Research shows that one time customers can become loyal brand fans as a result of interacting with a business on social media. As many as everyday news feeds, customers are more likely to choose a brand’s service or product after being exposed to them on social media.

Unfortunately, as a recent survey showed, 80% of respondents feel that most brands’ presence on social media is based on a self-centered desire to increase profits rather than showing a commitment to their customers.

A few months ago, I wrote in my Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/notes/ivy-fernandez/stereotyping-products-in-media/10152644540373229) about Stereotyping Products in Media. That aims to identify and tagged products according to its type. Now that you know what not to do, the next step is posting content that helps you meet your customers’ expectations, so your business can succeed both online and offline.

Here’s my spam-free checklist to help you promote your business on social media.

      • Use the right social network

Are you reaching your target audience on social media? If your business is on social media like Yahoo or LinkedIn Site but your brand offers products and services for teenagers, your message is not being heard. There is a three-step process to find out more about your audience and where they live on social.

  • Find out your current channels’ demographics

  • Find out which channels your desired audience frequents

  • Either switch channels, focus more efforts on the right one, or use targeted ads to reach your desired audience on the same channel

You can use analytic tools such as Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytic to get to know your social media audience demographics. If you need to target a different group, you can do look for research that tells you more about which social channels are used by different age and gender groups to help you out.

  • Take time to set up your social media profiles

Your customers can’t get to know your business if you don’t provide them with the right information. Your profile should be a one stop shop for customers to know the basic details: it should link to your business’s official website, and have appropriate branding on the cover and profile photos. The About section or bio on your profile should have a concise, clear description of your main service or product, as well as contact information.

  • Cross-promote on all social channels

Now that you have set up a profile, and know where your target audience lives on social media, it’s time to let them know where your brand lives. First, list all your social media profiles in a prominent spot on your website. Visitors on your page should not have to look too hard to see how they can connect with your business. If your business has a blog, make sure you add a sharing button for each social network your brand uses. Finally, include regular messaging on your channels that alerts your followers on one network about the existence of your profiles on other networks and just remember to post in moderation, you don’t want your feed to consist of self-promotion posts.

  • Find your social voice

Whatever tone you choose to adopt whether it’s playful, funny, nonsense, or educational, the earlier you decide on your voice, the better the payoff for your brand image on social media. It doesn’t mean that you need to create a superficial persona for your customers, in fact, you should try your best to match their perceptions of your business offline. You should remember to be as polite and attentive to your customers as you would be in a face-to-face conversation, because your interactions on social media can be a deciding factor in the customer’s decision to come back or choose your competitor’s services instead.

  • Share valuable content with your audience

Don’t sacrifice the quality of your content for your social voice whether your social media content is funny or serious, it should always be informative and useful to your customers. If a potential customer visits your page and finds nothing but self-promoting messaging, they are less likely to browse or follow your profile, research shows that promotional material is seen as spam and often ignored on social media feeds.

  • Encourage storytelling and tell stories in return

Invite your customers to share anecdotes or photos related to your brand on social media. Your brand receives attention even if someone included an @mention of your brand without directly addressing you, for instance, start the Tweet with it, or asking a question, so make sure to join the conversation, whatever the tone of the comment may be.

Social media marketing is something that people have to twist their minds around in order to understand what the real benefit is. Many people have no problem spending thousands of dollars to wrap their car or get fliers made just to get their ad in front of people who may hopefully care about it.

However, people don’t see value in spending the same or get their ads EXACTLY in front of the right people. If you think about it, while you’re driving you only see an ad for a few seconds before it’s gone. Very rarely are you going the exact same speed as an advertised car for that many miles. What’s the difference between that fast glance and scrolling in a news feed?

Social media marketing is great. Your expectation is for your brand and name to become more recognizable so that when someone does need a company like yours, you are the first to come to mind.

The internet is constantly evolving and there’s always something new to learn. So keep reading like you’re doing.

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