This is a guest post by Gail Limcumpao
How do you jump start social media success for small businesses?
Social media is all the rage – especially when the landscape of marketing has dramatically changed from outbound to inbound marketing. Studies show that inbound marketing (or digital marketing) is taking the marketing and advertising world by storm because of the new strategies that businesses need to rethink and reconsider in order to effectively draw in prospects to their doors. Take for example 73% of Fortune 500 Companies who have Twitter accounts and 66% of the said companies that have Facebook pages, they all know the value of Facebook fans and Twitter readers. But for small business getting into social media it may be a little tricky at first because signing up for Facebook and maintaining a Twitter account is not where social media ends. It is a complex process of strategies that require time, effort, quality content, and relationship building. However, jump starting your social media success by these simple steps will catapult you into reaping rewards from your online marketing efforts.
1. Sign up on top social networks and create a community of followers. An example of this is Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. These top social networks tend to rank high on Google’s Search Engine Result Pages, and signing up on these networks will get you started on getting followers.
2. Listen in on what the target market is talking about. Prior to making your sales pitch, listen in on conversations and pay attention to what the target market is looking for and get to know the them. Listen in on conversations and establish your presence first to gain people’s trust. Plunging into marketing pitches right away will only push listeners away.
3. Join discussions and give thought provoking insights. This is the time when you can join in the discussion and give some informative and thought provoking insights that is industry related. This way you can keep conversations going and your active presence in the community helps establish relationships with people in your social media network.
4. Establish genuine social networking relationships. Social media marketing has incorporated a more authentic relationship building strategy alongside marketing online. It’s not just about loosely making your pitches on social networks online anymore but rather building on your business’s credibility in order for prospects and current customers to trust you. This will subsequently turn them into your brand ambassadors.
5. Create quality content that is informative, entertaining and shareable. In social media, genuine social networking relationships may be king but so is quality content. Google is always changing their search algorithm that aims to mimic human behavior. Therefore, they want to bring quality results on their search pages and this is why delivering content that matters to people is important. It has to be informative, entertaining and shareable. Gone are the days of massive link building because now it is about relationship building and creating content that counts.
For a small business, social media is the gateway to draw customers into your establishment because of the high probability of igniting a viral marketing campaign that your customers themselves initiate by sharing your business to the people they know. These days the target market is making smarter choices by believing recommendations from people they trust and not promotional messages advertised by business themselves. The power to influence has never been more magnified now that social media has become an excellent platform to market a business. Once you have established your identity online and followed these initial steps you will be enjoying the rewards of your efforts in no time. Rome was not built in a day, they say, and it is applicable to social media marketing because it takes time, effort and a lot of patience to be a social media success.
About the Author: Gail Monique Mallo is a fellow Eve from Project Eve, and she is all about working in a career you love while having freedom in business that we all deserve to create for ourselves. She is a Social Media Manager for a startup based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates called FissionLink. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is originally from Manila, Philippines but has lived in Myanmar and Abu Dhabi during her childhood while traveling to places in between. Passionate in writing, social media, travel and culture, Gail is happily settled in the sandbox for now. Read her blog or follow her on Twitter.