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The world of social media provides a unique opportunity for business owners to connect with their clients and potential customers like never before. Too often, however, businesses take the first step of setting up social media accounts, but do not take any further action to manage these accounts effectively.

Businesses that find the most success through social media marketing are those that understand the importance of targeting the appropriate audience, keeping that audience engaged and signaling a call to action. And even though social media is relatively new from a historical standpoint, many of the strategies that can be implemented to effectively use social media for marketing purposes are not. Research, strategic communication, and action planning are all essential to the success of any social media marketing campaign.

Targeting the Appropriate Audience

Social media marketing campaigns can be geared towards existing clients as well as potential customers. Before implementing any social media marketing strategies, businesses must be well versed in the audience they are attempting to reach. Initial research should be conducted to first identify the audience, and more extensive research is needed to pinpoint the audience’s preferences and social media use habits. Knowing why an audience uses social media will help to determine which message to disseminate. Knowing the purpose of the campaign can also help with ensuring that the right audience is reached with the most appropriate message.

Keeping Your Audience Engaged

Businesses should take a targeted approach to determine the extent of their online interaction with clients. While most business owners know that having a web presence is important, there are many who don’t understand how this presence can lead to more revenue, an enhanced image, and broader exposure.

In the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s 2013 Social Media Update, statistics show that approximately 73 percent of adults who use the Internet engage in some form of social media interaction. This information shows that there is a strong likelihood that targeted clients are online. The next step is to find out which social media sites they are on and why they use these sites. A connection can then be made, and communication can begin about the business.

Signaling a Call to Action

Once businesses are on the same social media sites as their clients, what’s next? Well, the next step is easy. Provide information as often as needed, follow-up whenever needed, and offer incentives to clients through the social media marketing initiatives. There is a fine line between providing just the right amount of information and bombarding clients, so there definitely has to be a balance.

Once this phase has been reached, businesses have to be ready. If clients have questions, a designated person from the company has to be prepared to respond. Make your social media page interesting by posting something at least weekly to keep your clients engaged. Social media pages and accounts have to be monitored for negative comments about the business, and these must be addressed in a timely manner. Positive reviews and comments can also be promoted through social media marketing, which is a plus for generating a buzz about business services and accomplishments.

There are so many positives associated with implementing a social media marketing campaign. With appropriate research, a solid communications plan and rewarding incentives for clients, businesses can be well on their way.