Social Media Marketing How to really CONNECT with your customers

Social Media Marketing

According to recent research by the Pew Internet Project’s research, some 73% of online adults (18+ years of age) now use a social networking site of some kind (71% use Facebook, 22% LinkedIn, 21%  Pinterest, 18% Twitter, 17% Instagram). Social media marketing could be your golden marketing strategy and your main way to successfully connect with your customers. If not done properly, however, social media marketing can actually be a complete waste of your time, money and energy. That said, your social media marketing needs to be well thought out and approached strategically.

Here is the description of the CONNECT model as recently developed by Ivan and iPower Lab, describing seven key principles of social media marketing. The acronym of those seven principles is the word CONNECT, as, in our opinion, the key to success on social media it so effectively connect and build relationship with a target audience.

Context

 Social media must be put in a broader business context before making any tactical decisions. Here are the seven strategic questions that will help you get the big picture about the role of social media in your overall marketing:

  • What is your overall company’s vision?
  • What are your key strategic goals?
  • How can social media help you achieve your strategic goals?
  • Who is your target audience on social media?
  • Where (on which social media channels) is your target audience?
  • What are your social media objectives (e.g. likes, followers, leads, orders)
  • How will you use social media strategically? (here are a couple of strategic uses of social media:  community management, customer support, SEO, communication, advertising, sales, research).

Online / Offline Synergy

Combine your social media marketing with your offline marketing. For example, advertise your Facebook page on printed media, then educate your prospective customers through your Facebook page, then get your Facebook followers to visit your online or offline retail store. Once in your store, get them to buy a product, but also to sign up for your e- newsletter and so on.

Network

Expand your connections through social media. Get involved in the conversation, just like in traditional person to person networking. It is essential to get involved in the dialog and to get active by liking, following, sharing, commenting, asking, responding, thanking, congratulating. Remember, social media marketing is all about the conversation, not a one-way broadcasting of promotional content.

Newness

It is essential to create and share new, original and compelling content. Share something of value with your (prospective) customers and educate them. They will appreciate your help and, as a result they will be more likely to do business with you!

Expand

Organic growth is great, but paid is faster. Expand your visibility beyond your own circle of friends and their friends by advertising on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.

Convert

Don’t forget to ask for orders or at least get new leads! Make sure to include a call to action in some of your posts or tweets.

Test

Use services such as Facebook Insights or Optimizely.com to test all aspects of your social media marketing.  Test different channels, messages, content, timing, incentives, then fine tune your social media marketing until you get it to work for you!

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BizTech Q&A is our answer to the most common technology questions related to your business. Email us your questions and we will respond.

Cyri Jones (cyri.jones@zenlaunchpad.com) teaches at BCIT and Capilano University. He is the founder of ZEN Portfolios and co-founder of Zen Launchpad. . Dr Ivan Surjanovic (ivan@ipowerlab.com) is a marketing faculty at Capilano University and CEO of iPowerLab. He blogs at www.whereispuck.com  and tweets on www.twitter.com/whereispuck.

Written by Dr. Ivan Surjanovic and Cyri Jones, 
adapted from BizTech101 column in Business in Vancouver

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