There is an abundance of information and advice for small businesses on the internet about how best to use Twitter and Facebook to help their business. Whether it’s big publications, social media marketing agencies or blogs, the topic is one that has been ground to death everywhere, especially in recent weeks. So why are we at Katoka writing about it now as well? Because it’s a cost-effective way that you can use to be more successful, if you follow the right advice.
The first thing to remember is that no matter which social media platform you use – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or any other – you should not try to replicate your standard marketing ideas. Social media is different and the marketing methods used in other venues will not work. Mostly, you actually need to forget about trying to sell a product and focus much more on customer interaction.
For Facebook, still the biggest player on the social media market, that means focusing on building relationships with your customers. Research has shown that people are unlikely to “like” businesses they haven’t encountered elsewhere before, but that they are willing to become unofficial brand ambassadors for businesses they already believe in. Other studies show that Facebook can be used perfectly to collect consumer insight. This means that you need to convince your customers to advertise your business on Facebook, be it through likes or other positive mention. And the easiest way to do that is to offer them special incentive to do so. That can mean both discounts or preferred treatment, but also the chance to have their voice heard and contribute something to your business direction and development.
Similar ideas apply to Twitter, a social media marketing that is still widely underused today considering that it is generally more effective than other social media sites. One reason is that the rule about not promoting yourself applies even more here. Twitter’s 140 character messages might seem like the perfect place for a catchy advertising slogan, but that is not what people are interested in. Twitter is about building followers and getting to know them and that won’t work through simple, mechanical promotion. As David Wilson points out, it is important to humanize your tweets. If you do that and also follow Dan Zararrella’s advice on how to get more retweets, you are well on the way to building a following that will also be willing to learn a little bit about your business. Adam Franklin sums up how best to deal with Twitter in this helpful article.
There is good reason why more and more businesses are using Twitter and Facebook for Business Success. They are a great marketing tool and will tell you a lot about your customers and what they think. It’s easy to get started with this if you just follow a few simple rules. And before you know it, you’ll be learning from the big guys. Like Telstra, who are employing 60 people to deal with social media sites.