By Russell Trahan
By Russell Trahan
Feb. 22, 2013 — Janet is a savvy small business owner. She successfully
navigated her way through the recession and is enjoying steady growth.
She’s well-versed on her clientele and knows their individual likes and
dislikes. She knows who her competition is and what they’re up to. She
keeps up with trends, so she has a Facebook profile and a Twitter
handle. So, why has she seen a marked increase in the growth of her
competitors’ business and not her own?
When she hears people speak of her product, why do they associate it
with her competition? What can Janet do to make sure her company is
foremost in her customer’s minds?
Regardless of the size of your
company, or your position within its ranks, you know how important it is
these days to be established on social media, spending ample time
actively engaging your client-base. When it comes to social media, most
companies are online networking when they need to be social media
marketing. The same principles apply to marketing your company on the
Web as they do in print – frequency and repetition are imperative. You
need to be in front of your target audience again and again on multiple
platforms to build top of mind awareness. Here are some areas to
concentrate on while building your social media marketing strategy.
Avoid the “field of dreams fallacy”
have a firm presence on a variety of social media platforms and have
carved out a stout digital footprint? Terrific – now, are you taking
time out regularly to engage your client-base? Despite the optimistic
“if you build it, they will come” mentality, creating social media
outlets without frequent, active participation is like fashioning a
clipper ship without a mast or sails. In order for your efforts to
produce a spike in business or revenue, you need to get into the
trenches with your clients. Use “@” replies on Twitter to demonstrate
light-speed customer service. Post valuable, thought-provoking status
updates on Facebook and participate in the conversations that unfold.
Never underestimate the value your customers place on actively engaging
their questions, concerns and compliments.
Market, don’t network
critical misstep many business owners make when launching a social
media campaign is immediately adding or following everyone they know.
While inflated friend statistics may serve to massage your ego, they do
little to promote your business or cause. Instead, you should be
participating in social media marketing. Priority one should be
positioning yourself in front of your customers to generate online
traction and expand your reach. Social networking should be confined to
your personal profiles, where you’re free to follow your neighbors, and
their Great Dane named Pickles, should you choose. Limit your
interactions on your company profiles to providing useful content and
information to those who frequent your establishment, and restrict any
exchanges with colleagues, friends and family to your personal profile.
ROR trumps ROI
no mistake – the endgame in a social media marketing campaign is to
turn a profit, but many new adopters often fail to utilize the
interactive aspect of their online presence. The immediate value of
websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the relationships you
build along the way, and an appropriate measure for this is ROR, or
return on relationships. Any owner of a mom and pop corner store that
has enjoyed decades of success can tell you that the reason they have
remained in business is because of the friendships and rapport they’ve
developed with their clientele. Product loyalty stems from strong
relationships, and this is the inherent payoff that social media
marketing provides. Stop framing your online success in an immediate
monetary return, and instead, view your success in a long-term mindset,
where you’re crafting long-standing, profitable connections.
On the run? Go mobile!
and women are highly aware of the hectic travel schedules and deadlines
that accompany their chosen profession. The bad news: in a society that
increasingly revolves around the Internet, being “too busy” for social
media is no longer an excuse to let your platforms lay dormant.
Thankfully, software developers recognize the needs of an ‘on the go’
culture, and have created apps that allow users to access and update
their social media cache while heading to a meeting or waiting for a
flight. Utilize “check-ins” on Facebook when entering an annual
conference or leadership seminar to let your followers know what you’re
up to. Snap a few pictures and upload them to your Instagram feed – just
ensure there is no lull in your Internet activity when things get busy.
Now armed with a practical and effective understanding of
social media marketing, Janet is well-equipped to best her competition
online and ensure that her product is associated with her business. By
streamlining her digital footprint to only encompass her customers and
potential clients, and dedicating a bit of her daily activities to
interacting with her followers, she has realized the full-potential of
social media and will enjoy the return on relationships that her
web-presence provides. Follow Janet’s example and become engaged with
your customers online.
Russell Trahan is president of PR/PR, a
boutique public relations agency specializing in positioning clients in
front of their target audience in print and online. PR/PR represent
experts of all kinds who are seeking national exposure for their
business or organization. Russell and PR/PR will raise your business’
awareness in the eyes of your clients and customers. For more
information, please visit www.prpr.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.