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Social Media Tips

The “social media” buzz word has been around for approximately a decade and is changing the way we do marketing. It is impossible to ignore how it is affecting companies through the different channels of Marketing, Advertising, and PR. To stay up to date and current you need to know what works and what doesn’t and realize what will work for you might not work for someone else and visa versa. However there are some standard tips on how to maximize your exposure through social media below. Hopefully they add to your brand as they have done to others.

One needs to understand why you want to use social media, is it to increase sales, brand awareness, expand your service offering or do it because everyone else is doing it? Social Media is something that can give you a competitive edge or can do damage if you do not understand the core reason of why you are engaging in social media.

Einstein says the definition of insanity is expecting different results from doing the same thing over and over again. Ensure you get the results by choosing the appropriate tactics for your social media planning, let it be a walking, talking extension of what you are trying to create.

  1. Goal Setting and measurable outcomes: Set objectives of what you are trying to create and work towards a measurable plan.
  2. What type of Social Media are you going to use? What is suitable for your brand, twitter, facebook, word press, YouTube are to name a few.
  3. Social Media 101: Know who your customers are. Not all of them understand Social Media yet – you need to convey that it is not all about technology but about learning different types of re-communication.
  4. Be flexible: What worked yesterday might not work today; you need to stay on the forefront of what is happening in your market and adapt or lead accordingly.
  5. Be optimistic and patient!!! Understand that it is not always a numbers game. Creating relationships with customers and clients is hard work and there is no getting around that.
  6. Maintain your edge buy being current – in all facets, from your on-line profiles, branding, and website information. Do not get lazy, maintain a high standard at all times.
  7. Encourage constructive feedback and always take into account what is being offered vs. what your customers are expecting.
  8. Do you know what your competitors are doing? Follow other social media sites, your competitors, industry leaders and new entrants. Remember quality vs quantity.
  9. Search engine and website optimization. This should be a given.
  10. Use your social media sites as a point of exclusive contact to encourage followers and usage.
  11. Pay attention to who is following you. Who vs. Expected can add insight into how your brand is perceived. 

Social Media is becoming something of a given rather than a nice to have in the current market place. Don’t get left behind and do your brand justice by understanding the fundamentals of social media. Good Luck!

by ‘Lianne du Toit’

11 comments on “Social Media Tips

  • In my eyes, the #5 tip is the most important one.
    Speaking of social media marketing, it is obvious that it is not always a numbers game. When we gain as many as fans (or followers) on those social media sites, then what we need is create good relationships with customers, which is the necessity of social media marketing.

  • Social media is definitely getting more important as time goes on. I totally agree that it is not a numbers game but you really do have to establish relationships. Even if you are only able to establish a relationship with 20 people, those 20 people can do more for you than 200 in most cases. Excellent tips!

  • I think the greatest single point that you make here is the need to stay current with your social media endeavours. Maintaining all those profiles can be a big pain in the rear, but it is important to make time, or to delegate the responsibility to somebody. Don’t neglect it!

  • As a small business owner you don’t have the brand recognition of McDonald’s or Dell so how do you compete with this kind of brand advertising using social media as a platform? Well, the single biggest advantage you have as a small business owner over the big boys is that you can utilise your local knowledge and presence in a way that they never can.

    Think about it, Tesco might have a store in every town in the UK, but no matter how hard they try, they will always be seen as big national chain – which of course they are.

    Below you’ll find my 4 top tips (followed by my golden rule) to getting the most from social media as a small business owner…

    1. Promote Local – You should as a matter of course promote your business via the big two social media platforms, which of course are Twitter and Facebook. Remember to stand out from the big boys and make your messages local. For example as an estate agent, you should not only promote your services, but perhaps more importantly talk about things that are going on in your local area, such as schools, shopping, events etc.
    2. Give customer value – First make sure you have clearly provided contact details for your business such as web addresses telephone numbers etc. Secondly give your potential customer an incentive to use you; for example offer discounts exclusively for Facebook fans or perhaps a special free gift for your Twitter followers.
    3. Be Up To Date – Nothing will turn a potential customer off if you have haven’t posted a blog or tweeted since the last time they looked. The more successful small businesses tweet or blog at least 2-3 times a week if not more. Be up to date and relevant.
    4. Be Competitive – Social Media is the new big thing and it is more than likely your competitors are using it too. Make sure you are ahead of the game. Find out which competitors are using social media and what they are doing – how are they growing their following, what are they offering etc. Then do it better!!

    You must remember to be persistent and patient when developing a social media presence.

    Remember social media is about forging, building and enhancing relationships; it’s not about selling continuously. Think of your social media strategy as if you were communicating with a friend, it’s about being there, helping, listening, building a relationship – both your prospects and customers will thank you for treating them in this way.

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