With a reported 1.5 billion online users it is clear that the Internet is the place to be for business owners. To keep up with competition, it’s essential to tap into social media with your online marketing and advertising promotions, but it must be done in a way that is appealing to customers, so you don’t come off has just another slimy salesperson.
Below are 5 steps to making your promotion a social success:
- Ensure you know your niche and customers by conducting research. You want to make sure you are putting your time and energy into the right audience. Being able to identify your ideal customers and know where they frequent online helps you to get started on the right foot with your promotions. It is not going to be helpful to your business or your reputation to hit the wrong target market with your message. Instead, take the time to answer these questions: What customer problem am I solving? Who are my customers? Where do my customers look for information online? Listen to what your customers are saying and gain insights for keywords and phrases you can use to position your brand. By paying attention to customer discussions around the social web, you can also get excellent ideas for new products you can offer.
- Build your credibility before attempting to sell. If you are excited about your product, you probably want to go to every social networking site available to spread the word, but it is almost guaranteed you will turn-off more customers than you will attract with this marketing method. You build your credibility by joining social sites and becoming a valued community member. This doesn’t take as long as you may think. By taking the time to answer some questions thoughtfully or start some meaningful discussions, you can quickly earn the respect of others on the site. Then, you will able to subtly recommend your products or services and sneak in a link!
- Reveal your true self. Because the Internet has become such a social world, it makes sense that now is the time to let people in on your story. Let your personality shine through as you connect with others on various social media sites. In addition, you want to continue this theme with your business website and marketing communications. People want to purchase products and services from real people they can trust. So go ahead and get personal, sharing a little bit of your heart and soul. A passion for your business and what you do can be a major selling point.
- Gear all of your marketing promotions toward the customer’s “what’s in it for me” mentality. A very common mistake business owners make is to spend all of their marketing efforts spreading the word about how awesome they are and how amazing their business is. Big mistake! People don’t want to know about YOU; they want to know what’s in it for them. How are you going to solve their problems? How are you going to meet their needs.
- Keep it professional. While you definitely want to be a real person with whom customers can connect, it is important to maintain professionalism at all times. So, in other words, keep it clean, polite, and honest, and you can go a long way. You will also want to make sure your website is in great shape, so when the customers start coming (and they will because you have been working the social media!), they will find your site easily accessible and containing the information they are seeking.