Your Customers Are Using Social Media… Are You?

Your Customers Are Using Social Media... Are You?

If you are a small business owner, you may have noticed that traditional marketing alone will no longer put your advertisements before your target audience.  During the recent years, digital marketing has dominated the overall marketing sector.  There are roughly 2.5 billion social media users on a worldwide basis.   They turn to social media for a wide variety of reasons. Businesses that neglect to tap into the digital marketing space are leaving a lot of business opportunities on the table, as social media allows you to find customers online. And because it is very cost-effective, even the smallest of businesses can reach out to their target audiences through social media platforms.

Your Customers Are Using Social Media... Are You?If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to reach out to your potential customers to gain exposure, build your brand, engage with your potential target audience and drive more sales.

Social media is relied upon by at least 50% of small business owners in the U.S. alone.  They depend on it to find, connect, and engage with their customers. However, although some companies may make it seem easy, there’s a lot more to social media and social management than you probably realize.  That’s why it’s critical to start off with a good digital marketing plan that’s most suitable for your industry and for your target audience. It’s also important to develop good, quality, relevant content and avoid posting useless, vague content that doesn’t meet your customer’s need.

If you’re not sure how to go about getting your products or services in front of your target audience, below are some tips that can help you do so.

Develop a Digital Marketing Plan

Market Research. Rather than aimlessly setting up various social media accounts, it’s important to know which social media platforms are currently being used by your target audience.  These are the platforms that you’ll want to target to find customers online. For example, if your potential target audience mostly uses Snapchat and Instagram, then it would be most practical to gear your advertising towards these particular platforms. This type of information can be obtained by performing an adequate amount of social media market research.

Another part of marketing research consists of finding out what your customers are talking about on social media platforms. That way, when you begin to create videos, post tweets or other digital content, it’s relevant and interesting to your potential customers. You can do this quite easily using hashtags, which most of the popular social networks support.

Know Your Target Audience.  Just like in traditional marketing, it’s important for you to know your target audience when implementing digital marketing strategies. To do this, not only is it important to know which social media platforms your target audience use the most, but it’s also crucial to know which marketing messages appeal to them the most.

You should also know what format they prefer their online content to consist of. That could include videos, blogs, or digital images containing marketing messages, and more.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that 67% of marketing decisions are made using visual content, which is known to significantly increase engagement according to Lewis’ The State of Visual Communications.

Working with a spokesperson, influencer, or a person of authority to endorse your business is also known to significantly increase user engagement.

Your Customers Are Using Social Media... Are You?Goals and Objective. A good digital marketing plan should consist of a strategy that also includes various goals and objectives that you want to achieve as a result of having a social media presence. For example, it’s important to determine where your leads are being generated from your conversion rates, as well as have measurable outcomes.

Content Development and Scheduling

Developing and Distributing. Another part of digital marketing consists of developing an ongoing schedule in which you can use to release your content. For example, during the fourth quarter of the current year, you can begin to plan all of the online marketing and advertising activities for the coming year, or at least for the first 3 to 6 months. This will give you time to develop the content that you would like released in a timely fashion and have it ready to be released at the proper time. Preparing in this way helps you to avoid scrambling to get things taken care of at the last minute, which can significantly help your stress level, as well as your ability to provide your audience with exceptional content.

Online Advertising and Distribution Platforms. Depending on the type of content you develop and the industry that you are in, there are several online digital advertising and distribution platforms that you can use to distribute your digital content. This includes online distribution companies such as iScoop or Simplilearn, which also places emphasis on making sure that your content reaches the right target audience which ensures that increase your ability to find customers online.

You can also use strategies such as email marketing to distribute content like sales letters, newsletters or alerts to inform your targeted audience about upcoming events, sales, or discounts from your business.

Social Media Management and Customer Engagement

Social Media Management.  Social media management consists of managing all of the content and social media activity that takes place across your various online platforms. In addition to that, it is also imperative that you are aware of what’s going on in your industry so that you can chime in at the proper time with relevant information. This is an indicator that you are not only in the know, but that you are also an Industry expert capable of voicing your opinion about various news, trends and other information that is taken place in your industry.

Your Customers Are Using Social Media... Are You?Social listening.  It’s important to keep abreast of what’s trending and the various conversations that are taken place on different online networks. This can be done through one dashboard which eliminates the need to switch from one browser to another. It allows you to respond in real time and connect with other members of your target market in a timely fashion. We particularly love Social Report for this, which provides a host of tools to help you with social listening, trending topics, scheduling social media content, and much more.

Customer Engagement. Managing social media involves more than just developing and dispersing content onto digital platforms, but it also involves monitoring the activity that takes place as a result of your content being exposed to your targeted audience. You may receive likes or dislikes, positive or negative comments, relevant or irrelevant images and posts, all of which require an ongoing evaluation of what’s taking place on your online platforms.

To conclude, knowing where your customers are online is only the beginning of the avenues that are required to be effective after you’ve established your online presence. Taking the time to get the knowledge you need to be successful in this area can’t be stressed enough. The cost to obtain an online presence is very low compared to traditional marketing efforts. So now is the time to make your presence heard across the World Wide Web where your online reach can be unlimited.