Social media management is now considered to a very critical component of any successful marketing plan. The very same businesses that were reluctant to jump on the social media bandwagon a few years ago have now realized the power it has in creating visibility for their products and services, connecting with their customers, data collection and attracting new customers. Gone are the days when social media marketing is seen to be a lesser medium compared to yellow pages, newspapers, radio and TV ads.
Embracing Social Media
Do you read the newspaper as often as you used to? Me neither. What about pick up the yellow pages to find a phone number? Are you now spending more time finding your news and phone numbers online? While newspaper circulation and readership continues to dwindle, online news and media is growing at a rapid rate. I picked up my local paper, the Kelowna Daily Courier yesterday and I couldn’t believe how thin it was. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a newspaper with so few pages. More and more people are now reading their news online.
The Virtual World
Social media is synonymous to “world convergence” through managing online communities, blogs, audio/video podcasts, social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, and microblogging sites like Twitter. Facebook alone gets more than 250 million unique visitors per month and that number continues to grow. In fact, if Facebook is a country, it will be the 3rd most populated country in the world (bigger than the U.S.). With hundreds of millions of people on the various social networks, the fact is undeniable: your clients are using it and so should you.
Social Media Management – Maximize Income Potential
The question is…How can I maximize the effectiveness of social media? As a social media consultant, I can tell you that there are certain rules to follow to be able to stretch the boundaries of social media marketing. Below are five simple rules to maximize your income potential through proper social media management.
1. Think before you click.
Social media is so powerful that you have to be careful of what you say as it sticks around for a long time. A tweet can be retweeted a thousand times in a matter of minutes, same as with videos, photos, blog posts and status updates. Proper social media management requires not having a repeat of what happened to Aflac and Chrysler Group when some of their employees went antisocial towards the company. It’s about always using good judgment with everything you post.
Work closely with a social media consultant to make sure that the content you post is appropriate and will be well received by your audience.
2. Recognize differences among social networking sites.
No two social networking sites were created alike. Different people use different social networks for varying reasons. As a business owner it is important that you determine which of the social networks best fit your type of business. You also need to determine what kind of content should you put on each social network? What manner should you approach your target audience? When is the best time to engage your consumers? Each of the social networks is unique and so is the way in which you relate to people on each of them, so be sure you are clear on proper etiquette and what works best on each one you use.
3. Start with the big four but don’t forget smaller niche sites.
To jump start your social media marketing campaign, start with the big 4 – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or just the ones that are appropriate for your particular business. After you have fully developed your profiles on the big 4, begin to spend some type developing the smaller niche sites that are closely relevant to your business.
You might ask, “Why do I spend precious time on small-time niche sites”? Nick Stamoulis, a social media consultant said in one of his blog posts that “size does not equate value”. Yes, Facebook has 750+ million users but niche sites may give you the opportunity to directly interact with your target audience.
4. Rely and trust your social media marketing team.
Pick the best social media marketing agency and collaborate with your social media consultant closely. Make sure that you clearly state your goals and objectives to them so they can then set their plan into action. If you have hired properly you will not need to oversee everything they do, they will be able to take your instructions and run with a plan to use social media to grow your business.
5. Provide valuable content.
This is most important step of all by a long shot! In order for people to want to visit your blog, your Facebook page or retweet your tweets you must provide valuable content and keep doing it. The person in charge of your social media management must have a clear strategy in place that identifies the goals of your company. Once that has been identified you can then begin creating the right type of content that people find interesting so that you can achieve the goals you’ve set for your social media strategy.
Social media marketing is an important part of your overall marketing plan that should not be overlooked, but remember it is only one part of it. Social networks are a great way to drive traffic to your web site. Be sure to have strategies in place within your web site to either drive people to your physical business, or if you are an online business have an effective sales funnel in place to convert those leads into customers. Develop a social media management plan that compliments the other things you are doing to promote your business.