Unless you are a not for profit, your goal as a business owner is to make profit. There are a number of directions you can take to get there and social media marketing is one of them. But as a business owner, are you diving into social media expecting it to instantly become a revenue source? If so, read on and I will share with you how you should be approaching social media first and foremost as a way to build relationships with your audience(s).
Nothing Beats Having a Great Community!
When it comes to search and social media marketing, your community should be the center of your focus. Your community can act as brand advocates and ultimately help increase your brand awareness. Without that community, it is very difficult to devise a strong, working social media marketing campaign. Come up with a plan and create steps that will help you reach your goal. In this case, your goal is to get a community.
How do you Get a Great Community?
Building a great community takes time, dedication and patience. Manual outreach, marketing (paid and/or organic), content sharing, networking (face to face helps) and simply seeking out individuals with similar interests are just a few of the many community building actions you should implement. Building a great community isn’t something that happens overnight so if you aren’t committed to the long-haul, you are better off working with a marketing agency to alleviate some of the work.
Once you Have the Community, Engage With Them
After setting your community based social media goals and reaching them, by no means is this quitting time. You worked hard to get where you are at so after a quick pat on the back, it is time to start engaging with your community. Engage with your community on individual and group levels and be personable. Too many times, when building social media communities, the human factor is overlooked. Your audience wants to interact with humans and they will easily spot automated responses and other automatically generated communications. Be human!
Use Your Community to Promote Your Brand
Whether it’s giving away something for free or holding an interactive contest for your audience to participate in, generate some sort of buzz around your product or service. At a recent social media conference I attended in Buffalo, NY, Ramon DeLeon of Dominos Pizza shared with the audience that while he cannot make profit selling pizzas for a dollar (which he does) he will make profit with the buzz it generates socially. Word of mouth marketing is still the best form of marketing and when you treat your social audiences right, they will share their positive experiences. No matter what type of business you operate, techniques such as Ramon’s can be easily applied. Treat your customers and community so well with these freebies and contests that they feel guilty not using your brand. This is what a strong community is and why you took the time to build it.
Social media marketing and everything that goes into it will never come to rest. It will take ongoing efforts, maintenance, listening and reacting to keep you moving full steam ahead. After building a strong social community and engaging with them to the point where it gets them talking to their social circles, you can more easily measure ROI and put a value on each of your followers, likes, etc. Use social media as a tool to create buzz, share great content and as a way to spark that all so mighty word of mouth marketing.
So in conclusion, don’t think of social media as a means of direct revenue. Build a strong community, engage with them, use them as brand advocates and the revenue will follow if you are doing things correctly. Start by figuring out the lifetime value of a customer, create a social media goal and then steps that are going to get you to your end goal.
I encourage you to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below!