Social media marketing is one of the most effective and far-reaching marketing channels available to the 21st century. We want to give you a basic rundown of some tools you can use to start marketing your business, whether it’s online or a brick-and-mortar location.
This should be the hub of your social media marketing campaign. The blog is where you’ll drive people to, and where you’ll share your best information. The blog is where you can write article after article about the issues and problems that affect your readers. You can provide helpful advice, share new knowledge and information, and update people about things going on in your industry.
Twitter is a communication tool that lets you communicate with your followers (people who are connected to you on Twitter) in 140 character bursts. These can be questions you have, answers to someone else’s questions, interesting information you found at a conference, or even important articles that have an impact on your industry.
3. Facebook Business Page
A Facebook page lets you share what’s happening at your business with friends and family, as well as customers who “like” your page and want to hear more about what’s going on.
Your Facebook Page — which is different from your personal profile — is your water cooler where people can gather to share information and ideas. Some business owners will schedule a weekly Q&A session. Others will ask people to share their own information, like a vacation travel company asking, “what’s the best (or worst) vacation you ever took?” Posting regular questions and conversation starters like this will keep people coming back.
4. Establish Trusting Relationships
This isn’t a social media tool, but the foundation of all the social media marketing work you’ll do. Social media is not just a place where you can sell, sell, sell. You’re not going to start a Twitter account where you only announce sales, or create a Facebook Page and promote nothing but ads. That turns people off, and they’ll ignore you completely.
Instead, build relationships with these other tools. Answer questions on Twitter. Encourage fans and friends to share stories on your Facebook page. Write about answers to common questions on your blog. By doing this, your readers will come to trust you as a valuable resource, and someone who can provide them the information they need.
When the time comes to make a purchase or find a solution to a bigger problem, they’re going to turn to the person or the business who provided them with helpful information, the person they have a relationship with. Not the person who bombarded them with ads and buying messages day in and day out.
About the author: Duncan Alney is the president and founder of Firebelly Marketing. He is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and photographer, and he’s working on his first social media marketing book, which will be out in late 2012. Duncan has lived on 3 continents and in 5 countries, but is proud to call Indianapolis home.
Photo credit: Oooh.Oooh (Flickr, Creative Commons)