You can gather prospective clients and start marketing to them by using social media in your business. It is a good idea and it’s more cost-effective than ever. Yet many traditional businesses don’t leverage social media to promote their business.
Predominantly three reasons:
1. Lack of knowledge
Businesses are typically good at what they do and their core business strategy, but stepping outside of their comfort zone and having to learn a new system can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to learn if you want to use social media to grow your business. It might require taking a special class, buying an online course or studying a book, but it will mean that you will have to take additional time to learn how to do it.
2. Resistance to change
The classic phrase “we’ve always done it this way” is sometimes an automatic response to new ideas and change. The internet has leveled the playing field between small and large businesses in cost to market, potential reach and significantly reduced marketing budgets. Resistance to change is something that needs to be overcome so you can modernize your business and take advantage of new, low-cost ideas to grow your business.
3. Not understanding the opportunity
Social media has the ability to reach a global audience. Traditional media like newspapers, TV and radio will reach a local or national audience, but not a global audience. Social media expands your market potential exponentially and should be embraced! If you’re marketing offline or only a little online, you might be missing the majority of your market. There’s never been a more cost-effective way to market than using the power of social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others to reach customers world-wide.
Once you understand and identify what might be holding you back, you need to be able to identify clearly who your customers are ie. demographics such as age, gender, income, etc. so you know the audience you want to reach.
Once you are clear on who your clients are, you will need to develop a media plan to reach the right media and attract your dream clients.
What kind of a social media plan you should have depends on the type of business you have and who you want to reach.
1. Start writing a blog
It’s most important that you develop your own voice and your own original material. Create a blog and start writing a post every two weeks. You can also be a guest on other peoples’ blogs because many websites are looking for content and allow guest writers. Make sure you have an opt-in box on your website and of course, a free offer for them opting in. This is basic, but some people over look how important this is.
You need to start developing a list of fans and followers who are interested in your topic. Over time, you can make them offers of your products and services. Don’t worry about the size of your list. Size doesn’t matter! It’s about getting people who are interested and loyal on your list – and who want to know more.
Have some good content as your opt-in gift and don’t be generic. Ask people on Facebook (that are in your desired client demographic) if they like your opt-in offer. Many entrepreneurs put up a website offer that is not interesting, has a low perceived value, or is a throw away that doesn’t really mean anything. You can offer a free gift in the form of a short pdf report, audio, video, or quiz. People like free reports and quizzes because they don’t take much time to read.
2. Match your target market to the appropriate social media platform
If you’re marketing to millennials, you’ll probably want to use Snapchat or Instagram to market your products or services. Middle aged women are more likely to be on Facebook while professionals are on LinkedIn. The high-tech industry tends to look at Google Plus. Depending on where your target market is, be sure to match the social media platform with the correct target market. YouTube is the one social media platform that can reach every market because it’s a popular site for all demographics. You can also target your market with customized ads you create where you select their age, gender, occupation, etc. and can get into great detail whom you’re marketing to.
3. Create quality content that sets you apart
If you’re not sharing great tips and insight with people on social media, you’re wasting your time. Short, pithy quotes or tips will capture attention and attract potential clients to you. Combine that with an attractive eye-catching photo or a photo and quote (called a “meme”) and you can grow your prospect list quickly. People will begin to know you and look for your content.
4. It can help establish you as an expert and the “go-to” person in your field
Being seen on social media means you have enormous reach and you never know who is watching. You can quickly establish yourself as an expert by posting links to your blog on social media, advertising a free report or posting a video. These will get people familiar with who you are and what you teach so you are the known expert online. People who are growing their brand online are being asked to be on television programs or in some cases have been given their own TV shows because they were discovered online.
5. Use a handful of hashtags
Using a cluster of related hashtags with searchable topics will allow people to find you online. For example, if you are a naturopath, perhaps “#health #medicine #naturopath #organic” would be basic, searchable terms you could use. If you’re in the financial industry “#money #personalfinance #investing” are searchable terms that could apply to you. Using 3 to 5 hashtags that are related to your business can help people find you on social media and allow them to see your carefully curated content and join your list.
If you’re not using social media to boost your business, you’re missing out! Make the investment to learn how to use social media effectively – it will pay off in spades.