Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Tips For Launching Your Business On Social Media

Why Does My Business Need To Market on Social Media?

Social Media Tips

As an agency eager to support professional organizations, one of the first places we look to connect with them is through social media. Too often, we’re surprised to discover so many businesses either don’t have a presence on any social media platform, or their content has not been updated for months (sometimes years!). If you are a business planning for success beyond 2015, marketing on social media needs to become a priority. Already, marketing analysis is revealing 50% of marketers see improved sales from social media, and that number increases as the hours spent marketing on social media platforms increases. Take for example, the 74% of reported marketers that gained new business by spending over 40 hours each week promoting on social media, all according to this year’s social media tips report from the Social Media Examiner.

Encouragingly, it only takes as little as 6 hours per week of engagement to begin seeing lead generation benefits from social media. But if you’re not one of the businesses interacting and advertising on social media, you’re in the drowning minority. 83% of marketers report they have integrated social media into traditional marketing, with 94% of them using Facebook.

OK, So Which Platform Is Right For My Company?

So how do you know which platform on which to promote? That depends on whether your business targets business-to-business or business-to-consumer. The survey found Facebook as the most important platform for B2C, whereas LinkedIn is the most important for B2B. To gain any significant visibility on Facebook, your business needs a healthy advertising budget. The main goal here is to interact within your community, display your products and services in unique, appealing ways, and post content that interests your buyer. Twitter however, is more of a free-for-all. The more people you connect with, the better. Try to follow other experts in your field as well as prospective clients. Listening to others’ concerns and problems, then offering a solution is the key to marketing on Twitter. When marketing B2B, LinkedIn provides that professional, credible approach for networking.

How Do I Build Connections?

But most importantly, be sure to connect, follow, friend, like, comment, share and re-tweet other individual’s content to establish a natural relationship. Get to know them through their social media persona then from there, offer a solution to a problem of theirs once you have connected instead of immediately pitching a sale their way. Building relationships on social media outweighs generating leads.

Also be sure you’re not being self-serving. When you post, try to give your clients an idea of what it’s like doing business with you. Exclusively posting about your products or services turns clients away. It’s all about personal relationships on social media. In order to build on those relationships, it’s important for businesses to listen to feedback. Make your clients feel as though their voice is valued by responding to their comments and incorporating their ideas. Another way to remain generous and build relationships is by becoming an expert in your field. Offer free tips online to help your clients and build your credibility as the go-to source.

So, whatever social media platform you choose to promote your business, the important factor is to adopt a unique voice and approach that reflects your brand and keep it consistent across all platforms. And if you’re new to social media, just dive in! Create a profile, upload some images from your business and begin to post content. With over a billion users on social media, it’s proven to be simple.

Analyze Your Target Audience

As businesses try their hand at marketing techniques, a commonly made mistake is to promote their own company and get their message across. Usually, this technique results in lower conversion rates and leaves marketers scratching their heads.

Analyzing your audience will return your investment much more efficiently. Before marketing, do a little target audience research and keep the focus on them. I’ve listed some questions and avenues below to challenge your thinking and bring your marketing efforts full circle.

1) Who is your target audience?

The question may seem basic, but your target audience should be the foundation for any marketing strategy. Considering the following questions will help you narrow down your focus in order to keep your marketing campaign specific.

  • Are you targeting business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer?
  • What is the age group of your target audience?
  • Does the majority of your target audience live in rural or urban areas?
  • What is the income range of your target audience?
  • What is your audience’s ethnicity?
  • Is your target audience predominantly male or female?

Businesses reported over 30% improved sales when they focused their offers and marketing on their target audience.

target audience

2) What does your audience want?

This question can only be answered after you have discovered WHO your audience is. Different people want different things, so finding out what’s important to your target audience will help you negate which offers to promote and how.

For example, if you discover your audience is of a younger age group between 18-29, it’s more likely they will click play on a video to learn about your product rather than taking the time to read a few paragraphs describing the same thing. Or if you understand your target audience is largely composed of senior citizens, you can pour less marketing efforts into social media avenues, as 18-29 year olds retain the highest percentage of social media usage.

Regardless of age, gender or income, every customer is interested in how your product or service benefits them. Your audience wants to know what you offer and how it’s different. Make them aware of what they are missing and how your product can make their life better and easier.

Another quality every customer desires is trust. Many Americans fear something “bad” will happen while on the internet such as stolen identity or money scams. Countering their fears with a money back guarantee and a concise return policy is a great way to build trust and confidence. People also trust photos of real people rather than animations, so try using staff members or even CEOs of your own company on your website.

And remember to thank your customers. Responding to their input and purchases with a genuine “Thank you” reminds your customers they are dealing with humans rather than automated bots that lack manners.
If you are unsure the best route to take in order to research and discover your target audience, here are a few of the best existing avenues:

  • Social Media

    This is a great avenue to explore when discovering your target audience. Social media provides insight on what content your users respond to as well as revealing their age, gender, geographical region, ethnicity, and their active usage times. It also gives your customers an outlet to share their opinions and experiences, giving you insight to their interests. Connecting on social media will naturally build trust and confidence in your audience by making you more relatable, increasing customer loyalty, and heightening your credibility.

  • Google Keyword/Adwords

    The tools Google Adwords offers will enlighten you to the keywords, terms and phrases your target audience is searching for so you can speak the same language as your customers and connect with them through similar content.

  • Google Analytics

    How did visitors come to my website? Where are my visitors located? What do users do on my site? Where do users spend the most time on my site? What about my site is turning visitors away? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, turn to Google Analytics for the answers. This savvy tool gives you a head start in marketing, as if you are standing over your visitor’s shoulder, watching them navigate your page.

  • Surveys

    Too many businesses try to predict what their audience wants, but never take the times to ask them. Surveys in the form of emails, on-site questionnaires or comment boxes give you freedom from the guessing game and bullseye insight on how you can improve your product. They may even provide you with an idea you’ve never considered. Either way, they will appreciate your attempts to understand their interests.

It’s not unusual for businesses to re-evaluate their target audience especially if it was not clearly identified in the initial stages of business. You may have more than one audience and so targeting too specifically does not mean you have to exclude people that don’t fit your criteria from becoming customers.

Defining your target audience(s) will save you marketing dollars and provide a better return on investment. Feel free to share some of the ways in which you have discovered your business’ target audience and how it has helped improve your success.