Six social media tips for your business
Are you using social media platforms as part of your marketing strategy? Or have you fallen into the fad of using different social media without a clear strategy? Facebook or a website are not the substitute of the phone directory, they are tools to generate social networks. The information shared through tweets, publications and blogs need to be of interest and updated regularly in order to keep your clients and prospective clients coming back.
Time and dedication are required to build a good social network, since this is how you will remind your clients about the value you represent to them. The key is to know what your clients want, which social media they use, and always to remind them of the value you represent by using the same platforms they use. A way to achieve this is to be up to date with the latest trends, ideas or industry concerns. What are your clients talking about? What do they want? Take this information and use it to provide them with answers through blogs and publications.
Networking is all about your interaction and social media is no different. The goal is to provide value to the relationship betwen you and your clients. Social media platforms are simply another way to communicate with existing and potential clients. If your clients are in need of your service/product they will call on you, over the competition, because of the value you represent to them.
In order to provide added value to your clients, you need to consider the quality of your online presence. Here are six tips for managing your online social media presence.
- Be concise, relevant and provide valuable information. Having too much publicity about you is not going to get your clients involved.
- Aim to develop an on-going relationship with your clients. For example, if your business’ specialty is event planning, offer tips about how to host a party or dinner.
- Post questions, ask for opinions and share stories that promote participation.
- Offer discounts to your clients through the use of pictures and contests.
- Start your social media communication strategies with small concrete goals. Use an editorial calendar to keep track of dates, objectives and themes.
- Be consistent.
There are many tools you can use to create, improve or increase your social media presence. The most well known are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Each of these platforms offer advantages and benefits, but they are not for everyone. You need to determine which one(s) will be the most appropriate for you and your business. It is very possible that you will not have the time to undertake this part of your business’ marketing efforts. It is recommended you select someone from your team to be in charge of these efforts a few hours per week.
Remember, the secret is in your messaging and consistency.
Lastly, it is important you measure the effectiveness and benefit of this activity. Here are some examples.
- You want increased web traffic? Your return on investment will be in the number of visits.
- You want to create or improve what is known about your product/service? Your success will be the number of new clients acquired.
- You want to be known as an expert in your industry? Your benefit is measured in the number of questions and answers provided or how often your blogs/expert advice are being shared.
As you can see, your online social presence, social communication or social networking requires planning, execution and evaluation. Like any other strategy, your online strategies have to support your overall marketing strategies. If after a period of time you determine there is no success or benefit to your strategy, take note of it and develop new ones.
Your marketing strategies need to constantly change and be up to date with the latest trends that provide benefits to your business.
As published in Centro Tampa.
Associate Director, Florida SBDC at USF, Tampa
Specialty: Women/Minority/Veteran Certification
Yanina Rosario, Florida SBDC at USF associate director and certified business consultant, specializes in business certifications, business planning, and marketing. She oversees operations in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties. Rosario’s expertise comes from more than 16 years of guiding pre-venture and well-established business owners through procurement, licensing, planning, marketing and financing, helping clients secure more than $3.2 million in small business loans. Rosario serves on the board of directors for the CareerSource Tampa Bay, is a member of the City of Tampa Equal Business Opportunity Advisory Committee, and the Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week) planning committee. She manages the Florida SBDC at USF’s Emergency Bridge Loan Committee. Rosario obtained a bachelor degree in marketing from the University of Central Florida and a masters in management from the Florida Institute of Technology.