Similar to Dorothy’s fears in the Wizard of Oz, businesses can feel slightly intimidated when it come to choosing a social media platform. With over 200 notable, well-known sites (a list can be found here), companies might feel overwhelmed with choices. In this instance, perhaps the best case would be to focus on some of the well-known giants: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
In 3 Reasons Your Business Should be Using Facebook, Jennifer Smith of the Business Bank of Texas offers three reasons Facebook should be a business’ first go-to for social media marketing.
- Helps Build a Relationship With Your Customers
Facebook has over 1.1 billion active users with $1.25 billion in generated ad revenues. First and foremost, as a business, you want to connect with your customers. Your customers are on Facebook. Smith believes that Facebook is a great place to engage with your customers. She suggests to highlight an “employee of the month” or feature charity work. This will make the company more human and relatable.
- Drives Sales Through Facebook Advertising
What is Facebook Advertising?
Facebook advertising allows businesses to promote custom ads or content targeting a specific audience, with costs varying based on the reach and engagement the ad receives. Facebook ads can appear in your target audience’s News Feed or right column of Facebook.
Facebook advertising has some useful tools for business to help them reach target audiences. The “Custom Audience” feature allows businesses to target audiences using email lists, and the “Partner Catagories” allow businesses to reach out to other industries such as small business owners.
- Provides a Way to Influence Your Prospects
Smith says that when you engage your customers with useful content, something powerful happens: they become your brand ambassadors which generates influence. Your customers will review and share your product thus marketing your product for you. This kind of marketing is much more powerful than any other kind of marketing since your target audience will listen to their peers more than they’ll listen to you.
Twitter is a unique social media platform as it forces you to say what you want to say in only 140 characters (and this includes white space, punctuation, and @ tags). So, why would business want to use such a limiting platform? Harsh Ajmera, owner of Digital Insights, reitterates Smith’s Facebook reason: It’s because your customers are there. “At the end of the day” Ajmara says “your consumers are going to buy your products, not the ‘Number of Followers’. So whenever you long onto twitter next time, remember – Engage, Engage and Repeat“.
- Your Customers are Talking
Whether for good or for bad, your customers are talking about your company. You want some influence over that conversation. If they’re talking positively, you can retweet. If they’re complaining, you can handle the complaint. This will help you protect and monitor your brand.
- Twitter Analytics is Useful
Twitter has an Ads Dashboard that supplies businesses with metrics and analytics of your tweets. Using this (free) tool, you can monitor the success and reach of your messages. Then, you can use this information to reassess and refine your Twitter campaign.
- 3rd Party Applications are Helpful
If your business uses multiple social media accounts, a third party tool could be helpful to keep track of information and posts. These tools can help you monitor your posts and even prepare pre-release tweets. One such tool is TweetDeck which allows you to organize your information, manage multiple Twitter accounts, and schedule your tweets. TweetDeck has since pulled its support for other social media accounts to allow it concentrate on Twitter. If you’re looking for multi-platform applications, LifeWire has some good suggestions here.
Often Google+ is ditched in favor of more popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. So, why should companies still choose to use Google+ for their marketing needs? Brett Relander, Founder of Launch & Hustle and Digital Marketing Consultant, says business would be remiss in leaving Google+ out of their social media marketing campaign. Despite it’s less popular status, Google+ has more than 540 million active monthly users and the user base is still growing. So, why else should a business consider Google+?
- Google Hangouts
With Google Hangouts, you can video conference with your customers for free. Businesses can make use of the video conferencing by interacting with its customers, dealers, and vendors at no cost (this is limited to 10 people per conference).
- Google Connection
As a search engine giant, Google is the largest and most used search engine in the world. In fact, “googling” has become a word associated with “searching” online. With such brand awareness, business would do well to consider using that brand awareness in their campaign strategy.
There is sufficient anecdotal evidence to suggest that profiles that do well on Google+ get indexed quicker on Google. Add to that the fact that Google Plus business pages are beginning to show up on search engine results pages, and you have two very strong reasons to work on establishing a presence here.
~ Brett Relander
- Google+ Reviews
Google+ reviews show up on search engines which can influence your target audience’s opinion of your company. “Nothing beats a favorable reference from one human being to another” says Relander. Again, it is paramount that you keep track of your brand’s reputation. Watch those reviews and handle negative criticism with understanding and an offer to make it right.
Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ all seem to pull in a huge number of users per month. As all three articles mention–go where the users are. The most important aspect of business is your customers. Communicate with them, engage with them, entertain them, reassure them, and above all build relationships with them. If you put your customers at the heart of your social media campaign, you’ll have no need for the wonderful Wizard of Oz.