Leveraging Social Media to grow a business

I’m sure many of you must have heard of social marketing. Well to plan a successful social media campaign and to reach the end goal, it’s extremely important to get the deeper knowledge of it. A lot of people don’t know what twitter is, or facebook is or linked in. Research says that twitter is growing by more than 300 percent per year but people are still really trying to figure out how to use it. The biggest part of social media is listening, and this is when you have the opportunity to hear what people are passionate about you and ultimately that gets back to the question about how you make yourself stand out. You need to find out what the target audience is interested in, what matters to them and how you can deliver that to them to be able to effectively capture them as your client. People use social media for branding, information sharing, public relation and understanding the customer. Ultimately it’s going to move on to lead generation. It’s inexpensive and you can compete with the big boys out there. It takes 3 to 6 months to get results from Search Engine Marketing. Many people do not have time or patience to wait for 6 months. Here social media marketing comes into the picture. The point of marketing is to be able to communicate with your target audience, answer the question that they have and to hear what’s relevant to them, ultimately answer their needs. One important thing is when you get the target audience you have to have relevant, authentic information that people want to hear about so that you are constantly communicating with them, letting them contact you back. Lead generation is the big trend in social media as it is time intensive but cost effective. It actually makes us easier to find the target audience. At a low cost it gives you the niches, if people have graduated, done their 4 years of college etc. You can get down to the nitty gritty with who you want to have your ads popping up in front of and whether it’s relevant or not.

Some of the ways that small businesses are using social media for marketing are by sponsoring interactive content, researching new product ideas, using them for online focus groups, overall interaction, promoting themselves organically through messaging, monitoring trends, etc. These are all perfect for aligning you a glimpse in first hand to what makes the customers click. Planning is equally important as any other activities in social media marketing campaign. What money you are willing to invest, what time equals for your money, how much time you are willing to invest every day, every week and every month, who is your target audience, what channels you gonna use, what you gonna say that is relevant and when you gonna say it, and what is your end goal. These are some of the things which you need to keep in mind while planning a social media campaign. Your product/service may be something that people need now or may be someday and you want to make sure that you are at their finger tips when they are ready to use. Create top of mind awareness. Facebook, twitter, linked in, youtube, forums, photo sharing, Q&A etc are some of the channels for social media marketing. The channel you choose depends on the product or service you have. Choosing the right channel can save you time and also help you to reach the target audience. For instance, lets take wine, obviously when you market this product you not gonna go into a gadget forum or a student forum. Once you decide the right channel and get the target groups, don’t just jump into it with sales and advertising. Become part of the community, get to know what people are talking, take part, and add value to the site by posting relevant and authentic information. Once you sound like a marketer people will start regulating you and closely monitor your post. These are some of the few things which I keep in mind while working on a social media marketing campaign.