With 56% of Americans on at least one social network, it’s likely you have a personal profile on Facebook, Twitter, or one of the many other social platforms that pop up everyday.
But, the question is, does your small business have the same sort of online social presence?
Social Media Networking is an Effective Marketing Tool
Social Media is hands down one of the most vibrant and effective marketing tools available to an entrepreneur. It’s FREE, powerful, and full of rich comprehensive data about your target market – the perfect storm for marketing success.
But, perhaps more important than how social media helps you is how it helps your audience find you.
Consider this: 91% of local businesses online and 71% of social media users say they are more likely to purchase from a brand they are connected with.
What exactly does this mean for you? Simply put, consumers are beginning to expect that the businesses they support will have a social presence. And, you know what they say… the consumer is always right.
But, there’s more to social media success than just setting up a profile page. Like any tool it can only be effective when you learn how to use it.
Social Media Marketing Mistakes Revealed
The biggest mistake businesses make when joining a social network is that they view it merely as an advertising tool. Yes, social media does offer many interesting advertising opportunities, but at its core that’s not really what it’s all about.
It may sound hokey, but social media is about connection and engagement; it’s about building solid relationships and leveraging those relationships to achieve your business goals.
And, the only way to do that is to engage in real, authentic conversations.
Engaging in authentic conversations means you don’t just talk; you must also be willing to listen, really listen, to what your audience is saying.
Think of it like having a conversation in real life. If you walk up to someone and just start yapping, it’s likely that sooner or later the person will walk away.
The same is true on any social network. You must learn how to talk and listen, initiate and respond.
Social Networking B2B and B2C Effectiveness
The next most common pitfall that many businesses stumble into is that they lack focus. You don’t need to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Vine, LinkedIn and every other social network in the world to be successful.
It’s much more effective to concentrate your efforts on two or three of the social media platforms that suit your company best.
BEST Effective Social Networks for Business to Consumer
If your audience consists mainly of consumers (as apposed to businesses), for instance, Facebook is probably where you want to spend most of your time.
With 23% of users checking their account at least 5 times a day, and 47% of social network users saying Facebook has the greatest impact on their purchases, Facebook can have a major affect on your business. But, it isn’t your only option.
Another great choice for businesses selling directly to consumers is Twitter. Often preferred by organizations that want a more casual fast-paced conversation with their audience, this 140-character platform provides companies with a quick, real-time way to connect with their audience on a regular basis.
MOST Effective Social Network for Business to Business
For businesses whose audience is primarily made up of other businesses, the best option may be LinkedIn.
With features like LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn Answers, and Targeted Product Tags, this is a great solution for business owners looking to connect with other businesses.
Closing Comments About Social Media Networking for Marketing
Whichever social network you choose to invest in, remember that what you’re making is in fact an investment. Like any marketing effort, it’s all about what you put into the process, so you shouldn’t expect to see results right away.
Choose the platform that makes the most sense for your business and put a little time into it each day.
Before you know it you’ll have your own robust community.
NOTE: Information provided by Shark Tank – Jump Start Your Business ~ Author: Michael Parrish DuDell