Social Media 101 for Businesses and Ventures

19 Nov

Hello Socialights! Today’s topic is a 101 on social media – all about relationships. Social media is a great platform that allows individuals to create fresh connections and openly share both ideas as well as opinions. In order to use social media, one must be actively involved. In other words, participation is key (simply by listening, joining and contributing to conversations).  The objective of participating is to gain consumer insights and become influential.

Did you know 1 word-of-mouth conversation has the impact of 200 TV ads? Or, social network users are 3 times more likely to trust in peers opinions opposed to advertisements when debating a purchase? Also, a whooping 70% of the value from social networks is from the momentum effect – for instance Facebook, where consumers use as well as share brand fundamentals on their profile (Social Business Plus).

With the above information, wouldn’t it make sense for companies to hoop on the social media train? Social media is quite diverse – any genre of business or venture can adapt to social platforms. Consider this, 47% of Facebook uses agreed that Facebook has the greatest impact on purchase behaviour (Convince & Convert). As print and commercial advertisements are still common amongst today’s marketing scheme, printers too are engaging in social media. A Printing Industries of American study done approximately 18 months ago suggested that 35% of printers were actively engaging in social networking for business (Piworld).

If social media is new to your business or venture, simply start off by establishing relationships with people via social platforms. Do not try to pitch your service or product just yet! Reasons why businesses fail include: lack of focus on lead entity, the right data is getting the correct attention, social targets are unreliable, and too many excuses as well as failure to make the “boring” exciting”. By following the listed tips below, these starting obstacles will be easy to overcome!

1. Lack of Focus on Lead Market

Forget about how many people are following you or have befriended/liked your Facebook account, instead focus on engaging with your viewers. Become involved with your fans by encouraging rewarding contests, discussions, and polls. By becoming more involved with your followers, word will spread and those viewers will suggest their friends or family members to join in via social platforms. This is a great way to engage and spread awareness!

 2. Analyze the Right Data

Once again, DO NOT focus on how many followers you have. Focus on key metrics, in other words analytics, such as referrers, top post and page visits, as well global visits. It is important to analyze and understand where your views or followers are coming from. By doing so, you can get a better idea of where your social engagement is taking off and how you can increase efforts in those gray areas.

3. Plan a Clear Social Target Strategy

Put yourself in your followers shoes – view social media in their perspective. What do they face daily on these platforms? If your efforts miss the mark, you will lose viewers, their interest, and their traffic. It is important to keep in touch with your prospects overtime, for instance, send out surveys regarding what they like, do not like, and where you can approve. Make your viewers feel appreciated and important. Remember, you want repeat viewers, loyal followers, and fresh prospects.

 4. Stop Making Excuses, You’re Not Boring!

Jump in with a positive attitude – never think “social media will not work for my industry as it does not apply to us” or “we are too boring, who will care to follow us?”. Did you know the biggest growth of any age cohort from 2011 to 2012 was the 45-54 year old age segmentation? 55% of Americans ranging in between the ages of 45-54 years old possess profiles belonging to social networks. Remember, social media is diverse. No matter what your business or venture regards, there is an online niche market out there for you. Brainstorm some creative approaches to keep your followers active and loyal – keep them on their toes.

Let’s recap! Keys to success include transparent communications approach, clearly established goals and expectations, active engagement in conversations, awareness and buzz, as well as successful analytics and metrics.

Sources:

http://www.convinceandconvert.com/the-social-habit/11-shocking-new-social-media-statistics-in-america/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kymmcnicholas/2011/09/19/how-to-use-social-media-to-promote-your-small-business/

http://www.piworld.com/article/do-printing-companies-social-media-efforts-like-facebook-twitter-linkedin-increase-sales-attract-new-print-buyers-417703/1#

http://www.socialbusinessplus.com/effect-on-business.html

http://socialmediab2b.com/2012/10/b2b-social-media-failure/

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