The rapid advance of technology has made the world much smaller, making it easier to connect with and reach larger audiences than ever before. Internet marketing, and social media in particular, have become key tools for businesses and entrepreneurs alike to gain much larger exposure than before. Using social media to effectively market your business, establish your brand, and stay relevant amongst stiff competition will give you an edge and a serious advantage.
It can be daunting to understand social media as a marketing tool, and more so to establish a visible presence across several channels. The best entrepreneurs know that these social channels are always changing, and learning all that you can along the way will set you up for further success in the future. To truly succeed, entrepreneurs need to constantly learn and find ways to continue adapting and embracing changing trends and fads. One of the best things beginners can do is find successful models and thought leaders, and emulate their best practices. By creating a network of education, success, and new ideas, you’ll discover a goldmine of marketing tools and success stories, while creating powerful connections and gaining followers.
The goal of social media marketing is to direct traffic from these channels back to your company’s website. Different platforms are suited for unique tasks and goals, so it is vital to adapt your strategies to each accordingly. According to consultant Neil Patel, “your content should be so good that it makes the user want to tell all of his or her friends about it.” Your strategies should always make your company stand out in the best way possible. Social media is an outstanding way to achieve this, and abstaining from using social media platforms for marketing will make you ultimately lose out in the long run.
Start with the Basics
The most successful entrepreneurs do two things very well: creating a powerful brand, and reaffirming it with their personal social media presence. Establishing a brand identity is vital to success, as it creates instant recognition and allows your company to evolve while remaining well-known. Young entrepreneur and social media consulting guru Sam Ovens describes building a social media following for your company or personal brand as an essential business tool. Ovens has established himself as one of the top names in digital marketing and social media consulting through his businesses and educational tools. His advice to entrepreneurs is to be fast about brand-building: “if people know and trust your personal brand, they’re more likely to trust your new business”.
Focus on building a community around your brand and product before going for the hard sell. Generate interest and provide visitors with engaging content and information. Make polls, give away product in return for participation and conversation, and watch your social media network grow in the name of your business.
Once you’ve established some brand recognition and gathered a lively community who rallies around your brand, you are ready to shift your focus and start incorporating elements of customer acquisition. Write standout content that gets users sharing, generates leads, and ends in a sale for you. With Facebook you can advertise and customize target groups, with Twitter you can promote tweets and track your brand mentions, and you can showcase your product or business via engaging video on Instagram. Ultimately you can use social media platforms to take your business past branding and establishing trust, to generate real sales.
Tweak your Strategy
You’re doing great making a name for your business, gathering more customers every day, and engaging the community to the point where they continuously share your posts and visit your site. But is that sustainable? As your social media presence grows in followers and longevity, it can become stagnant. Be sure to stay aware of changing social trends and any new fads in your audience. Your business goals can change as well. As you adjust accordingly you will have a far higher chance of gaining new customers while retaining existing ones.
Social media is far from just a trend. It’s a major component of business, the internet, and the lifestyles of millions of people worldwide. By embracing this platform, you have the potential to reach a larger audience infinitely faster than ever before. You can view competitors’ strategies and best practices, as well as what doesn’t work. By making a few purposeful choices and learning from others, your business will be on the fast track to growth.