Expanding Your Market By Learning The Social Media Basics

August 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm by

Social Media Basics Facebook Dollar

What’s the first thing you do each day? Let me guess it’s Facebook, right? Twitter, maybe? Admit it, you’re an avid consumer of social media. And yes, we know that you actually use it everyday, more than you can imagine.

As a business owner, have you ever stopped to think of how you can use these services beyond keeping up with family and friends? It’s time to get serious with social media and use it to get your business the customers it deserves.

Get Real Customers Through Social Media

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Still need convincing? First, find out if your target market spends most of their time in social media websites. If they do, then it’s high time that you join them there as well. This way, you would be able to better understand who they are and know the best way to market your services to them.

Blogs, social media; social media for marketing;

If you need more proof, check out the graph above. Over time, companies will find out that social media will be one of the top sources of traffic (and customers as well) to their sites. So it makes sense to invest in using them now.

Social Media for Marketing; Social Networks in business

One of the key advantages of social media is that it’s not restricted to any age group. Although there are categories in the internet intended for different demographics, all that information is in one big bubble that everyone can see. This means that your product isn’t caged into one type of customer.

This brings to the table a lot of exciting possibilities for you as a business owner. It’s like hitting two (or more) birds with one stone. By using social media for business, not only will you reach your target market, but you can also reach out to other potential customers that may need your products and services. If junior uses your product and shares it on Facebook, grandma will also be able to see that it’s useful and maybe even use it herself.

Facebook: Your Social Weapon of Choice

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Most of the people you know probably are on Facebook and so it makes sense to start your efforts there. The power of Facebook lies on its “human touch” in spite of it being in an online medium. It allows people to talk personally and be who they are. This alone makes Facebook an effective marketing tool.

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When you share or talk about your services in Facebook, it increases the exposure of your business. Facebook threads are similar to real life conversations we have with friends, except better. It’s like asking a friend to check out a movie you want to watch, and instead of just narrating and giving the details, you can actually link the movie to them.

Social media for marketing; Social networks for business; marketing strategies using social media

How does all sharing you in your business? It helps you spread the message without actually doing anything. Sharing is word of mouth marketing done right. Also, the viral nature of social media is one of the best ways of marketing online. Just post appealing content about your product, and once they latch onto your bait, users would most likely spread the word. The trick here is that you must create appealing content that would encourage people to start talking about it.

Social media for marketing; social networks for business; marketing strategies using social media

So what kind of content is deemed “shareable” by the masses? For starters, insightful articles and blog posts seem to be instant hits. You can share content that you create or curate the ones that you come across in day to day reads.

Social Media Basics You Need To Know

I know you’re raring to start sharing and tweeting but before that, we have to go through it step by step. After all, a lot of people have done this before you and we could learn a few things from them.

1. Come up with a strategy

Make a game plan, and know how to present yourself in your market. The key is consistency. Like any other marketing channel, Facebook is filled to the brim with messages not just from competitors, but also FB users.

Create a strategy that would make your business stand out amidst the clutter. The best way to form a strategy is to observe your target market–simply listen and learn.

Take advantage of social media by communicating with your customers and don’t use it as yet another channel for advertising. Facebook will help you know more about what your customers want, so listen well. Being in Facebook is your chance to observe who your market is and how they think.

After you’ve figured out your approach, create a Facebook Page here and start building out your company’s profile in Facebook.

2. Focus on content

Facebook users value content, so put those content marketing skills to the test and use them here! There’s one thing that you should remember though: Facebook values conversations and not blatant marketing.

Having a Facebook page or group is useless if you’re just posting content, without actually answering questions raised by your customers or engaging them in conversations. Make the most of FB’s viral nature–give your customers something to talk about and keep them interested.

Again the key takeaways here are: share valuable content and interact with people.

 3. Be visual

A wall of text is a bore for everyone. Before people would actually bother reading through your message, you must pique their interest first. So what’s the best thing that would catch your market’s eye? An image. Couple your messages with appealing graphics, but make sure it’s relevant to your content. You wouldn’t want to post a cute kitten picture when you’re going to talk about selling insurance.

What Now?

Facebook isn’t like putting up a billboard or hosting an event. It’s an ongoing medium of interaction where the most successful are those who take the time to interact, mingle and share content through it. The beauty of it is that you can actually access it wherever you are, even on your phone. So just keep on conversing with your fans and they’ll return the effort by sending you more traffic and more customers.

More info: Bloomberg Business Week | Forrester  | Hubspot | Content Marketing Institute | Social Media Examiner