Social media is vital for the success of businesses today. Without a deep social footprint, your small business can seem irrelevant to customers that not only expect content, but expect engagement. Gone are the days of automating a few tweets here and there and seeing results.
Today’s customer expects to develop a relationship with their favorite companies, from branded giants to local shops down the street. Developing a strong presence on the web can be tough, with more and more clutter fighting for customer’s eyeballs each and every day.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest aren’t going anywhere, and as a small business owner you can either join the team or sit on the bench. Few have mastered the art of social media, but those who have can teach lots about what makes them successful. Here’s what the experts have to say:
"Focus on being great at something. Then figure out what it will take to actually be great." Joe Pulizzi
The world of social is ever-changing. Deciding what channels will work best for your business can be overwhelming, so Pulizzi recommends choosing one and learning to be great on it. Perhaps you think Twitter has the most potential leads for your business; plug into that. Learn not just how to Tweet, RT, and follow, but how to make the very most of Twitter for business and make it one of your best #assets.
"Don't use social media as a microphone, use it as a telephone." Mike Kawula
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make on social media? Making it all about them. Expert Mike Kawula reminds companies to put the social back into social media! Tweeting “looking for funding? Try our company today!” will get you nowhere. Instead, make it personal. Don’t shout, do talk. Talk about industry-related news, local happenings, and other subjects that would be of top interest to your customers.
"A blog allows you to provide visitors with free value." Marc Guberti
While Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great for you business, part of your social strategy should also include a company blog. Blogging interesting, rich, and quality content that your customer wants to read will not only lead them to your website, but also allow them to build a relationship with your brand. The more free value you give, the more the customer will appreciate your company. Use social media to share both curated and created content and you will quickly become a one-stop-shop for your customer.
"Make social media more than just another marketing channel." Daina Middleton
Yes, social media may be one of the best marketing tools at your business’ disposal, but it’s also a perfect place to answer customer questions, respond to complaints, and learn about operation flaws. In Middleton’s book, she writes that gone are the days of Persuasion Marketing, today it’s all about Participation Marketing. So, participate!
Get to know your customers through social, and keep up with what they’re saying. Think of your social media feeds as an ever-flowing free customer satisfaction report... And don’t just listen, but respond by making the necessary changes!
About the Experts:
JOE PULIZZI is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, pod caster, father and lover of all things orange. Founder of Content Marketing Institute, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World.
DAINA MIDDLETON is the author of Marketing in the Participation Age, former CEO of Performics, one of the largest search and performance media agencies, and currently sits as Head of Global Business Marketing at Twitter, Inc.
MARC GUBERTI is an 18 year old entrepreneur, digital marketing expert, and author. He is the co-founder of Teenager Entrepreneur, a movement that educates and empowers teens worldwide.
MIKE KAWULA is the CEO of Social Quant, Author of Social Media #1 Best Selling book Connect and winner of nationally recognized Inc. 500 Award in 2012 ranking the #144th fastest growing company & 8th in the industry.