Today’s businesses, even if they don’t realize it, are missing one thing from their marketing strategy: the act of connecting with their website visitors or consumer base in a meaningful way.
A new form of marketing
In the past, businesses would use flyers, snail mail, print advertisements, and sometimes, television and radio advertisements to entice and connect with consumers. Although those advertising methods worked, they lacked something that could have made them much more effective.
Traditional marketing methods, although effective, didn’t exactly reach out to consumers in a personal way. Today, consumers are more receptive to a business who provides personal anecdotes with their advertising methodology.
In other words, consumers are more open to interacting and potentially buying from a business that’s just not shilling a product to them, but genuinely interested in their opinion as a customer. Most of the time, this happens through social networking. This now commonplace form of marketing is perhaps the most necessary form of marketing for businesses today.
Customers want more interaction with their favorite businesses and brands online. As website visitors, they expect more from a business’ marketing campaign, since most website visitors won’t commit to a business that simply doesn’t interest them.
Since customers are using social media to express that disinterest, businesses need to think about effectively using social media in their marketing strategy.
About social media marketing
Social media marketing is the type of marketing that accomplishes that goal: to get in touch with consumers on a personal level.
Social media marketing is a ‘ marketing process that happens through social networks like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.’ Through using social media marketing, businesses can tap into untapped portions of their consumer base, interacting with those undiscovered consumers in a more personal and dynamic level than through using print advertisements.
Social media marketing also allows businesses to get in touch with consumers that already have committed to them as a business, encouraging them to stay loyal to their brand through incentives, promotions and other perks that keep them from migrating to other brands.
Having a social media marketing strategy can involve having a company-oriented blog, a single Twitter account or integrating the company website, blog and other associated web pages with social media buttons.
On the other side of the spectrum, a social media marketing strategy can involve a full scale campaign across several social networks, which could include developing enriched blog content, viral video content and social interaction via Twitter and site comments.
Brand incentives like promotion codes, coupons and discount deals actually encourage loyal consumers to buy more from a business that they like. On occasion, adding in a contest makes consumers via social media more likely to stick with a brand. That’s a great thing.
There’s a catch in all of this, though.
Staying with the plan – approaching effective social media marketing
Much like keeping web visitors from leaving a website after a few minutes, social media marketing needs a delicate approach.
People who use social networks don’t want to know that they’re engaging with an advertisement. They don’t want to know that someone’s selling a product to them. If you try to sell a product and/or service in an obvious way through social media, your fans may become discourage and leave.
To avoid this, start becoming a member of the community and actually interact with your consumers. This involves posting content that they want to read, talking to them about your products, services, in addition to just encouraging conversations about other things related to your business.
Let your consumer base actually learn something from the content you’re presenting them. If there’s something about your business that you want to share with them, engage and encourage them—but, don’t force them to purchase anything!