If you’re in business and Social Media is not part of your marketing mix, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity. But as with most things in life, if it’s not done properly, you can waste a lot of time, effort and possibly money and be frustrated by the lack of results.
With an estimated 1.15 billion users on Facebook, 500 million on Twitter, 300 million using Pinterest and 1 billion users and 4 billion daily views on You Tube, not to mention 343 million active users on Google +, the potential marketplace is mind-bogglingly huge.
Having said that the problem is, how do you find and influence those people using these platforms who will be interested in your product or service?
A lot of people, new to Social Media Marketing, spend a vast amount of time with limited results and give up saying “it doesn’t work”. And there is no doubt that it can be the biggest “time thief” known to man if you are not focussed.
Contrary to what the Social Media platforms would have you believe, Social Media Marketing usually does not deliver instant results. If you expect to set up a Facebook page today and then sit back and wait for the orders to roll in, you will be sadly disappointed.
Having such a large potential audience is a “two-edged sword”, because with that many viewers comes huge competition, all vying for the attention of the same group. In addition, as in the bricks and mortar world, it is important to differentiate between the browsers and “tyre kickers” and the buyers. Any good salesperson will tell you that an essential skill in sales is being able to “weed out” the time wasters at an early stage.
The principles of selling hold true in both the online and offline worlds. The reality is that “People Buy from People” and they buy more often from people that they “Know, Like and Trust”
So when you are embarking on a Social Media Marketing campaign you should always have this in mind. In addition, understanding the wants and needs of your potential audience is crucial to the success of your campaign.
These days we are bombarded with information from a wide range of sources, mostly trying to sell us products and services that we don’t want or need. This information overload means that we have a natural barrier to messages that we receive in this manner.
In order for you to stand out from the crowd, you need to build rapport with your audience and provide information that they will value. Accosting them with unwanted sales messages will only turn them off and have them scurrying for the “back button” on the mouse to take them away from Facebook or Twitter page.
To build a loyal following, there needs to be more “tell” and less “sell”. Think of it as building a relationship, it takes time and effort. When you are on a first date, if you were to say “I love you, let’s get married and have babies together”, what do you think the outcome would be? The likelihood is that your date would think that you are some kind of “weirdo” and head for the door at some speed.
The same is true when building an online relationship; it takes time and effort to gain the confidence of your audience and for them to think that you have something of value that they would benefit from.