Help Your Business Grow by Using Social Media
by Matt Polsky
Still trying to figure out how to make social media part of your marketing mix? This article explains how you can use social media to manage your brand and grow your business.
Brand management is more important than ever in a society that has currently grown accustomed to the internet being readily available almost anywhere through smart phones and tablets. In recent years, managing your brand has gone beyond the usual keyword searches and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics, and has steadily moved into social media. Social media platforms have become breeding grounds for both positive and negative comments and if utilized properly, they can be a large part of your marketing plan.
Set Specific Goals
It is important to start any campaign by setting your goals. Without having a specific purpose, there is no way to track progress or know if you are doing well. For instance, a good example of a specific goal could be, “I want to grow my Facebook following to 5000 members by October, while increasing interactions by 15 percent through a series of posts, interactions, and ads.” Without setting goals, your campaign will lack purpose; however, it is also important to follow the SMART acronym when setting goals, which is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Social Media has Changed the Game
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn are just a few of the most used platforms that companies can now use to increase their visibility. Social networking sites are not only great to push products or services, but can be used to build communities of brand advocates. Through coupons, contests, promotions, and events, a company can build interactions and consumer loyalty to their brand.
The key to every social group is to foster interactions, and not just with the company, but with other active members of that social network. The more times group members share your information with their followers, the better. This means you should keep your social platforms updated frequently with high quality information relevant to your brand. Remember, posting too often can carry the disadvantage of flooding your customers’ newsfeed and making them annoyed enough to unfollow you. On average, Facebook users are used to seeing one post per day, while Twitter users can handle three to five tweets in a day.
Manage Your Reputation
While social media sites are a great way to reach a completely new client base without breaking the bank, they can also quickly become a company’s worst nightmare. Social media platforms, including forums and review boards such as Viewpoints.com, can become loaded with negative comments regarding your business and destroy a brand through word of mouth.
If a customer posts a complaint, it is important to immediately comment or respond to show the customer you are trying to rectify the situation. However, not only negative comments should receive a response. Thanking customers for positive feedback is a great way to build brand advocates and show that you listen to your customer base.
To get the highest return on your social media campaigns, brand managers should focus on providing high quality content and give customers a reason to positively interact with you and your brand.
Matt Polsky is the Senior Content and Reputation manager for VA Mortgage Center, providing insights learned from the nation’s leading provider of VA home loans.