When marketing on social media it’s extremely important to avoid anything that might appear as blatant selling. The approach you take to sell on social media will be entirely different from selling through offline marketing means, but remember to not go completely off your message. Highlight what differentiates your from your competition and reinforce your brand, while always aiming your messages towards your target market. Through social networking, you can discuss issues that you are passionate about and position yourself as an expert, and using offline marketing means, you can drive home those points with specific calls to action.
Integrating social media and offline marketing into a strategic plan
Review your current marketing activities, each of which performs a particular job, connecting you with your target audiences in various ways. Social media marketing can work alongside your traditional marketing practices to enhance them.
· Your business website: Incorporate web-links in your social media promotions to increase traffic for your website and increase your search engine ranking. Using relevant keywords in posts, blogs and tweets can enable more potential clients to find you online.
· Advertising: Social networking cannot necessarily be used to sell, but issues related to your products and services can definitely be discussed to subtly support your sales efforts.
· PR: Submit all press releases regularly to online PR services. Position yourself as an expert in your niche.
· New prospects: Online marketing can help you to find new prospects while developing connections with existing customers.
· Market research: Online social media can be used as an effective means for gathering feedback about your company’s products and services.
· Customer service: The immediacy and convenient access provided by social networks makes them suitable for customer service. You can go a step ahead and give customers more; explain issues, alert them to new developments, answer queries and provide support.
Reviewing your overall social media strategy
As online social networking grows, an increasing number of customers will be reaching you through new sources, such as your blog, forums, Twitter or Facebook. You must be responsive so that you can convert these into sales. Like other marketing practices, your online social networking requires a professional and strategic approach.
1. Establish targets and objectives.
2. Incorporate your online marketing with your comprehensive marketing strategy.
3. Allocate sufficient time and budget.
4. Maintain flexibility in when and how you use social media.
5. Adopt a personality driven strategy and maintain your repute.
6. Social media networking can generate positive and negative conversations. Learn how your responses can turn negative feedback into positive interaction.
7. The golden rule definitely holds; no sales pitches.
All your marketing activities need to be monitored, which can be possible with tools provided by these platforms themselves or with other software. You will thus be able to assess your return on investment in terms of time and money. Ultimately you will be able to establish what works and what doesn’t by fine tuning your marketing approach.