Social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest – are there for networking, of one sort or another. Whether you want to chat to the world about a video clip of a cute kitten walking across a piano keyboard or share a cutting-edge article you have read about leveraging your sales data (whatever that means), there is a social media platform for you.
Although none of it is really intended for marketing purposes, wherever you can identify your target market is an opportunity to promote your business. You just have to be subtle about it. In fact, don’t sell at all. Just be social. By connecting with your target group and communicating with them, you can build lasting relationships that could benefit your business for years to come.
And the best part is, it’s free. Although there is a cost in terms of time (and maybe the odd sponsored post and ad if you’re so inclined). And, if you are intending to take on the full gamut of social media, this could add up to a great deal of time. So, is it worth it?
All social media is a slow growing investment. You can’t just go barging in shouting “ Roll up! Roll up! Come and get your… here!” Social networks grow organically and evolve over time. Months of friendly, informative tweeting, for example, could pay dividends months down the line when one is retweeted by someone with real influence in your market, someone who is followed by hundreds of your prime potential customers.
Once you have built up a sizeable list of contacts, social media is a great way to spread the word about your more traditional marketing methods. A promotional event, for example, mentioned on social media, can draw a crowd far larger than relying on a few flyers being handed out.
Consider entering the world of social media marketing as the same as moving house to a new area. You don’t want to turn off new acquaintances by shouting about how great you are all the time. You need to be aware of others and relate with them in a gracious, one-to-one manner. This way, people will be attracted towards you, and will be more inclined to listen to what you have to say. It won’t often result in instant sales, but it will lead to connections with customers and companies that could otherwise be out of your reach.