Social Media has become such an important part of our everyday lives. People of all ages across the globe use Social Media. It has become a major source of news, local information, business information, consumer research, as well as a place to keep in touch with old friends and new or to stay in contact with family that may not be nearby.
However, one of the most important aspects of Social Media has been the opportunity for businesses of any size, in any location, and any industry to reach an audience of consumers. Marketing and Advertising on Social Media has become a necessity for businesses.
Unfortunately, there are still business owners and marketers who either do not understand how it is supposed to work or they are still using it as though it were 2010.
Social Media Marketing has changed drastically over the past several years, and it continues to change. It also requires knowledge and experience to do it correctly and effectively.
Here are 6 things business owners need to know about using Social Media to market:
1. Posting an update whenever you think of it may hurt your business.
Each Social Platform has an algorithm. An algorithm is “a set of rules that precisely defines a sequence of operations.”
In Social Media, this algorithm determines what people see, what information gets out to specific people. If you are only posting sporadically your updates are likely not showing in many News Feeds, if any at all. Thus, your updates are not generating any views or interest and basically are not worth the time you took to post.
In order for your updates to be effective you must post consistently, every day, a few times a day, as well as posting content that is relevant and interesting to your audience.
2. Posting anything, at any time will not work.
Social Media Marketers educate themselves on what to post, when to post it, how many times to post each day, what to share, etc. There is a definite method to the madness, and it involves more than just posting a link to one of your products.
3. Posting only company or sales information is not an effective strategy.
People are not using Facebook or Instagram to see sales messages from businesses. Sure, they are using Social Media to research their purchases, but they are doing so on their own terms. They are seeking out the information, they do not want the information coming at them when they don’t want or need it.
Social Media Marketing is about developing your brand and improving your visibility. Sharing information that users want to see, articles related to your business, links to relevant information they can use, posting reviews from current customers are all useful and not annoying or overwhelming.
Unless you are Amazon or another big box retailer or large company, sharing only company-related information is not a good strategy.
4. Running an ad does not mean people will be clamoring to buy your products/services.
In the history of advertising there has never been a guarantee that an ad will generate sales. In the old days, traditional newspaper ads or television ads were sold based on the number of people that would see your ad. These ads were no guarantee that a sale would be made.
Advertising is an audio or visual form of marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, nonpersonal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.
Social Media Advertising is a more direct way to reach people and this is where it is acceptable to directly display your products and services. The overall goal is to reach people and make them aware of your products or services so when they make their purchasing decisions (when THEY are ready to purchase) they think of your business first.
5. Just having an account on the Social Platforms is not enough.
If you are going to establish accounts on the Social Sites it is necessary to keep those accounts active and monitor them for comments and questions. Opening an account and listing the icon on your website is not enough. In fact, if you do have accounts on the Social Sites and you are not using them, updating them, or watching for comments it can have a negative effect on your business.
An inactive account on Social Media sends the message that you don’t care. Additionally, people seeking out your page only to find it has not had an update in weeks or months may think your business is closed. Either way, an inactive page with updates from weeks or months, or even years, ago signals your business doesn’t care and negatively affects your reputation.
6. An Office Manager, Assistant, Billing Manager, Intern, etc. cannot manage Social Media effectively.
Just because the Social Sites are free and “anyone” can use them, does not mean that one of your employees or interns can provide an effective and successful campaign on Social Media.
Social Media Marketing requires experience and knowledge. If you want your marketing and advertising to be useful and profitable it needs to be done correctly.
Hiring a professional to manage your campaigns is the best way to ensure that your budget and efforts with Social Media are beneficial to your bottom-line.