Social Media really started to take off online in 2008. The term ‘social media’ encompasses Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn among others which have the potential to be a very effective Brand building platforms.
However, that is not to say that social media is the ideal medium for all business marketing and promotion activities. Our expertise allows us to guide you to the correct marketing strategy for your business.
There has been a lot of hype in recent years about the power and effectiveness of viral social marketing through social media websites. For some brands this has indeed worked incredibly well, however this doesn’t mean that it is easy or cheap to create ‘Viral’ media to promote your business.
Social can be especially effective for Brand Development, rather than Brand Creation. Take the prime example of Comparing Meerkats. Millions of people have seen the Ads, visited their website and actually compared meerkats on their dedicated site (a beautiful marketing touch in our opinion), but that is not the sales generator for Compare the Market.
They make their money when your insurance renewal is due and you are trying to remember the name of an Insurance aggregator website. You already knew their brand, long before the arrival of the meerkats, but the marketing campaign will make you remember them and use them first to find your next insurance policy.
Beware though, there have been many high profile instances where social media marketing strategies have led to disaster http://www.searchenginejournal.com/35-social-media-fails/95613/2/ these are a sobering example to the rest of us, who need to think carefully before publishing potentially detrimental content to our social media accounts.
Many Internet Marketing agencies are currently encouraging their clients to embrace Social networks with large, high cost campaigns, regardless of the suitability of the social channel for their specific business offering. We take a different approach and assess the viability of different social platforms and a campaigns potential returns before guiding our clients down a particular sales strategy.
Nobody can say with any certainty what the online landscape will look like in 2, 5 or 10 years. Very different to today is our best guess, but exactly which sites will be the winners and losers….. only time will tell us for sure.
Currently Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are in the ascendancy, but one bad business decision by any of them can alienate their users and that will open the door for the next new social channel to take their place.
This is why we advocate having a presence within each of the main social networks that currently dominate, but not relying on them totally, or building your entire marketing effort around a specific social platform.
Different social networks will give you different results, depending on the specific business you are promoting, so it isn’t just a case of one size fits all, each network needs to be tested and measured in order to establish the viability for your business.
Each of the large, well known social channels has it’s own unique idiosyncrasies that make them each, the preferred marketing route for different business sectors.
Some businesses who experience huge success on one network, fail to replicate the same success on other networks. There are several key reasons for this and is the main reason for choosing the most suitable channels for your business niche.
The largest, most dominant and potentially influential social channel for your business.
Nobody goes onto Facebook to actually buy anything. They visit to catch up with friends and family.
However Facebook offers a significant opportunity for you to target specific demographics with your offers, events, sales, new products etc.
Twitter is primarily an instant news channel.
Google Plus is Googles less well known version of Facebook. Despite investing hundreds of millions into promoting it in order to create a viable competitor to Facebook, they are still lagging a long way behind with around 350M users against Facebooks 1.1Bn.
All Android phone users need a Google account to get the most from their phones, but this has still not led to signed up users embracing their social channel in the same way that Facebook users do. It seems that in the main, people only need and want one social networking account to monitor and the one that has all their friends on it is naturally going to dominate.
Google has countered this by offering several advantages to Google + users.
Google+ reviews are important for local business rankings, as well as becoming a more important factor for organic SEO rankings.
Google+ users can add their Google business page to google maps, offering an additional search opportunity.
Organic SERPs often list up to 6 local company listings on the front page of local searches, so if you are searching for a locksmith in Bedford, the most authoritative locksmiths with Google+ business pages will feature within the top ten organic results.
All of these benefits are driving website owners to use Google+. This makes the social network a good place to target website owners, web-masters and business people, but less relevant for consumers in the main.
LinkedIn has evolved from being a Business to Business networking platform into becoming predominantly a jobs and careers platform, used en masse by recruitment companies to find and place staff.
It is still however, a significant B2B platform, which in many instances allows you direct contact to influential business contacts without the presence of a gatekeeper.
Pinterest is a visual medium, categorising images and allowing users to create ‘boards’ of not only their own images, but of those shared by others that they like.
If your products, or services lend themselves to image display, the Pinterest can be a great place to get found.
Many marketers use Pinterest for publishing info-graphics.
Your choice of social network will depend on what it is that you are selling, who your end users are and the demographics you want to target.
It’s important to take a little time to plan your strategy before diving into social networking blind. Selling across social channels often isn’t a direct selling process. Rather than posting product details and expecting users to click through to your website and buy the product, think of it as an awareness and relationship building process.
You will be increasing your exposure for what you do and what you sell, hopefully encouraging more and more people to like your content, become fans, share your content with their friends and contacts and generally spread the word.
Most people on Facebook aren’t actively looking for what you are selling, at the point in time when you publish you post. Your challenge is to make sure that they remember you when the time comes that they do want to buy your goods or services.
Building a rapport with your visitors is vital to success. If you examine some of the successful companies that have harnessed the power of social marketing, you will see that very few of them use a hard sell strategy. Instead they build a following of fans, who then see more of their future posts.
We have clients all over Bedfordshire and beyond, who drive new leads and prospects through all of the social channels listed above. They do this by harnessing the power of each network and building online relationships.
You need to position yourself as the trusted supplier of XYZ, so that your followers and fans recommend you whenever they are asked. (This happens far more than you might imagine).
Social Account Set Up
Social Page Creation
Targeted Social Follower Building
Social Content Creation, Scheduling & Publication
Real Time Social Account & Conversation Management
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