Since the dawn of time, people have tapped their families, friends and neighbors for referrals. However in this modern age, our communities have grown exponentially by way of social media. While at-your-fingertips advice empowers the consumer, it also gives the savvy marketer a direct link to existing and potential customers. It can be a blessing, or a curse, depending on your approach. Here are a few tips for making social media work for your business.
Marketing is only as good as its target audience. In other words, spend your social marketing efforts on the channels where your customers already are. Discover their hangouts by searching a variety of social channels, setting up Google Alerts relevant to your business or by simply asking your customers where they search for topics like remodeling or interior design.
Facebook! Twitter! YouTube! Google+! Pinterest! Porch! Houzz! Aaaaah! Social media can be overwhelming. Just remember, you don’t have to be everywhere all the time. Try a two-pronged approach. First, consider a platform like Houzz or YouTube that allows you to showcase your skills and talents. Next, choose a channel that allows you to network and grow your community. Think Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Social media is exciting because it’s a conversation. Monitor your channels, and if someone connects with you online, respond. Being responsive online demonstrates that you will most likely be responsive on the job.
Plot out what and when you will post well in advance to stay ahead of the game. Consider doing this on a quarterly or biannual basis. This will help spare your sanity and ensure you publish quality content in a consistent manner.
Even if you don’t list your own business (and maybe you should), your customers may well do it for you. Keep an eye on the reviews and respond as appropriate. Should a negative comment pop up, address it in a kind, customer-focused manner, but try to resolve the issue off-line.
There are endless ways to socialize online. If you try to do it all, you may lose your message along the way. Stay true to the social channels you do choose. Learn them well and get to know your new online communities.