Social media marketing allows direct connection with both current and potential customers, and when used effectively, can then create a community around your product, brand and business. Community engagement is paramount to business success, and social media marketing provides you with the ability to meet this requirement, as it allows direct connection with both current and potential customers. When used effectively, social media marketing can allow you to position your product, business and brand with pre-existing communities and create your own community.
In marketing terms, this community engagement, is known as community marketing, and it provides a real opportunity for businesses to increase brand awareness, understand customers, improve outcomes and connect with your target audience. Community engagement is important and a recent Forbes article discusses brand success and highlights this growing trend and reasons for this. Two powerful quotes from the article states, “People are craving community now more than ever” and “for businesses, this means that community is critical to success” Interesting, it goes on to state, and the statistics are American based, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t applicable to Western countries, that about half of the American population are feeling more lonely and isolated than ever before and this is why community engagement is so important.
It is important to get social media marketing to work for you, rather than against you. To achieve community engagement takes careful, researched and considered planning with a recognition that social media marketing does not provide a quick outcome. Community engagement relies on brand awareness, which takes time to develop because trust needs to be earned, this is done through transparency and openness.
It might seem strange that you need to research and have a careful and considered plan in order to create a community but when you consider that this provides a deeper understanding with which to connect with people it makes simply makes sense. Different elements in the research stage allow you to find opportunity in the planning stage, these elements include:
- Understanding your target audience
- Understanding your industry
- Understanding your competition
- Understanding all social media networks
- And lastly understanding your usage on social media networks
Marketing terminology speaks of target audience, which simply means both current and potential customers. Understanding your target audience gives you the opportunity to interact, connect and market to them on their level, this in turn aides in earning trust, building open communication and therefore community. The added benefit is you also understand the best approach in marketing your business, product or service to reach this audience.
Understanding your Industry
Understanding the industry you work in. Even if you feel that you have a niche product or service, there is still an industry with which you belong and understanding this in detail, including current trends and the direction these trends are taking, as examples, help you to provide better customer service. It means you can relay your position in the industry, what makes you unique and you can discuss the industry to provide relevant information to your target audience.
Understanding your competition
Understanding your competition is powerful and there are a few reasons for this. Knowing the products or services they provide enable you to understand your position within the market. Detailed information on their marketing strategies allow you to find a marketing opportunity, that has not yet been embraced. It also means you don’t need to reinvent the wheel so to speak, you can learn from what worked well for them and what didn’t, and position yourself accordingly.
In each instance, with regard to social media marketing, it also includes understanding their behaviours on social media, from which networks they use to how they use it.
What are your Current Social Media Marketing Strategies?
It is also important to audit your social media marketing strategies, as this provides a lot of detailed information with which to goal plan from. You already have a community, no matter how big or small and from here you can better understand what strategies are working and what isn’t, what communication styles and elements your community are currently reacting well too, who is connecting with you, which social media networks you are using and how do you fair against competition. It is important in any goal planning to embrace what is working to keep in touch with your current community and build on it from there.
In a world where social media is used daily, it is easy to think this is really detailed. I mean we create posts and put them up everyday and get reactions to them. What makes this different? The reason this is different is because social media marketing allows you to portray your brand personality and therefore capture the attention of your target audience. In an image you need to quickly and effectively begin to paint a picture of how you can fulfil their needs, and the content along with the picture adds the detail and directs them to you. This is what finding opportunity is about, and this is done through research and planning.
New Opportunities in Social Media Marketing
It is important to note that new opportunities have arisen from community marketing that traditional marketing strategies do not offer. Traditional marketing strategies have a valid place and it is all things in balance. As community marketing is still relatively new in importance, and opportunity presents to engage with your target audience, by giving your business its own character and personality if you will, and connecting with people. It is honest, transparent and open and builds trust in your brand and product or service. This is done by creating an environment where you share information about your business, product or service information, what is unique, industry information and allowing information to flow from target audience to you. Not every business has embraced this personalised approach as yet, and it means creating a professional yet personalised service where people feel connected. A good way to begin is to share your passion with your target audience, explain what you do and why you do it, and allow them to follow your professional journey, which they will eagerly do because you have created interest. This is brand awareness, and while this is a long-term approach it aides greatly in cementing your position within your industry, and when people trust you they will do business with you.
Balance Brand Awareness and Promotion
As mentioned, marketing isn’t all about brand awareness, there is promotion, and a certain amount of effort needs to go into promoting both your business and your product or service. If you think of this in terms of balance, do you like simply being given promotional material without understanding who the business is? Would you be more inclined to buy from them? Has this changed in recent years? Promotion allows you to sell your business and product or service, for lead generation, and it generally has a quicker response rate, social media marketing creates a platform to allow for this too, and when used in balance creates a complete social media marketing strategy.
It is understanding all of this and working out what best suits you and your business that allows you to harness opportunities found in researching all of these elements and formulating a plan that embraces brand awareness and promotions in order to put you in a position to gain lead generation and therefore sales. Careful, considered and researched approach means you can rely more effective information, communicate with your target audience and find opportunity not yet embraced in order to get value from your marketing budget and strategy and to get your target audience interested in you.
Small Business Near Me is passionate about its holistic approach and will work with you through this process, to understand each element both through your perspective and through added research to ensure nothing is missed, from the research we will discuss goals with you, for each social media network you wish to use and formulate a plan. This then allows you to connect with your target audience more efficiently and posts are created and marketed to assist with this process, making it an easy process for you. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.