Social Media continues to evolve. It seems to be changing every month with new platforms, new trends, and applications. So you have your business on Facebook and Twitter and you think you are doing just fine in the world of social media. But are you really? Here are a few facts with business and social media. As Facebook becomes more of a "We want your money" operation, more and more people are drifting away to find the free platforms for their business to reach their masses. If you want the goodies now on Facebook, you are finding you have to cough up some dough to get it. Facebook's recent audience network launch program means for the business, the days of something for nothing is over.
What is becoming more popular for target marketing is video and images. Many of the Fortune 500 companies are moving in this direction for advertising and marketing. Images tell a lot and young shoppers especially are using this to their advantage and in their shopping habits. Pinterest and Instagram are picking up not only more users but advertisers as well as they pull away from traditional desktop platforms. Mobility, video, and photo images is 3 key words you as a business need to grasp and embrace for marketing and advertising. Video and still images have helped push Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine to new heights. Another popular tool for the young 15 to 25 crowd is Snapchat. While advertisers and still trying to figure out how to capture this new hot platform, Snapchat has become very trendy to this key target market.
While I am not saying you should not still keep a solid market plan in place for Facebook and Twitter, businesses need to be open to new platforms and monitor social media trends to capture that market share. keep up regular engagement conversations with your customers and stay connected. Remember, spending your marketing dollars in an empty room is not only fruitless, it is silly. Capture your market share and stay abreast of technology changes. Be a leader in the social media circle. Reach your goals.
Is marketing efforts too much for small business? Those who are "Mom and Pop" type operations typically get overwhelmed with marketing. Trying to do too much among all those channels of marketing (social media, advertising, print as well as on-line) can get very confusing and costly. Small businesses will spend over 20 to 30 hours a week allocating not only the employee but the owner as well. Trying to be everywhere they think their customers are is a crap shoot unless the small business steps back and research their place in their market share. Multi platform marketing as a small business owner takes patience and you may be surprised you don't need to cross-channel at all depending on your location, your competition, and your customer base.
If you are dishing out money to market professionals to help you promote your business and not seeing an effective ROI on your investment or trying to do it all yourself with that same negative result then you are obviously spinning your wheels and wasting good hard-earned money. If you are not engaging a professional your errors could include:
Not knowing how to use the tools
Spending too much time
Your customers are not on the channels you selected
Not measuring the analytics correctly
Social Media platforms and advertising outlets is not a drop an ad here and a tweet their type of marketing. You need to know your customers and what you are selling and to whom. If you are paying a firm or agency to do it for you with a negative ROI then you need to sit down with them and find out why. If you are doing it yourself with wasted hours of a small base of clients looking at your sites then ask your customers directly what they want or survey them. Marketing for small business does not have to be painful just effective. Take a few steps back and breathe. Then take baby steps.
Social Media marketing is no longer for B2B companies as a company. What I mean by that is branding your business means putting you as a person who owns that business out there so your clients and customers know you are real. You are reachable and you are a human. Engaging your audience by creating that on-line personality not only helps you, it helps your brand. People will feel they really do know you.
Over 90% of B2B companies enjoy a presence on LinkedIn and more than 80% use Twitter and Facebook to reach their audience. Being social tough does not mean they know what they are doing. Using social media takes planning and strategy. Less than 50% of marketing planners have any kind of plan to make sure they are getting any kind of ROI on investing their time, money, and production in using social media platforms.
To make your social media investment profitable and useful, consider what your audience wants to see and hear. Use their perspective and not yours. Be human and not a machine or a huge wall of corporate stats that nobody understands or really cares. Make your brand fun, enjoyable, interactive, and let the people engage in talking to you about it all. Now here are the 3 most used platforms for B2B social media.
Linkedin. The top site for business interaction. Linkedin is very virtual for networking. It is wonderful for promoting leads, leadership, and relationships. Linkedin allows for uploading images, video, and presentations. You can customize your header, profile, and content. While a professional network it is still a platform for reaching individual people.
Blogging. Start using a company blog to talk about what you as a person is doing to enhance your brand and your business. Offer tips and share your knowledge. Let your customers know you care about what they want in your business and share those thoughts. Be approachable through your blog. Your blog can also be about related topics or even your own hobbies and interests but don't get political or narrow-minded or aggressive. Keep it fun, fresh, and interactive.
Websites. When is the last time you updated your website? Is your content changed out at least monthly? Are you tracking your analytics? How are those images or videos doing you uploaded? Have you even put any on your site? Don't make a website just a place holder of your brand. Make use of it and allow interaction. Link your website to all your social media platforms. Good luck with your B2B marketing plan and remember. Put "you" before your company.