Stop. Step away from the computer, tablet, or your smartphone. Don’t hit the button to send that Tweet with the latest sales info to your throng of followers. Stop now; at least until you’ve had a chance to answer a few questions about how you use social media, what your social media campaigns look like, and what social media platforms will benefit your business.
Why is everyone talking about social media for marketing and sales?
The reasons are nearly limitless. For online retailers, it means customers can shop at their leisure, all day — every day from wherever they are. There are now at least two generations who have grown up in this new world. Social media has nearly replaced any and all traditional networking, personally and professionally.
And it’s no secret that the Internet’s reach is global and with more than 225 new users since August 2014 that can translate into big money; 600,000 new users per day, or 7 per second. Those figures are staggering.
And here is more:
- There are 2.2 billion active users with 1 million new users’ access social media through smartphones.
- There are nearly 2 billion active mobile social users.
- Active mobile subscriptions are around 7.5 billion, global population is 7.3 billion.
What do all of these numbers mean for marketing and sales? Simply, it is the right place to network and help potential customers take action that will benefit your business; become a fan of your content, share it, and trust you enough to share their email address and spend their money with you.
Should I be on all social platforms?
Social media is the place to be, but does that mean you need to be on every platform? The short answer is yes; the longer answer — it depends on your business. You should be on the top four: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Beyond those four, it depends on your business and what other platforms exist that will help grow your business. Have a home décor business? Houzz might be the perfect fit for you. Being successful at social media marketing, though, is about more than just having a profile. You need to have a presence, which means you need to spend time connecting with others. In fact, you need to be taking the actions you want prospects to take — in order to become your customer.
Don’t know where to begin? Answering these questions will help you determine where you should be active:
- Who is your audience online? It might be different than customers who visit your business in person; you might be looking to expand your target audience.
- Where is your audience active online?
- How and where does your audience search online?
Why is it important to hire a social media manager?
Social media marketing isn’t your grandfather’s marketing. It isn’t even the same social media marketing it began as a decade ago. With the ever changing tools, you need someone who understands how it works; what and how campaigns will be successful, and how to interpret all those analytics to increase your ROI.
A social media manager will know the practical differences between traditional marketing and marketing on social media beyond how to maximize 140 characters on Twitter. Traditional marketing, print and broadcast, didn’t engage the consumer. It didn’t even aim to educate as much as it did to manipulate the consumer into buying their brand. Social media marketing is highly reliant on engaging a prospective client.
And navigating it is no easy task. We live in an instant gratification society with a plethora of information at our fingertips, 24/7. There is almost no place left in the world where potential customers can’t access information quickly and make purchasing decisions on the fly.
Still need to be convinced that you need someone to manage this part of your business? See below.
Does social media work for every business?
With social media, like school and relationships, you will get what you put into it. Many businesses participate because social media is, generally, free and relatively easy to use. But the truth is social media is time consuming and requires consistency, 365 days a year.
Building a solid presence takes time and thoughtful planning of your content. It means posting relevant content, some new and some shared, throughout the day and scheduling content to post on off days and holidays. If you can’t maintain that kind of commitment then this isn’t the platform for you. If your customers aren’t using it, you probably shouldn’t either.
Still, there are solid reasons it does and will work for every business:
- It’s where your competition is;
- It’s where your audience is; and
- The method of delivery may change (text vs. audio vs. video), but it is here to stay.
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