The goal for business social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter is to build customer awareness. These sites are an important part of any modern marketing campaign. These tools help you increase your website placement in natural ways. You’ve probably noticed websites that rank at the very top of website searches for certain terms and are labeled sponsored or have a different background color. Often, these sites pay search engines for high placement through pay-per-click (PPC) services. You don’t have to pay to get good results, if you are patient and willing to put in the work to gain placement organically. You need to build an organic enhancement strategy that incorporates a social media presence that supports your overall marketing strategy.
If you visit department stores, boutiques and other fashion websites, you may notice that they have a “Pin It” option. This means users can click the button and pin items they like to their Pinterest accounts. Pinning your product allows the user to return later to buy the products. Customer pinning also helps in your marketing efforts giving your product a chance to go viral. Once pinned, other pinners will see your product on the person’s Pinterest page, and they may decide to pin the item to their boards. More and more people see your product as it is pinned to pages. People tend to follow other Pinterest users with similar interests. This increases the likelihood that your product will be seen by potential customers.
You can create a Pinterest account for your company in under 5 minutes and start pinning, but beware “pinning” can be so much fun it may not feel like work! Creating a Pinterest account is a creative process so be sure someone with the right skills is in charge. The page needs to be appealing and interesting without being self-serving. Don’t pin every item in your catalog to your page. Instead, create themes and pin items within the themes.
Engage your customers by repinning items from follower’s accounts; this will make them feel included in your efforts. Pin items often and include a wide variety of items on your page. Don’t use straight marketing materials. Instead, use items that are visually interesting and that will inspire consumers. Create boards that relate to your business in a creative and interesting way. For example if you’re a travel agent, create a “Bucklist” board and pin the activities people should do in their lifetime – visit Paris, see the Parthenon in Greece and Nashville, TN, cruise to Alaska. Employ the tool called “WiseStamp” which enables you to display recent pins in email newsletters, capturing your audience’s attention.
Always add a “follow” button on your web site and install the Pinterest app on your business Facebook page. This will make it possible for people to keep up with your pinning on regular basis. Remember that Pinterest is a primarily visual tool –beautiful and interesting images are how you capture attention. If you are unsure how to create a Pinterest page that engages customers, work with a marketing consultant or designer. They can help you understand how to use the platform in an engaging way and show you examples of successful pages.
There are many ways to optimize your use of Facebook. It’s a popular social media tool with over a billion accounts, but companies often don’t make the most of it. You can use Facebook as a key part of your marketing efforts, especially if you are willing to sponsor your posts.
Give users the option to share posts with friends and tag themselves in your photos. This will increase your visibility among your potential target audience. Many companies effectively attract interest by running promotions through Facebook like Soma with their “This” or “That” contest where a commenter can win an item. Consumers like looking for deals, so posting coupons that customers can print or redeem electronically is sure to draw more fans. Also, the deal encourages users to share the coupons to build interest among other potential customers. Contests are another great marketing strategy. You can run contests that reward users when you gain a certain number of “likes” or followers. You can start a seasonal contest to promote new products by giving away prizes. Some companies offer samples to a certain number of users through their Facebook accounts. These are all effective marketing strategies for this social media platform.
The one potential marketing hazard with Facebook is showing up in your fans newsfeed. Often times when fans become inactive and are no longer liking, commenting or sharing a business page’s posts, the posts stop showing organically in the user’s wall fed. If your page has been inactive for a while, the same will happen; your fans will be blind to your new posts. To combat this, Facebook offers sponsored posts. For as little as $5 you can market your post, encouraging those non-active fans to become active again. You already got them to like your page through paid or organic marketing efforts, now you need to engage them.
Twitter allows you to send out short messages to people who follow your account. You can create a free Twitter account or you can purchase paid Twitter advertisements. If you use a good marketing strategy, there is no need for a paid account. You can accomplish your goals by working with the tool in a well-thought-out way.
When you create a Twitter profile, you will be able to select an avatar and complete a profile about your company. It is critical that this profile is consistent with the marketing messages you send about your company in all media. That includes print advertising, websites and other social media platforms. Ensure that your logo is visible and properly displayed. A graphic designer can help you properly resize or adjust your logo so that it fits your avatar. The avatar is the graphic that is displayed every time you send a tweet so it needs to be familiar to your customers.
You will also need a large photo for the background on your profile. Text will display over your background so the photo shouldn’t make the profile text difficult to read. You can also customize your Twitter background. This is something else a graphic designer can help with. The visuals on your Twitter account should fit in with the rest of your marketing materials. You’ll also need to have a brief description of your company on the profile. This should be carefully worded so that it fits in with your marketing strategy.
One of the advantages of Twitter is that every tweet will arrive in your follower’s feed. This is a marketing advantage because your messages won’t be filtered out the way Facebook posts are. You can use Twitter to send photographs, videos and article links. You can also link to specific webpages. You need to follow the same strategies on Twitter that you do on other social media. Present useful information that engages readers. Don’t simply use Twitter to blatantly promote your company.
Mention other users in your tweets by tagging them with the “@” before their Twitter handle. You can do this without replying to a particular tweet. This will engage the person you mention and other readers. This is a good way to thank a customer or colleague. It’s also an effective strategy for linking your company with community events and charities by mentioning the names in your Tweet.
Entice readers to view your blog articles or web pages with questions or teaser statements. Follow the statements with a link to useful article. Here are some examples of teasers:
- Learn more about new tax structures for small businesses
- Here are some tips for entertaining children on snowy days
- Try these tasty cocktails to cool down on hot days
These teaser statements will entice users to click on the link and read the article. If it interests them, they are likely to retweet the message to their followers. This can dramatically increase the reach of your message because now you have the opportunity to engage all of their followers too, resulting in more fans and readers.
It’s key to use social media carefully as a part of your marketing strategy. Your goal should always be to interest and engage readers – focusing on their needs and interests, not just pushing your product or service. Engaged readers will help you naturally grow your social media presences because as they repin, like and retweet your posts, they open your company up to a new audience. Social media sharing is the new viral marketing – make sure your company’s marketing strategy is incorporating this valuable resource.