Many marketers make the argument that social media can be used to market businesses in more ways than any other past marketing channel. Businesses of any size can use it to directly interact with their customers, generate brand awareness, generate leads, bolster their reputation (or cause it to crumble), and even uncover the purchasing habits and preferences of their audience.
Marketing has evolved well past the good ol’ days of print and television advertising like you might see in the hit television drama Mad Men. But with great power comes great responsibility, and many businesses flounder when they try to take advantage of social media advertising. There have been numerous horror stories regarding social media employees making personal tweets from their personal account by accident and abusing hashtags they obviously didn’t understand.
Clearly, social media isn’t as easy to use as most businesses seem to think. The Social Media Examiner published an eye opening report that made the following conclusions:
- as much as 90% of social media advertisers don’t understand the most effective ways to connect with their audiences
- 86% cannot accurately measure the ROI of their social media advertising or reach their target audience
There are several other statistics that essentially shed light on the fact many businesses don’t know what their doing. I don’t want to paint a gloomy picture, because the truth remains that social media is still an extremely powerful way to market your business.
And I think social media is especially important for small businesses, because they don’t have titanic marketing budgets to spend on traditional advertising mediums, like television ads. To help you move forward while avoiding the pitfalls, we’re going to take a closer look at the most important things to remember when advertising your small business via social media.
1. Develop a Strategy - Don't 'Wing It'
Before you even create a Facebook page for your business or post a single tweet, you need to create a plan. Winging it isn’t going to create effective results unless you are uncommonly lucky, in which case you should probably buy a lottery ticket. Start by defining exactly what it is you want to achieve, and how that will help your business grow. Just make sure the goals are achievable.