Follow Your Crowd and Entice Them to Follow Your Company for Social Media Marketing
The landscape of the marketing world has changed. Gone are the days when flashy commercials held the power to sway the public in a certain business’s favor. Consumers are drifting back to the ways of old, relying on peers for advice on who truly offers the best merchandise and services. In fact, an estimated 80 percent of prospects currently place more confidence in other customers than in commercials and pop-up ads. As this long-standing element recovers ground once lost to television and radio, businesses are now able to make word-of-mouth advertising reach a great deal further than in the past through Social Media Marketing.
How this Trend Came About
Once the Internet took hold, companies realized vast new opportunities were opening up to them. This gave established corporations and aspiring entrepreneurs alike the chance to reach beyond local newspapers and the dying art of television advertisements. Making a business known online became the new norm, but thousands of others came to the same realization. They had to advertise, and they had to do so in a way that outshines competitors. Before long, search engines and websites became loaded with one company after another screaming they were better than the rest.
The Backfire Heard ‘Round the World
To the dismay of many marketing departments, this seemed to have an opposite effect on potential customers. With so many goods and service providers attempting to reel in customers, consumers became unsure of just whom to trust. Its typical human nature: when everyone seems to be giving obviously biased answers for their own personal gain, people turn to a neutral party.
Enter the New Word-of-Mouth
By this time, social media had surged to stardom, allowing people to easily connect with friends and family around the globe as well as in local areas. These sites inadvertently became a forum for users to discuss professionals they’d come to know. You’ve probably seen it on your personal Facebook page or Twitter feed. “Ugh, A/C just broke. Anybody know who I should call?” “Water pump on the car went out today. Can anybody recommend a good repairman?” Marketers and their clients toasted a new-found outlet for strengthening companies’ online presences. Thus, the social media strategy was born.
The Tables Turned
One central social media site gave rise to an entire selection. Then it was companies hoping to advertise that became confused. In an effort to reach as many consumers as possible, quite a few graced all possible avenues, many to no avail. It soon became apparent to social media services, the trick was to choose social venues wisely.
Follow Your Crowd
The key to efficiently and effectively making a company’s presence known on social media is understanding just where the target audience tends to come together. As is the case with physical hangouts, certain types of people are drawn to specific places where like-minded spirits are sure to be found.
- Facebook: This site seems to be a catch-all for a number of industries. With users ranging from their early teens to retirees flocking to this forum, companies from plumbers and electricians to daycare centers, skate parks, and cosmetic surgeons can expect to gain attention by creating and promoting a company profile.
- Twitter: Tweets reach out to a similar demographic as the site’s previously mentioned rival, yet this platform emphasizes topics each user may be more interested in based on previous activity.
- LinkedIn: As more of a professional site, LinkedIn gives companies, executives, and the common person all opportunities to promote their skills to potential employers and business partners.
- Google+: Users of this forum have the power to build profiles around what interests them on any given day. Whether they want to have a new home built or seeking the hottest nightclubs to visit while on vacation abroad, they can draw from the experience of friends, email contacts and even strangers who’ve asked the same question in the past.
With the help of social media consulting agencies, you can study target audiences to find out which sites would most benefit your company. Once the sites your target audience members frequent are determined, the decision of where to promote the company becomes a great deal clearer. This is only the beginning, though.
Tailor Content Accordingly
When a business knows where to find their target audience, they still have to refrain from blasting them with obvious marketing ploys. The audience wants interactions, and they want to feel like acquaintances and equals rather than leads. Create posts, tweets, and other content asking prospects their opinions on your industry. How can the company improve its products or services? What do followers feel is missing when they seek out companies like yours? Respond to their answers respectfully instead of defensively or in a condescending manner. Combine these with helpful how-to explanations, humorous videos providing information about the business and other scenarios relevant to your field as well as a specific company.
Once social media optimization efforts take off, businesses can expand from there. Before long, followers will tell others about the company’s strengths, recommend it to members of their circles and, possibly, even post testimonials on the company’s social sites. Word-of-mouth advertising will spread like wildfire, and the Social Media Marketing campaign will take the business further than blatant advertisements possibly could on their own.
To learn more about Social Media Marketing please read the Top 5 Resons You Should be Using Social Media Marketing to Boost Your Business in our blog.