If you haven’t heard the news, Constant Contact and Our Social Times have teamed up to run a series of free Social Media Marketing for Small Business seminars. We are just over half way through our six events and have two more coming up in Edinburgh (May 29) and Birmingham (June 14). And wow, we’ve been thrilled with the response.
It’s clear that small businesses have plenty of interest in social media marketing – and with that interest, plenty of questions. We’ve already compiled a list of the top five tips for social media marketing that you can read here,but we’ve also heard a few specific questions asked over and over so we thought it was high time to get some answers out there:
Question #1: How can I make money from what I do on social media?
We get this one a lot and for good reason – who doesn’t want to be sure that their social media efforts are paying off for their business?
The answer isn’t as black and white as you might hope. It’s not as simple as saying, do X and you’ll get Y. But the good news is that by following a few tips, you can create results that bring in revenue.
Tip 1: Engage.
Remember, social media is all about having a two-way conversation, not pushing out sales promotion after sales promotion. Ask questions and respond when someone posts on your page.
Tip 2: Be the expert.
Small businesses do this all the time – in your pet shop, for example, you might give customers advice on the best food to feed their particular pet. Or as an estate agent, you might advise your clients on which neighbourhoods best meet their needs. That’s what you do to provide customers value and keep them coming back. You should do the same thing on social media.
Tip 3: Give them something to share.
Your goal is to get your fans to share, comment on or Like your posts. Why? Because when they do that, they are advocating your business to their friends and family. And that can mean new customers at your door.
Question #2: What’s the best way to integrate different platforms to get great results?
In today’s digital age, most people consume content and interact with brands across a number of different platforms. It is unlikely that a person would only be a Twitter user but not use email or Facebook, so it’s vital that your online marketing programme takes advantage of the different channels on offer and engages with consumers wherever they may be. Here are a few tips to make integration a breeze:
Tip 1: Let everyone know where you are.
Invite your Facebook fans to join your email list and vice versa. Let people know if you join Twitter with a dedicated email announcing your new handle. That’s right – if you don’t tell them, they might not know.
Tip 2: Remind your fans and subscribers what they’ll get out of it.
It’s not enough to just ask for an email address or a Facebook Like – explain why they’ll want to join you. ‘Join our mailing list for regular discounts on a fantastic range of antique door knobs’ or ‘Like us on Facebook to download our free report.’
Tip 3: Connect your marketing activities.
Remember, each marketing tactic serves a distinct purpose, and it’s really about using them together that will get you the most bang for your buck. For example, use email to provide a teaser that drives readers to Facebook to find out more and engage in the conversation.
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to getting the most from your social media marketing. To find out more, we invite you to join us at our next seminars in Edinburgh or Birmingham. Can’t make it? No problem, watch the @ctctuk Twitter handle for live tweeting from every event.
Do you have a question about social media? Let us know in the comments section!