APM social media

Social Media Marketing – a quick refresh

Have you thought about your marketing activities for 2013 yet? Hopefully, even if you’ve not yet started, social media is on your list of ‘things to do’!  Here’s a quick refresh on the why’s and wherefores!

The new frontier

Social Media is changing everything, it’s the new frontier! In reality, there’s nothing to be scared off and no reason to shy away from it, it’s actually just another medium on which to showcase your business, such as the internet, press advertising or direct mail.

The real power behind social media is the ability for you to interact with your potential clients and build a relationship and trust. It most definitely not a broadcasting tool or a direct sales channel, but a conversation and, furthermore, it’s not just about you, but about others too and looking for synergies.

  • It’s a communication tool
  • It’s great for PR and disseminating information and announcements, product launches and special offers
  • We can use it to conduct research, ask questions, look at what other people are doing
  • We can demonstrate thought leadership and expertise whilst identifying who you are, what you know and how you can help

Why is social media so important for our business survival?

Social media has levelled the playing field, it has afforded small businesses the ability to compete on an equal level with larger companies and, the winners will be those who adopt the new technology and integrate it into their business. New business opportunities are being created and won all the time. The control of buying has moved to the customer as social media supports the ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ marketing.  (You can read more on this at my blog here.)

It’s definitely not a fad and all we will see is it changing shape over the years rather than disappearing.

Find the right medium for you and your target audience

In very simple terms, Facebook is very retail, LinkedIn is very corporate and Twitter bridges the gap between the two. Pinterest is perfect if your business lends itself to lots of product photographs and YouTube is great for ‘how to’ and instructional videos.

It’s really important that you feel comfortable with the platform that you use. I would never recommend you use it, just because someone has told you that you should. Moreover, it should very much form part of your marketing strategy; it’s definitely not a replacement for other more traditional elements, but works well alongside them. If it’s something you just cannot face at present, outsource it to someone who can (such as me!).  And just as importantly, have a plan!

A little planning will significantly reduce your day-to-day time

  • Before you start, consider your target audience and what would interest them.
  • Consider your objectives and your areas of expertise, where you can add value and what you want the reader to take away from your post
  • What is your call to action, ie, what do you want the reader to do?

Reputation management

Finally, I’ve come across many companies who don’t wish to involve themselves in social media for fear of online criticism. The reality is that people will be talking about your business whether you like it or not! Far better, I think, to know what people are saying about you and address any complaints in a positive and proactive way.

This will be my last blog post for 2012, so I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Alison x