And now a special announcement: Social Media does not produce miracles and will not work for you if you do not know what it is that you do (very well I hope) and what messages you want to communicate to deliver your compelling offer or interesting (people actually want to consume it) content.
Having 5,00 Twitter followers will not make it happen automatically. Those 1,000 Facebook friends you have, most do not personally know you. The same if you have over 500 connections on LinkedIn. Doesn’t mean that they can’t become customers, it just means you won’t sell them based on your winning personality.
So let’s set the stage.
Marketing: Management process through which the goods and services you offer move from concept to the customer. Its doing business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction.
As a practice, it consists in coordination of four elements called 4P’s:
- Identification, selection, and development of a product
- Determination of its price
- Selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place
- Development and implementation of a promotional strategy
Advertising: A form of communication intended to persuade its viewers, readers or listeners to take some action. It usually includes the name of a product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer, to persuade potential customers to purchase or to consume that particular brand.
Getting down to Business
I’m going to assume that you have a product or service and that you have determined your pricing strategy. Social media is the channel you’re using to reach you customer.
That leaves us at the point of developing and implementing a promotional strategy. Since you have been selling a product you should already have a promotional strategy. You simply need to determine if that strategy will work with social media or if it needs to be tweaked.
Direct sales messages often are not effective in social media unless you have an established brand. Companies such as Dell, who generated over $1 million dollars in sales using Twitter, have an advantage in that people already know, like, and trust them to some degree. They simply had to put out compelling offers to drive business.
What if you’re a s small local business and not a national brand? You’re going to have to work a little harder and a little longer. You need to establish your bona fides. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing compelling content with your community.
Consider a CPA that is looking to use social media to drive new business. Based on the size of our tax code there is obviously a lot of information available to share. Its important for our CPA to know who he is specifically targeting and the content that engage this audience.
Using social media he can communicate and share in a number of ways:
Twitter: Tweet to
- Drive traffic to blog posts
- Drive traffic to website content including white papers, case studies, an online brochure, video, audio, and other relevant documents
- Provide access to forms
- Drive Registration for Events
- Share Tips
- Put out coupons, discounts, and offers
Facebook: (profile account not Fan Page)
- Integrate tweets in Wall Posts
- Feed the blog into Notes
- Add Video
- Add Photos
- Post Events and send Invites
- Tap into applications for even more options
- Feed Tweets into Status updates
- Use Applications to add video, documents, slide shows, and the blog to profile
- Use Groups to share the blog through News Articles
- Start Discussion Posts
- Conduct Polls
- Schedule and share Events
YouTube, Flickr, and Blogs allow more sharing of content.
Using these tools our CPA can go from an unknown to establishing himself as a trusted resource. He just needs to be active and consistently share value.
If you’re looking to use social media to grow your business it comes down to knowing what you do, who you help, and what message you are trying to communicate. As you build trust through sharing value (your content) you’ll position yourself to have an audience that is willing to act on your offers and calls to action.
Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1. The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3. Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4. Resource Center. If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients. Contact Us if we can help you.