Writecombination Marketing
by Andrew Knowles

Using social media to market your business

You’ve decided to have a crack at marketing your business through social media. The next question is which social media?

Facebook, Twitter or your own blog are probably the most obvious channels. But there’s no shortage of alternatives, such as: YouTube, Linkedin, forums, or question and answer sites.

From this overwhelming choice you have to focus on just one or two, at least to start with. Social media marketing demands time and commitment. Better to establish a strong presence in a couple of places than to spread your message so thin that it’s almost invisible.

Selecting the right social media channels

 The best channels are those busy with your potential customers. You may already have a feel for which these are, but beware it could be subjective, influenced by your own experience.

Ask others what they think. Look at what your competitors or related businesses are doing. Speak to customers to discover what social media, if any, they use.

Consider the different audiences on each channel. Facebook has the largest, comprising millions of individual consumers. Twitter has a much smaller community but, at least from my experience, a higher proportion of these represent businesses. Linkedin is much more commercially oriented.

Set objectives and measure progress

Choosing a social media channel is just the start. By setting objectives, such as number of followers, click throughs from links or the more subjective ‘level of engagement’, you can start to measure progress.

It takes time. You’re not going to get 500 Twitter followers in your first month, unless you’re incredibly active and there’s a compelling reason for people to follow you.

I’d recommend you give each channel at least three months before performing a serious review of its effectiveness. And even then, the early months are about laying a foundation and you’d expect to do better after six months or even a year.

The results you achieve through social media will be determined as much about how you use it as which channel you choose. It’s called social media because it’s not traditional, one-way media, such as print advertising.

Social media is about creating a dialogue with your customers. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out.

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