Social media has forever changed the way we conduct business. I like to think of social media marketing as “The Great Equalizer”. In other words, sites like twitter and facebook allow ALL businesses, large and small, the opportunity to be heard. BUT, you must remember that social media can HURT you just as much as it can HELP you. That is why it is imperative that you understand how to implement a successful social media strategy.
What are some proven tactics and successful practices within social media?
1. LISTEN FIRST: I am really starting to sound like a broken record, but this truly is the most important tactic, and the one that is most often overlooked. You should look at social media as a way for your customers to find you, and not just as a way for you to find customers.
2. SHARE YOUR STORY: Show your company’s personality through social media. Engage customers and show them who you are and not just what you’re selling. Look to Dell’s Direct2Dell blog for the perfect example of this.
3. PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Always remember to watch what you say on social media platforms. You MUST be truthful and consistent in everything you say. People are watching and your reputation is on the line. See: Ashton Kutcher and his recent Penn State twitter misstep.
4. AVOID BECOMING A VIRTUAL BILLBOARD: Resist the urge to constantly SELL, SELL, SELL. Believe it or not, your customers were not born yesterday. They will lose respect for you if they feel that you only care about yourself. Keep in mind that people primarily use social media to connect with friends, not businesses. You need to work to become their friend first, and sell later.
Social media marketing is complex and ever changing. These are only a few of the many tactics that you can employ to ensure that your social media marketing strategy will put you on the road to success.