It seems all you hear about lately in the marketing world is how social media is a great way to get your message out, generate leads, and engage with your customers on a more personal level. This is all true, but how do you do this all effectively?
Having great information, and knowing how to use great information are two different things. There is no set formula for success or everyone would use it, but like the old adage says, practice makes perfect.
One of the main reasons social media is doing so well, is because other than time spent, its free. There are the occasional expenses, but Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are a free community that helps everyone stay connected.
Why be on Facebook?
Well for starters Facebook has millions of users, and in a study conducted by JanRain, “Facebook remains the second most popular choice for users despite losing 3% share during the past quarter.” Facebook is just a melting pot of people all within the same network—opening the doors for a myriad of companies to take advantage.
How to find your audience
If you know what your key demographic is, use that knowledge to find those people on Facebook. Groups are a great way to do this. Search for groups you know your key audience would be in, and befriend them. When doing so, make sure you customize your request as well. People like knowing you took the extra time to write a “hello, how are you”. It should be able to set you apart from others who are simply just sending requests—as long as you don’t make them sound like sales pitches.
Once you find your audience
After you hit the “add as a friend” button, you aren’t done yet. To keep your “friends” or “fans” you need to be an active participant in the conversation. This means commenting on questions, and so on. You want them to feel like you are apart of the conversation.
To get your friends to engage with your brand, set up quizzes and/or contests. If you would like to build up your email contact list have your users fill out a quick form before they take the quiz or enroll themselves in a contest. This will allow you to build a list with people who are interested in your product or service–giving you quality lists for your email campaigns.
When setting up your quiz or contest have your web designer take a look at how it is laid out. The best types of web design companies know how to make websites easy and efficient to navigate through—the same may be plausible for your contests.
In the end it is really up to you how beneficial Facebook and other social networking sites are. Staying actively engaged as well as actively seeking new fans/friends on Facebook will be most beneficial. In these ruff economic times marketers need to start thinking outside the box for effective cost efficient ways to do so.
Shannon Suetos is a writer based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as web site designers & VoIP service at Resource Nation.