7 Business Development Marketing Tips For Social Media

You would have heard so many marketing experts telling everyone to use social media as part of their promotional marketing mix. The Internet is flooded with information on using Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. Numerous articles have been written on how using social media can help promote your brand image and how it can generate web traffic for your main business website.

Keep in mind that that social networking is a marketing tool and it is only effective when used properly to promote your business.

The key question for a business is “How is social media harnessed to generate real revenue and customers?” In today’s digitally connected society your customers regardless of their age, gender or economic status will be active on social networking sites.

Here are some of the latest usage statistics on social media use that will make a business take notice:

  • 68% of small businesses will increase their social networking marketing efforts in the next year
  • 56% of Twitter users say they use the micro blogging site for business or work related purposes
  • Over 40% of people have become ‘friends’ with or ‘like’ a brand/company on Facebook or MySpace
  • 20% of tweets are about business products
  • 46% of Facebook users say they would talk about or recommend a product on Facebook
  • 44% of Twitter users have recommended a product
  • Social media played a major role in holiday shopping – 28% of shoppers say social media has influenced their purchases

On the Facebook site alone:

  • More than 400 million active users
  • 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • There are over 160 million pages, groups and events that people interact with
  • Average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 70 pieces of content each month
  • Males and females almost equally use social sites (47% vs. 53%)
  • 61% of Facebook users are middle aged or older, with the average age being 37
  • 18- to 24-year-olds don’t dominate any particular social networking site; they’re spread out all over
  • More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month

The participation of your business in social networking should be self-evident, however, many businesses will go on to set-up social media sites and make no effort to participate and engage in the groups that their potential customers use.

To be successful in using social networking your business must find out where your potential customers spend time on these sites so that you can engage with them where they prefer and not where you prefer or are comfortable with. Participation and engagement with their social networks will form a platform from which to build relationships with communities of interest. This in turn will provide a new customer acquisition channel using the share and like capabilities of the social networking world. This “sharing” is the equivalent of word of mouth in traditional marketing.

Here are the 7 Business Development Marketing Tips for using Social Media:

1. Go where your customers are and not where you are comfortable

To find your customers on social networking sites consider the following:

  • Conduct a survey among your customers or potential customers.
  • Analyse and monitor traffic on social sites to discover how and where customers are sharing information about your business and your competitors.
  • Review marketing research or statistical information on the usage and demographics of the different social media sites.

2. Engage and interact

Social-media engagement is a conversation and your participation in the social network groups and communities is core to building relationships. Your value as a participant is judged by the value that you provide to the community as a whole. You can achieve this by freely sharing relevant, interesting and useful information

3. Research your competitors’ activities

You need to gather competitive information that can help your efforts. Conduct a competitive analysis of your top five competitors’ use of social media for the following:

  • The social networking sites that they actively participate
  • The type of content they publish
  • The number and type of followers, fans and views
  • The products, programs or events promoted

4. Release offers and programs that are exclusive to your social networking channels

You must give importance to your social media with exclusive offers for these promotional channels. This will entice potential customers to share with their networks the offer that is not available from other marketing channels.

As an example, provide offer an exclusive offer for your social media channel, such as discount coupon or voucher.

5. Social media participation requires authenticity and transparency

The words “authenticity” and “transparency” are a bit overused today, however, these are cornerstones to be successful with social networking. Be a real human being in your interactions. This is the foundation to build trust and connections with real people on social media groups and networks.

6. Look for value opportunities in selling through social networking

Take the opportunity to leverage social media in selling your products and/or services by offering relevant items that are of value to your followers. Make it easy for them to make the purchase from these social media channels.

7. Always test and refine based on results generated

Social media programs as a marketing channel are not exempt from testing and refining your messages and offers. You must make the effort to test, gather results and analyse how it can be improved before launching the program to the entire channel.

Apply these 7 Marketing Tips for using Social Media to give you the foundation for success building and growing your business using these communication channels.

3 Business Referral Marketing Tips

Finding the best referral marketing tips for your business will likely be a short series of hit-and-miss attempts before you find the perfect solution for your particular product or service offerings. To formulate your own referral marketing style you can check out the tips and ideas others have used in the past.

Networking

Networking may be the true key to referral marketing. Interacting with people in the local community as well as reaching out to those all over the globe through tools like social networks is all very vital elements for generating a network that can be an endless source of referrals for your business.

The point with all of the available networking options is not to badger any one of them needlessly. When utilizing all of the available networking opportunities such as conferences and events, word-of-mouth suggestive marketing and social network sharing, business owners should be able to bring in a healthy amount of consumers who are there because they are already looking for what that business has to offer.

Business Partnering for Referrals

Find businesses that offer products or services that are complimentary to your own. These partner options can benefit both parties, help reduce cost by sharing them, and be an endless source of personal branding and referral consumer growth. A business that washes cars may want to team up with the business that sells a product that cleans glass or upholstery to offer a sample version of the cleaner to those who visit the car wash.

The reciprocal option could be that the upholstery cleaning business can offer a free car wash to those who purchase the cleaning products. In this way, both businesses have a give and take relationship that can benefit all involved with fresh new referrals. Some cities have networks set up for this type of partnering benefits. Check your local chamber of commerce for referral marketing tips businesses or conferences.

Incentives

Incentives are the icing on the cake in all cases. You may always have consumers who so enjoy your product or services that they are willing to shout it from the roof tops for no benefit to themselves. However, although some of your consumers may thoroughly enjoy what you have to offer, they too, have busy lives, maybe their own businesses to run, and just may not be able to dedicate the time it takes to help you get even the most well-deserved referrals.

This is where incentives come in. When you offer incentives such as discounts or gifts you are buying a few moments of the consumer’s time. Once you have their time you have their attention. Once you have a consumer’s attention, you have only to impress them with your offering. The chance to impress a consumer with your offering sometimes only comes through offering to let them try it in some discounted or beneficial form that drives them to give it a moment of their time. Incentive referral marketing tips are very helpful to this type of plan.