Social media marketing falls into two categories 1) a summers stroll through the park for those who’ve grown up with it and understand the various platforms; and 2) a dark, mysterious, spooky area for those who are accustomed to more traditional forms of marketing.
For those that fall into the second category, one of the common questions asked when discussing social media marketing, is: “can social media marketing help my business?” The short, simple answer is……YES.
At JE Consulting, we passionately believe that there is an area of social media marketing which will benefit your company.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a local accountancy firm based on the south coast of England, a legal firm based in the North East or a care provider based within the Midlands; whatever business sector you’re in, social media marketing can help your business.
Whilst each business sector and then each business within that sector will be able to benefit and work with social media marketing in a different way to their neighbours, there are some generic rules and aspects which can be carried throughout every business the length and breadth of the UK.
To prove it to those who need to be dragged (kicking and screaming) through social media marketing, we’ve compiled this brief guide, into some of the main areas of social media marketing.
Social networking is potentially the most common area of social media marketing, as under the umbrella falls the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, each of which offers their own benefit to social media marketing and each of which can play an important part in the process of social media marketing being successful for your business.
Facebook:The biggest social network around at the moment may have started as a tool for friends throughout American universities to stay in touch and communicate; but in the eight years that it has been around, Facebook has proven to be an important tool for social media marketing.
Through pages and groups, businesses are able to build an online profile to promote their target audience, using a variety of media – from images and videos to text.
As a B2C tool, Facebook has over time proven to be extremely powerful with many global commodities using the platform to promote their brand, launch new products and run competitions to attract their audience.
LinkedIn: If you’re looking for a network which allows B2B interaction, then LinkedIn is the one to use.
As a professional network, it allows users to promote themselves, their skills and professional experiences; whilst also allowing businesses to reach their audience and like-minded companies and professionals via Company Pages and Groups.
Twitter: As with Facebook, Twitter is often misconceived as a platform for friends to share “drivel” such as funny Youtube videos of cats playing a piano, or information about what they’re up to.
However, when used correctly and regularly, Twitter can be even more of a powerful tool to have in your social media marketing toolbox than Facebook.
Although it may not allow businesses to create pages or groups, Twitter does offer real-time communication on both a B2C and a B2B level, ensuring that as a business you’re able to reach your target audience and even further a field, with as little as 140 characteristics.
When it comes to social media marketing, blogging can often be overlooked – however, as with every element of the marketing setup, blogging plays an extremely important role in helping you reach your target audience and in promoting your business.
There are two ways that you can use blogging to your advantage, the first is having a company blog and the second is guest blogging; whether used separately or you combine the two for your business, you will notice the impact it has.
Company Blog: The company blog is a platform which you have control over. You say what is included within the blog, the tone the content takes and how often it is updated (ideally, you should be looking at a minimum of a couple of times per week).
By creating a company blog which is linked to your main company website, you’re offering another platform for your business to promote its products, services and brands, with very few limitations in the way.
Whilst you may be limited to space within social networks and within your company website; with a blog you can be as passionate, informal and detailed about your products, services, business and brand as you want to be; including pictures and videos where applicable, all of which combines to give your audience a 360 degree perspective of your business and what it offers.
If possible don’t make your blogs all about your business, try and offer industry advice, guidance and tips. It’s also wise to make sure that your blogs aren’t too long in length, otherwise people will turn off – in the event that your blog is going on, either make it a two-parter and post the second part later in the week, or break it up using images.
Guest Blogging: Guest blogging works in a similar way to your company blog, except that you don’t have as much control over the tone of the blog, when it is posted or how promotional you can be.
However, for what guest blogging holds back in terms of overall control, it makes up for in audience reach. Via careful research, you should be able to find industry specific blogs which accept guest posts and have a high audience reach.
Top Tip: When looking for a guest blogging site, look to see how many “Likes”, “Tweets” and “Shares” the posts receive – the higher the better!
E-Marketing isn’t a new form of social media marketing, but it is an area which is often forgotten about, especially with the rise of social networks. However, this isn’t to say that E-marketing cannot still play an important role in your social media marketing campaign.
Through the use of E-Marketing, businesses are able to share information that has been posted within blogs or on social networking sites, with the clients and contacts they find within their email contacts; ensuring those that aren’t yet involved in social media marketing can access the content still whilst also seeing how beneficial social media marketing can be for business.
A good way to help your E-Marketing campaign progress further is to include the “Like”, “Share” and “Tweet” tabs common within social networking, to help the messages you’re spreading via e-marketing reach an even wider audience.
The three elements of social media marketing listed above are only a small percentage of the social media tools which are available to help boost your business’ audience reach and marketing campaign – and with little cost required.
If you’d like to learn more about social media marketing visit our blog on a regular basis to pick up more tips, advice and guidance.