The use of the internet has changed the dynamics of the business world. For decades marketers and “ad-men: have used the interruption of “outbound marketing” to push out their message to as many people as possible. These “outbound marketing” methods are becoming less and less effective for two main reasons:
First – The consumer is becoming better at blocking out these interruption-based messages. The average person is saturated with thousands of these messages per day and they are finding more creative ways to block them with techniques like caller id, spam filtering and on-demand radio and television reception.
Second – The Internet, as a source, provides a quick and easy way for consumers to learn about and shop for the items they need. They will often use this method as a starting point.
So, combine the best of both worlds. To stay competitive, consider utilizing at least some inbound marketing concepts to allow consumers to find you, on their schedule. This can be coupled with any outbound methods that have had good results for you in the past. For example, keep your blog and Facebook pages informative and current, then reinforce those news items with direct mail pieces.
“What About Social Media?”
We respect the power of social networking and what it means to the success of businesses. It’s critical to “BE” where your clients and potential clients are spending time. To that end, here are a few brief explanations and tips about social media.
Social media is any website or mobile phone function that allows you to share content and ideas with other people. Not all social platforms are good at the same things, so it is important ti identify which ones your desired clients are on. Here are the main social media sites you might want to consider:
A blog is probably the simplest platform for sharing and connecting with your clients. Some experts insist that a blog just may be your most important social media site. An added bonus, it will also fuel your SEO, since search engines love valuable, frequent content.
Since Facebook is used by most of the world, it is an ideal way to get people interacting with your business. Clients can connect with, like, and share content on your site, and engagement is the very definition of successful social media.
Twitter is a simple and minimalist service, which allows you to share content but also allows engagement. It is particularly useful for conveying time-sensitive information about promotions and new products.
The perfect platform to reach anyone passionate about images. Consider using Instagram not only to show off your best images, but also to share photos of interesting books, exhibitions, and places that you recommend.
Another image platform, Pinterest is a relatively new networking site that is catching on like wildfire. Drive traffic to your website by creating online boards with images and videos on topics you and your clients may be interested in.
Some things to keep in mind regarding social media:
1. Be Consistent
Which platform or platforms you use depends on you and your business, but once you start you can never stop. So choose how often you would like to post – once a day, once a week – then keep that schedule to keep people interested.
2. But Don’t Become Spammy
The experts recommend trying to post once a day. More than 3 times a day and you may be perceived as “spammy”.
3. Be Sensitive to Conversation Styles
You’ll want to be perceived as fun, interested, informative, and knowledgeable, NOT as self-serving. Users that come on too strong with promotional messages are branded as such and it will have consequences.
4. Be Prepared to be Transparent
In your own networking, you should SHARE – ideas, answers, questions, and observations. A social network has to be continual give and take.
5. Jump In
Listen, learn and participate to start widening your horizons. This will be an ongoing learning experience that will continue to flourish once you immerse yourself.
6. Add Value
You will have opportunities to promote yourself, by giving back, by answering questions. Be yourself, share observations, give freely.