So you're a small business owner. You have attended networking events and seminars, tried your hand at telemarketing, let the word loose with SMS, business cards with coupon codes. Basically, your offline marketing is done. For the online part: you have a site, a blog, and a Twitter account. You write a post which you think is pretty cool. Now how do you get this thing rolling?
Tweet it and it falls into cyberspace. So what should be your strategy for the words to fall in front of the eyes of actual people? What are those little things that you could do to be the star on every social website?
For any industry, the following quote holds true:
"Conversation trumps content: It's the human spark of knowledge and caring that carries true value."
-- Christopher Rollyson
'Content Weds Conversation' Strategy
First and foremost, make sure you share only quality content. When experts keep emphasizing on Content Strategies, they're not kidding; biblify your content.
Next, the conversations ensue. Don't hesitate to reply back to your readers. Even on a cyber world, it helps to add a personal touch with each reader. It lets them know you're a real person, for one.
Moreover, conversations build trust. Once you have their trust, they'll understand if you screw up here and there (and you will, 'cause it's human to err), and thus they will be less likely to pull off a Dave Carroll.
How To Reach Out To Potential Customers?
When you share your posts on social media, you generally make your posts Public. That's a start. Not everyone in the public may be interested in your post, but at least it's not restricted only to your circle.
Get inside conversations on forums and hashtags. Let people find you through their friends. Welcome them warmly in to your circle and business. Be contactable by providing your address, phone number and e-mail address, wherever possible.
Pick Up The Right People
Who can you promote your business to? Without any shilly-shallying, the answer is: Someone who you've already built a relationship with.
No wonder again, experts keep emphasizing on building relationships for making potential customers. As easy as the answer is, the actual pitching to them is where you'll get stuck.
Nobody wants to be pitched to about something they're not interested in. That's where you should hit the target: Find out their interests by doing online surveys.
Your fans are already interested in your product/service. Just dig out their demographics, popular age group, and the social media site where you find most fans. Then target on these people through the most popular social media site for you. Here's a great case study on how Sharpie connected with teens and garnered 89% market share with the aid of social media.
Pick Up The Right Social Network
A little research about your followers will tell you the social networking site where they like to hang out. If it's Facebook, you need to target them on your Facebook Page. How do you shine there? So the last and the most important step would be to have an effective social media marketing strategy ready.
A Little Content Strategy For You
Why do you need great content to market? Because content is the epitome of the grapevine. You have a great recipe to share? Write it down on your blog, share on the social media for people to see, and then it spreads on its own like wildfire.
Maybe you created it for a specific reason, a festival maybe. People in other parts of the world may still love the recipe because of the new festival and tradition they found out. So, be aware that the world is huge, and so you need to write for all.
The biggest pit you should fear of falling into is getting your mind set about your audience as a "target" for more shares and likes, or even buyers. Write for them, their learning, and their guide alone. Social karma and customers will follow automatically.
Don't just write on your blog. Explore the Art of Guest Posts, newsletters, events, videos, case studies, online presentations, hangouts - every content style matters. That's enough to chew upon for today. Let's see how you go out there now, and get your social ball rolling!
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Chhavi is a writer and social media marketer at QuickoLabs, a start-up company in Bangalore, India. She is the blog author for the on-demand SEO platform SearchEnabler for start-ups, SMBs & marketers, and also the marketer for whatfix, interactive how-to guides. She carries a passion of crunching numbers and researching.