So much is said about the use of social media for marketing yourself or your company. But is it hype? It’s easy to become cynical when people make exorbitant claims about the usefulness of something, without really explaining how to actually work it. It’s a lot simpler if you just keep a few things in mind:
As in any marketing campaign, keep things consistent across all efforts. Just because you’re using NEW media, doesn’t mean you should abolish old ways that worked. No matter how many sites you join, make profiles on, or post comments on, make sure there’s clear continuity through them all. Use social media to start the process of Business Lead Generation, but then keep the ball rolling.
Be consistent in your efforts as well. It’s easy to forget about the many accounts you’ve started. Focus on a few and keep them going! Update and interact—no, you don’t have to make "friends" online if that makes you uncomfortable, but acquaintances might help. The point is engagement. Engage your audiences and anyone already on your side. Most importantly, do it daily. No one likes to be forgotten, so don’t forget to keep the conversation going with the people you’ve interacted with, as well as keeping your profiles updated. If you want a client, customer, or shareholder’s trust, you have to be consistent as well as helpful and a good listener.
Which leads me to the next point—"pull" communication, or Inbound Marketing. The Web is useful for one large thing specifically; pulling people in is a more credible (less annoying) way of communicating with customers. You and I hate having messages thrown at us—why would we do that to our customers all the time? Yes, advertising does work sometimes, but engaging customers, answering their questions, and giving them helpful information they ask for that will lead them to understanding more about your product/service is much more personal and trustworthy – it is also a great approach to Online Lead Generation.
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