their marketing departments have higher probabilities of attracting and retaining clients than those who have ignored them. When a business does not engage in a conversation or fails to inform their audience then they run the risk of losing leads. Without an audience it is almost impossible to market your business through word of mouth. Thanks to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn businesses can easily build relationships and eventually bring new clients on board. Generating leads through these social networks is great for any company because it can be accomplished without a big budget.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to improve your online social media strategy.
Have a Direct Target Audience
The first action any business should take before engaging in any form of online marketing or social media marketing is identifying the audience that best fits the products or services you are trying to promote. Ask yourself “Who are my target customers?”
Sign-Up for Social Media Networks
The most used social media networks for businesses are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Facebook and its approximately 900 million users provide great opportunities for businesses looking to generate prospects. If your company does not already have a Fan Page, you can start by creating a page for your business. Make sure that your page provides valuable information about your company so other businesses and consumers who follow you have a feel for what you do.
You can use this social tool to provide consumers and businesses with valuable information about your products and/or services. For example, if your business is within the branch of athletic wear create a company page on twitter to share information related to the sports world. Through twitter’s hash tags you can use words like ‘cleats’, ‘sport video games’, etc. to find people interested in what your business has to offer. When people search for these words your profile will rise in the rankings.
LinkedIn and its 130 million users is one of the largest networking databases in platform that many professional business people use to promote their business and themselves in a professional manner. Through your professional profile as well as your company’s profile, you can make it easy for people to find you and your business. However, in order to maximize the amount of prospects for your business you must optimize the use of your profile so you can be contacted and included in groups who are interested in what you have to say in discussions. The more you can articulate who you are and what you do the greater the likelihood of people engaging with you and your services.
Organize Your Social Media Networks
Managing multiple social networks for a company can be extremely frustrating and difficult. To ease this feeling I would recommend using Hootsuite which allows you to manage all of your accounts on one site. Hootsuite is great for scheduling messages and tweets ahead of time so you do not forget to post content. It also allows you to review the success of your tweets and to generate a report that gathers all the mentions of your brand or organization. This tool has proven beneficial to our company because it has allowed us to schedule multiple posts and messages for both our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Be a Regular at Updating
The most important factor that counts when it comes to social media pages is the consistency you give to your clients via your social networks. If you want your current customers to stay interested in your products then you must update information consistently. This can be done by updating your profiles at least twice a week with customer resources, interesting industry news, and even thought provoking questions for your followers. These questions can be simple, such as asking for feedback on a new product or for opinions on industry news. At Pay Plus Benefits we set aside 20-30 minutes every Monday to discuss articles and resources we find valuable to share with our clients. Reaching out to our audience ensures them that we are serious about their relationship and loyalty to our company. Our regular postings are effective social media skills that have opened up opportunities with the people who follow and add as on our network pages.
Respond With Quickness
Part of generating new friends, followers, or connections corresponds to your ability to communicate effectively with your network audience. For example, when we get new followers on twitter we make sure to take the time and write a thank you message. The more serious you take your followers, or audience, the greater the traffic to your professional website and the greater the chance of establishing a new relationship.
Social networks are fantastic means to generating new prospects if it is implemented the correct way. What social media implementation processes has your company implemented? Please share with us - we would love to hear your creativeness!
(Written by: Maria Rodriguez, Pay Plus Benefits)