Social networks: everything an entrepreneur should know
Without a doubt, social networks are booming. They also provide businesses with an easy opportunity to be on the web.
The strategy on social networks differs from one company to another. It takes time and effort to establish a good presence in social networks. I had a quick exchange with Laurent and Mathieu on good practices to optimize my presence on social networks.
Good practices on social networks lead to increased customer loyalty. Therefore, they will also establish the presence of your brand.
Social networking sites also facilitate communication, providing an opportunity to connect with potential prospects. Social networking sites are open platforms where your customers can also express their opinions about the products/services they use.
Leveraging the power of content and social marketing can help expand your audience and customer base. But to start without any experience and/or method can seem difficult for a contractor who has little time.
How to approach social networks
One of the entry points to establish a marketing plan for a social network is to know the nature of your business. Indeed, a large company has needs that require a very different approach to social networks compared to a small or medium business.
a) For a large commercial company, I advise you to focus on the use of social media platforms to connect with a very wide audience. Thus, your brand and your products and services will have a national exposure.
b) For a local SME, use social networking platforms to animate a loyal customer base while adding your personal touch that only a small local business can provide.
c) For a company whose offer is aimed at other companies (B2B), social networking platforms can be used for networking with other potential companies that can work with you. In this way, you become visible to your target market.
It's also critical to know what kind of audience you're targeting to make the best use of all the resources available to you through social media.
For example: If you sell clothes for young people, then you have an interest in participating in a group of high school students on Facebook to present your products and offer discounts. You can also create a page on your company's website containing all the necessary information and insert links to this page in groups on Facebook.
10 rules of good conduct to follow on social networks
For this, it is essential to understand the fundamentals of social media marketing.
It's not complicated. Just follow the 10 rules below to build a solid and useful foundation for your customers, perhaps most importantly, your brand and, your bottom line.
1. Listen more than you speak
Success on content marketing & social media requires more listening than words. Read the online content of your target audience. Participate in discussions to learn what is important to them. Only after that can you spark conversations & create content with added value.
2. Concentrate on yourself
It is better to specialize than to be a male orchestra. A finely targeted content and social marketing strategy aimed at creating a strong brand is certainly more likely to win new customers than to try to please everyone.
3. Give priority to quality
The quality often exceeds the quantity. For example, it is better to have 1000 "friends" who read you, share your content with their your own "friends" than 20.000 "sleeping" friends.
My advice : Do not succumb to the sirens that promise to bring you quickly 10,000 fans on your Facebook page for $20 .
4. Be patient
As with content marketing, success on social media does not happen in a day. It's a marathon. It's still possible to publish viral content, but it's much more likely that you'll have to invest in the long run before you get visible results.
5. The longer you last, the more you accumulate
Post incredible content and quality. Build step by step your flow of info from quality supporters. They will gladly share your content with their own "friends" on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their blogs, ...
All these sharing and discussions are all entry points identified by search engines like Google. Eventually, it's potentially hundreds or even thousands of new entry points for people to find you on the Internet.
6. Find influencers
According to Definitions Marketing , an influencer is an individual who by status, position or media exposure can influence consumer behavior in a given universe.
Spend some time identifying influencers in your market. Their quality audience is likely to be interested too in your company and its products or services. Connect with these people. Establish with them a strong relationship.
If you appear as a reliable and interesting source of information, they will share your content with their own "friends". Your business will reach a new audience and therefore find new growth opportunities.
7. Add value
If you spend your time on social networks promoting your products and services, people will get bored. You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on sales and more on creating exceptional content and developing relationships with your influencers. Over time, these people become a powerful catalyst for generating "word of mouth" around your business.
8. Build relationships
In real life, you are never unaware of someone contacting you. So do not ignore them on the web. Having strong relationships with your followers is one of the most important parts of successful social media marketing.
9. Be present
Do not publish your content to disappear immediately.
This means you have to constantly publish content and participate in conversations. Online users are out of control. be always available to your audience, if you disappear for a few weeks, your audience doesn't hesitate to replace you.
10. Give to receive
Do not think other people will share your content and talk about you if you do not do the same for them.
That's why part of your time on social networks should be devoted to sharing and discussing content posted by other people. As this is not practised, it is a good way to stand out from the competition.
Some practical tips to increase your social media presence
For starters, do not try to create a presence on all social networking sites. Start with 2, then gradually increase to other networks. To choose the right networks for your business, I refer you to my complete panorama for SMEs.
Create a separate page for your business and feed it professionally with your news, vacancies, events and other commercials. Here are articles that describe in detail how to create your page on Facebook, an account on Instagram, space on Pinterest.
Connect with your existing customers and potential prospects, but also with other companies related to your industry, You must know why an individual recommends or not your brand. It's also important to know which types of brands are recommended by the users,
Be consistent with the information you publish. This is highly appreciated by the people in your network. If they like the information you're showing, they'll regularly track updates to your profile,
Initiate conversations about important points in your business and upcoming events.
How to be effective on social networks
To be effective on social media platforms, being "social" is extremely important. If you just create a fan page on Facebook, a Twitter account and/or a LinkedIn group without animating them, it is useless.
Do not add people to your network just because you have to. Check the profiles of people you add to your network. Also, make sure they are likely to be interested in your products, services, or content on your profile.
Increase your network gradually.
For example Add, every day, 5 to 10 people who might be interested in your offers.
Make sure you publish information that adds value to your network.
Make sure that you are also responsive to messages from people on your network.
For example: Always respond to comments - whether positive or negative.
If you find quality and interesting content, do not hesitate to "like" it, even to share it. It also helps to create a strong presence.
Be creative! It's essential to stand out. There are so many users posting content on social networking sites.
For example: Look after your headlines to get people's attention.
To Conclude On Social Networks And SMEs
It is important to understand your company, the specificities of its products or services, its target market to create a lasting presence on social networks.
In summary, social media marketing is a great way to:
Increase the visibility of your company, Acquire new customers, And build lasting relationships with your customers and prospects. By sharing professional, relevant and interesting content, your success on social networks is assured and unlimited.