More and more people are asking me about the best ways to use social media to run a successful online business. Although the social media marketing landscape can seem difficult to navigate, the truth of the matter is that basic online marketing principals still apply. If you want to succeed online with social marketing, follow these helpful marketing tips.
Marketing Tip #1: Spread the word
Build a list of followers using all potential touch points. Develop accounts on all of the major social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Once you've created and optimized those channels you need to make it easy for potential followers to sign up or follow you. This can only be done if you're using your website, email, and other touch points to invite users to follow.
Marketing Tip #2: Incentives are key
Provide an incentive for people to follow you via social media. Why should people follow you? Unless you're a Hollywood movie star, people aren't going to follow you for their own health. Consider what type of exclusive benefits you can give to those who follow you via social media. This is marketing at it's best - don't lose site of that.
Marketing Tip #3: Create value
Your social media marketing must provide something of value. If all you plan to do is spam your followers with offers, they will unsubscribe. Choose special offers, valuable content, and information they can't get anywhere else as part of your regular communication plan through social media. This has tremendous benefit and will keep your social media channels in good standing.
Marketing Tip #4: Encourage others to share
Many times in marketing you need to ask for a referral and ask for the sale. The same is true with social media. Ask your followers to bookmark, retweet, and share certain communications and offers. The more you ask to share the more your followers may consider it as something they can do to support the brands they love.
Social media marketing is important today but follows many of the same principals that are necessary for effective marketing - period. Just because a new media has come along in recent years doesn't mean that the core marketing principals that have built the world's largest brands have suddenly disappeared.
Focus on delivering value to your customers and prospects to grow your business using social media as part of your marketing mix.