Part Four of your social media strategy? Where.
Remember the first three elements:
- Who are your customers — narrowing down their demographics as finely as possible.
- What are you selling? Features vs. benefits content development. What action do you want your audience to take? Have you made it easy for them?
- When will you contact your customers and how often? What is your social media schedule?
Once you’ve identified these three strategies, you’re ready to dive into #4: Where.
Where are your customers in the social media landscape? What tools do they use? Let’s briefly review the most popular social media platforms and who you can reach using them:
Readers tend to be under 45, but more seniors are catching on. Blogs, along with video, are the best way to increase your Google search engine ranking, and a fabulous method for reaching out to both new and existing customers. Be prepared though: blogs take time to do well and consistently. My favorite blogging platform? WordPress, hands down. Hosting for your blog? Bluehost. Awesome customer service and they’ve never let me down.
The deepest content channel of them all, they are great for reach existing customers and telling them what’s new with your business. Also great for educating customers because you have the space to do it. Key advantage of email newsletters is they appear in your customer’s inbox, but be savvy about your subject line, as Google’s Gmail is a tough spam blocker and often blocks credible content. I use iContact for their ease of use and superior customer service.
Everyone is here, period. Whether you love or hate Facebook, if you do business with the general public, you need a Facebook page. On your wall, don’t make the mistake of hitting people over the head with a hard sell: give them helpful information that makes their lives better and relates to your product. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook? Females over 55. Best time to post on Facebook? 6-11p.m., when people are at home and spending leisure time on the internet.
Micro-blogging in under 140 characters. Twitter is huge in metropolitan areas, for B2B networking, and for under 40 demographic. Excellent for restaurants. Upscale mobile taco stands in Los Angeles have customers lining up when they let them know their location for the day. Rural areas? Forget it.
The second most-visited search engine, behind Google. If you don’t have a YouTube channel, you are missing out on customers, period. Your videos don’t have to be slick or expensively produced. Authentic is the new black. Get a Flip video camera and upload your own videos without breaking the bank. Great for new and existing clients, and people can subscribe to your videos, automatically getting new ones.
Great for B2B networking and catching up with colleagues. After every in-person meeting you have professionally, make sure to connect via this social network. LinkedIn is a great platform to establish credibility by answering questions and find online groups in your niche.
This gentle giant of a site, mostly PowerPoint and Keynote presentations, really drives traffic. Keep your slideshows short, to the point, with interesting visuals, and always point to your website at the end. Slideshare is one of the best ways, along with blogs and video, to boost your search engine ranking.
This location-based group coupon website generates enormous amounts of new customers. Groupon‘s largest one day sell was with Gainesville, Georgia’s zip line experience. Another was a small pilot school who thought they would sell 200 sets of flying lessons: they sold 2,000. I personally bought my husband a NASCAR driving experience for his birthday through Groupon. Even as a life-long Atlantan, I never knew that opportunity existed at Atlanta Motor Speedway. One note of caution: most advertisers don’t profit because of the huge discounts they need to offer. It’s good for increasing brand recognition and getting people in the door: you’ll break even with their first visit, and profit if you can keep them coming.
An online review site great for generating new business. Yelp is even more reason to adopt Zappos’ WOW customer service culture. Everyone now has the capability to be a critic and publish their opinion for others to see.
Once you’ve identified where your customers are, then get ready to craft your message: Why. Why will customers use your products or services rather than the competition, and can you deliver that message in a compelling way online? Why is the #5 element in your social media strategy, and we’ll tackle it next.
Here are links to all of the posts in this series: