Social media marketing is now truly an A Player in the online marketing world. It’s more than just the latest buzz – it’s here to stay.
Whether people are using it to stay in touch with friends, make new friends, communicate with colleagues or form new business relationships – everything is possible. For example, Sydney’s social media is using online communities to grow business exposure, build strategic relationships in the market place and to understand what customers want. Of course these strategies work both ways, in that clients and customers can also contact you and express their feedback.
Let’s look at each of these in more detail:
Social Media is often regarded as a cheaper and more effective way than public relations. No longer are media contacts required, nor big advertorials in magazines and newspapers. In contrast, using online social tools, business owners can increase their exposure by building relationships in their market place.
To create great business exposure you will need to have great content to share. Sharing and communication are at the heart of social media, so creating something that begs to be shared is a great start. This could be videos, articles, podcasts, pictures and more. Any material should be branded with your business name, logo, your picture etc so that the sharing of your content actually translates into valuable business exposure.
Building Strategic Relationships
Building strategic relationships with your online and offline network will help to grow your business immensely. The are two ways of thinking about strategic partners: increase profits and increase exposure.
If you’re looking to increase profits you want to search for strategic partners that deal with your ideal client base. Ideally your service will be complimentary to theirs, so they any referrals will be mutually beneficial. Once you have identified these strategic partners, you can approach them via social media. For example via LinkedIn, liking their Facebook Page or by re-tweeting their Tweets.
The other type of strategic partner will help you gain exposure in your desired market. These are people that have a great social influence in your target market. You can identify them by the way others rely on their opinion and share their content. These “influencers” may not be able to refer your ideal client, but they could transfer some of their social clout by endorsing you personally.
Understanding Your Customers
Many people look at social media marketing simply as a sales tool. But the fact is that it is an awesome way to research and understand your market. Users continually ask questions, discuss controversial issues and share their opinions. By simply listening to your ideal customer base you can find out what their problems are – and develop a solution that meets their needs.
Of course you can be proactive and ask for suggestions and feedback, but simply researching discussion groups and forums, Facebook comments and Twitter streams already shows you what’s hot.
These are just three ways you can start using social media to grow your business!