Marketing and advertising on social media is now the norm, replacing outdated traditional practices from decades ago. Antiquated placements in phone books, with dozens of different choices available, find most consumers casting them out into the trash. Running local newspaper ads are often left unseen in the thousands of choices available.
While the argument of the death of print media rages on, many question the continued effectiveness of print media. We can all safely agree that Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook site is reaching a much larger audience than Ma Bell’s printed Yellow Pages, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times subscriptions — since they have all moved online.
Social media interactions, with the saturation of mobile traffic influencing customer’s experiences, is happening by the millions, in global cases into the trillions, compared to printed phone books and newspapers, that are simply littering on our doorsteps and driveways.
For example, promoting businesses on Facebook, not to mention the hundreds of other social media choices available online, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and a multitude of other options, it can be confusing and complicated. But if you break it down to into some simple strategies, it becomes less of a challenge and more of a reward.
Instead of some broad strategies, let’s look at some specific tips and tricks that can have our businesses shine on these internet platforms, rather than disappearing into the oblivion of the many trillions of entries that are available online.
REACH OUT – NOT PREACH OUT
One of the biggest mistakes that most businesses make when launching on social media is going after a hard sale, pushing a product or service right out of the gate. Instead, they need to start out slow, introduce themselves to their potential “friends” and eventually reach out to the audiences on these platforms.
Comment on posts, become an advisor, a source of information, supply reviews and relevant information about trending topics instead of coming off like a used car salesperson that attacks their visitors with hard selling tactics that consumers find annoying.
Once you have established yourself as a trusted advisor, friend and commentator, then businesses can offer their products and services as a solution, rather than a must-have item, an irrelevant product that comes off as pushy and overbearing. The brand image suffers and so does the salesperson or department looking for a lead and connection online.
CONNECT & ENGAGE
While “click-baiting” can be effective, using sensationalistic headlines like “Never Before Seen” or “This Will Blow Your Mind,” may offer quick rewards for some shady internet entrepreneurs, but for businesses and professional environments, this disingenuous approach doesn’t deliver. Especially for professionals seeking audiences who want trust and acceptance, users will be disappointed and it will ultimately alienate consumers. Instead, engage with them using more effective ways that will make them want to interact with you, such as the below examples:
- Questionnaires: That invite valuable answers to relevant questions and statistical information that is important to customer service.
- Discussions: Especially on hot topics, inquire users to offer their opinions, while you should remain neutral, ask users to comment on which side they take on trending topics and relevant matters consuming the media.
- Feedback: Invite suggestions and advice to improve service or promote new ideas for products, within a your own specific service or industry.
Promotion on social media platforms is less about “promo” and more about connections, engagement and valuable interactions with online users. They will like, share and promote your business once you have made “friends” with them online.
What other tips can you share with up and coming businesses looking to expand their social media strategies?
Originally published Apr 07, 2015, updated Jun 15, 2021