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How to Find the “Social” in Your Social Media Marketing

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Perhaps you jumped on the social media bandwagon to engage customers, find new ones and get your business known throughout Chicago. Good move.

Though if you don’t seem to be getting the traction you hoped for, here are six common reasons why and what you can do about it.

Find your target audience. Before you set up a Twitter account or create a Facebook Business Page, research who’s participating there and ask your customers which forums hold their attention. You may find they like blogs and email as opposed to Twitter and Facebook. Once you determine where they are, follow them to their preferred destinations.

Focus your efforts. Identify the top two places where your audience is most active and fully engage them there as opposed to spreading yourself too thin across a variety of social media platforms.

Identify the most active participants on your target social media platforms. Then initiate conversations, respond and repost their messages, fan their pages, and follow their feeds.

Balance social media with other marketing efforts. Social media should be part of a balanced marketing effort that includes online and offline activities.

Along with email marketing, consider taking advantage of low-cost/no-cost online event tools that allow you to host informational sessions where you can share presentations and talk to customers using instant messaging and live audio.

You can also host private in store events for VIP customers and include an incentive for them to invite their network of family and friends.

Also, look for opportunities where online conversations are moving offline such as special events, conferences, and Tweet Ups (live meetings for Twitter communities).

Don’t mistake silence for disengaged. A lot of social media is built around listening and responding only when it makes sense. If you aren’t getting a lot of responses to your messages, don’t assume that customers have tuned you out. Instead, be creative in your engagement by asking thought provoking questions, inquiring about their specific interests, taking a poll, and reaching out on a one-on-one basis.

Position yourself as an expert resource. Make sure your messages are a mix of relevant information and offers. This promotes feedback and fosters engagement as opposed to simply being seen as a walking billboard.

Adjust your social media marketing efforts based on these recommendations and you’ll see stronger results across your online and offline campaigns.

Steve Robinson is Constant Contact’s small business expert in Illinois and Wisconsin. A knowledgeable marketing expert with 30 years of experience, Steve has helped thousands of small businesses, associations, and nonprofits develop and implement effective email marketing, social media and online survey strategies. A popular speaker and educator, Steve gives small businesses and nonprofits the tools, techniques, and strategies they need to grow and expand their business and to maximize the power of relationship marketing. Steve’s experience in small business ownership, business development, sales, and fundraising help associations, small businesses and nonprofits achieve success.

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