In this episode of Smart Marketing we discuss social media and its importance in your marketing strategy.
Hi, I’m Stephen Cohen with AlphaGraphics West Valley and this is Smart Marketing. Today we’re talking about social media. We have a lot of small business clients that ask us all the time “why is social media so important?” So I wanted to answer that as well as give you 5 keys to using social media effectively. So let’s discuss why social media is so important.
Social media is really the new word of mouth of today and this generation. A lot of times when people were looking for recommendations or reviews they would ask their friends. Now all they have to go is go to social media. Social media is really the representation of your network. So before we use to talk about people being very networked in and having a lot of connections. Now through social media you can actually physically see all of the connections that people have. It’s really powerful being able to see the network and the influence that someone, a buyer of consumer, might have. What this really has led to is that consumers have a lot of power nowadays. With the internet and with the ability to do research very easily, as far as a sales process go typically a consumer is talking with you once they’ve already done their research. Where before, let’s say about 10, probably more like 15 years ago consumers would have to come to you to be educated. Now they can educate themselves and they typically ask for recommendations and reviews from their friends or through their social network. I was actually hearing yesterday that nowadays, especially in generation Y and the millennials, is instead of asking your provider and your doctor about health questions, they are actually reaching out to social media now to do that. So that’s why social media is so important now is it’s your physical representation of your network and then now consumers have all of the power to do research and make decisions a lot of them are going to social media to ask for reviews and recommendations. Which is why you want to be there.
So 5 keys to social media. The first, and you’ll hear me say this all the time is be consistent. It’s the same with any marketing activity is you always want to consistently do what you say you are going to do. In social media being consistent typically means posting regularly. If someone is following you but you never post or you never use your social media it’s really a wasted space for you. So if you’re going to jump in to it, jump in to it with both feet and be consistent about posting. Whether you are posting one Facebook post a week, three a day, five a week, as long as you’re doing it consistently so that people that are engaging with you can understand how often you’re going to post. Second, and a big one for a lot of businesses, is do not sell. Social media can be used to sell but that’s not the primary purpose. It’s an engagement tool. So you want to use it to engage your clients. A recommendation we have is usually you want to make 5-7 engagement posts and maybe one soft sell approach, sorry soft sell post. You never really want to hard sell. Although social media is a great way, let’s say you’re a restaurant and Tuesday’s a slow day, for you to post a 10% discount for coming in Tuesday. But again, don’t hard sell, more of a soft sell and then engage your clients, don’t always sell to them or they will get very bored of your channel very quickly. Three is to show your personality. A lot of our marketing tools we make very professionally. In social media we really want to show who we are. So it’s our brand, it’s a little quirkiness, the things that make people like us. If you remember from the last episode, we always want to do business with people that we like. So social media is a great way for a business to show personality. If you check out our channel you will see things like this video, we also do jokes on a semi-regular basis, so we do a lot of things that show who we are, not just what we do. Four is you want to talk with your clients or with your prospects, not at your prospects. Social media is a very good two way communication tool where a lot of marketing channel are only one way. Where you spew out information basically and people choose to receive it or not. In social media you want to talk with someone so you can actually develop a dialogue and have a two way conversation with your clients and prospects. The fifth thing is you want to choose the right tools. There are a lot of social media channels out there, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin are some of the big ones. You want to decide which tools you are going to use and then, again, use them consistently. So jumping in to social media we don’t want you to go sign up for all 80 or 100 social media networks that are out there. We want you to find the ones that are right for you and then use those. We do always recommend Facebook, that is the number one social media tool right now and over 50% of people go to Facebook actually before they make a buying decision to look for recommendations.
So that’s why social media is so important as well as the 5 keys to using social media effectively. Look forward to seeing you next time.