In 2011, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media sites continued to reign as the most popular online hangouts. More than ever, businesses began to direct marketing campaigns toward social media, realizing TV, radio, and print publications are no longer the best way to reach the desired advertising demographic.
If 2012 is the year your business resolves to get serious about social media, you aren’t alone. Online marketing software publishr Optify predicts businesses who turn to social media for advertising will have a greater ability to reach consumers in 2012. This is due to a number of factors, according to Optify, including the increase in the use of smart phones to make last-minute buying decisions while shopping. This, according to webpronews.com, “creates an opportunity for marketers to narrow their focus on scenarios they might not have been able to target before.”
Whether you are creating a social media presence for your business for the first time or simply wanting to improve the presence you already have, the following tips can help you increase your social media impact in the new year:
- Create a Facebook fan page. Having a fan page enables visitors to “like” you. Those likes show up on those visitors’ walls, which spreads word of your business. Some businesses even bribe customers with such deals as “Like us on Facebook for a free dessert.” When you compare this to the cost of running a traditional print coupon, you can see why businesses are choosing Facebook as an outlet for their deals.
- Interact with your customers. Whether you choose to post a video on YouTube, Tweet your latest news, or post your news as a status update on Facebook, social networking is called that for a reason. Network with your customers and let them know you are actively involved in your social media sites.
- Regularly update your page. According to Squidoo founder Seth Godin, making consistent updates a habit will keep your visitors coming back. “If people view it as a habit, they will visit,” Godin told Inc.com.
- Cross-promote your pages. Your YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages should appear as buttons on your Facebook page. Your YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook pages should be linked from LinkedIn. And all of your social media pages should appear on your business’s website. Take every opportunity to promote your various sites. Don’t forget to have all these link to your website, and vice versa.
- Provide interesting content. This is perhaps the most important of all. If you’re Tweeting or posting status updates on Facebook, think about the people visiting your page and provide content they will find interesting. If you’re posting YouTube videos or blogging, provide information your customers can use, such as how-to videos and articles. Post giveaways and special deals that are available exclusively to your social media followers.
If 2012 is the year your small business plans to get busy increasing your online reputation through social media, you’re in good company. Create content you find interesting and your customers are sure to keep coming back.