In today’s social media-fueled society, it is no surprise to see that big and small businesses are getting in on the act and boosting their social media presence to make themselves more accessible to their consumer base. Social media marketing, or SMM, gives salespeople the opportunity to establish relationships with clients and prospects, and also to get direct, real-time feedback on their product and customer service in a way that was never possible before. Not only can an active social media presence help you generate new business leads, but it helps you build relationships and brand loyalty among existing clients.
That depends on your type of business, client base and overall marketing strategy. The first thing you should do to decide how to incorporate social media marketing into your advertising platform is to figure out who your client base is and how best to connect with them using social media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are overwhelmingly popular, of course; however, if your business is extremely specialized and caters to a niche market, you may want to dig a little deeper. If your clients are in fact using the more mainstream social media sites, you still need to determine which one is the best for connecting with them.
For business to consumer sales, Facebook is one of the best social media sites to boost consumer awareness. However, recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm could mean that smaller brands with little-to-no advertising budget won’t get much visibility. For this reason, it is wise to also check out Pinterest and Instagram to connect with would-be clients and generate interest in your business.
The professional networking vibe of LinkedIn is best for advertising business-to-business products or services, so that you can connect with people at big corporations and small companies alike who may be interested in the product or service you’re selling.
Twitter can be utilized to reach out to consumers across the board, no matter what you’re selling. Just remember: you’ve got 140 characters, so make it count. Successful Twitter campaigns focus on brevity and listening rather than telling about your business.
Once you have established your company’s social media presence, it’s time to connect. Following others on Twitter, “liking” individuals’ and companies’ Facebook pages, or networking with prospective clients on LinkedIn can help to create leads and build a network of prospects that can then be called or emailed about your product or service. So that you don’t look like a salesperson making a cold call, it is essential to build and nurture these relationships before bombarding your prospects with pitches about your product or service.
Social media is an important part of business networking and sales today because it starts conversations in a way that marketing never has before. Showing prospective clients how your business may be able to offer a solution to a problem they are having is infinitely more effective than a print ad or a cold call. By starting dialogues using a social media tool, you will be able to gain valuable insight into the needs and wants of your prospects, taking all of the guesswork out of advertising your business and deepening your client relationships while expanding your online visibility and improving customer service. All of this makes for a successful business with loyal, happy customers-what more could you want?