Social media has exploded in popularity over the past several years and many businesses want to take advantage of this medium of communication. As more and more people interact on various social networks it is an ideal opportunity for companies to reach their target market where they actually hang out. Many businesses approach the foray into the social media landscape timidly and with caution to avoid making any mistakes. Unfortunately this can result in a muted presence or misrepresentation of the brand. To avoid making this mistake it is important to know your target audience, what they like and interact with them from the start.
A social network is a community not just a marketplace
While there are many opportunities for marketing your products and services on social networks, the platforms are communities with there own norms and expectations. Interaction is key and people are always looking for interesting content to enjoy and share. This offers businesses a chance to show their personality in a less formal setting than traditional business communication. The more engagement you can have with your fans and followers the more opportunities you get to understand them better. it also creates more exposure for your business which could result in inquiries about your offerings.
Post meaningful content regularly
There is always a lot of activity going on in the social media space which means it is easy for your message to get lost in this sea of activity. This means that if you only post content once in a while it is unlikely that the majority of your audience will see it. Lack of activity on social networks may also be misinterpreted as stagnation or lack of activity at your business. Posting content related to your industry or expertise lets the public know that you not only exist but that you are on the ball. It is also a way showing your authority on a topic of interest or support for a worthy cause.
Use the networks that are right for you
Each social network has its strengths and weaknesses and may cater to a slightly different audience. Some are highly visual (Pinterest, Instagram) while others combine visuals with text (Facebook, Twitter). Some are also more casual and appeal more to younger age groups than others. You should choose the platforms that are most appropriate for your business and where you can have the greatest impact in spreading your brand message. This is where market research becomes important to help you select exactly the right network to reach your target audience.
You cannot control the comments or opinions of others on social media sites but that should not deter you from using them. On the contrary, social media is a platform to not only receive favourable reviews but also to address common concerns. Let your brand voice speak freely and reap the benefits of this alternative means of communication.