What makes one business seem to attract interest within a social media platform, and another become almost entirely overlooked? Is there some magic formula which is only known to specific advertising gurus who know which buttons to press to guarantee massive online interest?
There’s no doubt that social media platforms can be a hugely effective way of advertising your business and its latest products or services, but whilst there’s no guarantee, or magic formula, there are definitely right ways and wrongs ways to go about using these platforms as marketing opportunities.
Rule 1 – Don’t Forget The Social Part
One of the biggest mistakes which many businesses make on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook is to forget the fact that they are social media platforms, not merely advertising platforms. Although there are many Facebook marketing tips available, one of the most fundamental is that if you want to get ahead, be social.
But what does social mean for a business? Isn’t being social for individuals, not businesses? Well that depends on what you understand by the term. For a business looking to advertise online then being social means not simply churning out a constant stream of advertising. If all you use Twitter for is to link to your products and say how great they all are, or if all you use Facebook for is to publish pictures of your products and tell people why they should buy them, then clearly the social aspect is missing.
Being social as a business online is about listening and responding as much as advertising. In fact scratch that, you really should be doing quite a bit more listening and responding than advertising. You can quite easily ignore most of the popular Facebook marketing tips out there if you just follow this one rule. Listen, reply, respond, comment, and then when you’ve done all that, throw out one advert. Then rinse and repeat.
Rule 2 – Make It Relevant
So your business has a few thousand followers on Twitter and your Facebook page has thousands of ‘Likes’ – does that really mean anything? No, not necessarily. Whilst people might well have actively expressed an interest in your business, that doesn’t guarantee you any extra revenue unless you focus your use of that audience appropriately. Irrelevant online advertising won’t just miss the target, it makes a mockery of even bothering to have a target in the first place.
Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or another popular online social media platform you’re using to market your business, it’s vital that you understand who your followers are, and why they are following you. Is it because of your great products and services? Possibly, but it might also simply be that you occasionally give out really useful tips, share humorous thoughts and detailed product reviews. Your audience’s perceived value of your business could be very different from the one you expected or hoped for.
Those businesses which see social media working for them incredibly well are usually the ones who understand what their audience wants most. A well crafted pitch that’s created specifically to meet the needs or expectations of the audience will always outperform a bland, stock advert that’s simply broadcast to a huge number of people. Not least of all because that audience will remain attentive in future.
Rule 3 – Think Marketing More Than Advertising
One of the Facebook marketing tips that’s often missed is the fact that businesses are often much better off seeing social media platforms as being great marketing opportunities rather than merely advertising ones. The difference? Simply that with advertising your audience remains passive, whereas with marketing they become actively engaged.
Remembering what I said earlier about social media being social, it is essential that to be successful with online advertising the opportunity to actively engage your audience is pursued ruthlessly.
So don’t just tell your followers about a new product, ask for their opinion. Ask them what they think of the packaging, or get them involved in helping to choose. Ask questions, receive responses, and gain an active and loyal following who will be more open to considering your products in future, confident that you listen, and more willing to recommend your business to others… which is where the real power of social media advertising comes in.