Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Using Social Media for Your Marketing Efforts

There are two kinds of Twitter and Facebook accounts: professional and personal, which means that it is now a conventional thing to see companies using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networking sites to showcase their products and engage with their customers and fans.
From a personal point of view, social media is a source of amusement and diversion. From a professional standpoint, on the other hand, most business owners think that social media is a place where they can invest time and income to get followers, get these followers to engage with your social media page, and hope that these relevant engagements will result into conversions.
However, there are other ways in which your business can use social media into real world upgrades, as shared by Danny Groner, manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Shutterstock:
1. Use social media to raise funds
Social media can be used to disseminate information about a crowd funding campaign which you can do through funding platforms, like Kickstarter.
To launch a successful fundraising campaign through social media, you first have to have a robust social media presence, so that people will equate the name of your company to success and accomplishment.
In addition, you can use social media not just to spread awareness about your company, but as a way to creatively present your products with beautiful pictures and their corresponding price tags. There’s a good chance that people scanning through beautiful photos of your products are also thinking about how they can buy them.
Social media can be used to raise awareness towards your crowd funding campaign for your business. (Image: Commodity Trader (CC) via Flickr)
2. Cite influencers in your industry
Social media users share articles that are of interest to them. As a business owner, you can put up content in your social media page that cites the heavyweights of your industry. Sure they don’t know you personally, but when you reference these influencers, it gives a positive perception towards your brand from your social media fans and followers.
For example, you can simply follow the most influential companies of your industry in Twitter and simply retweet their tweets. According to Groner, you should “pair yourself up with the people who drive thought leadership in your field and beyond.”
3. Offer a strong call to action in your social media posts
Groner cites the example of JetBlue’s Twitter account. JetBlue Airways Corporation is an American low-cost non-union airline. The company’s Twitter account’s tweets are characterized with persuasive offers and a strong CTA (call to action) in the end, a text meant to prompt a user to click it, leading the user to the company’s landing webpage.
What this strategy shows is that you have to be directly straightforward with your target audience, “skipping the middle step,” according to Groner, armed with the fact that you trust in the capacity of your product to sell itself because of its accessibility and its cost.
Essentially, you must let your social media followers feel that it is useful to them when they click through the link. Before you offer a strong call to action in your social media page, however, do it gracefully. Otherwise, you’ll just make your followers less interested in your offerings.
4. Use social media for word of mouth advertising
Use social media to get referrals from your fans and followers; let them recommend your products to their friends. That’s the most economical, and in fact the best way to use social media as a marketing platform.
So how do you get your fans to recommend your products? Groner suggests that you can offer discounts and prizes to customers who will “recommend your brand to their friends” and share their positive experiences with your products or services.
In this case, discounts become an investment because a single person can influence a couple of people to become your company page’s followers as well. Word of mouth advertising is often very effective because they come from sources that people trust.

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