Long gone are the days where chief marketing strategies for many companies included cold calling and marketing events. Today, the internet is the most powerful marketing tool a business can possess, though many are still failing to grasp the effectiveness of marketing through social media.
A relatively new tool, there are many different theories on what is the most effective social media marketing strategy. Some choose a purely advertorial strategy, simply using Facebook, Twitter and blogging sites to promote themselves to other businesses. However, in terms of attracting new clients, I have found this approach has little more success than cold-calling or cold-emailing and is often simply viewed as spammy.
A new strategy is emerging, however. This one focuses on one simple key element: treating each potential client as a person. Using social media to interact with other businesses on a personal level adds a new dynamic to your marketing – and has the merit of being far simpler to connect with a person than a business.
Here is how to use three predominate social media mediums to connect with businesses and attract new clients.
Facebook is a great tool for businesses as it has a huge potential reach with over 750 million users, half of which log in daily. However, it can be difficult to attract interactions unless your business is already a household name – though there is a way to build your page.
Make sure that your Facebook business page is well designed and simple to navigate. Encourage all of your current clients to Like the page and add a wall post about your exceptional service – they can also recommend to others that they Like your page, which is where you can begin on gaining interest in the page and your company on Facebook.
Interact with your Facebook page followers regularly by updating the page with useful or interesting links – not just items related to your business – as this creates personal interest in your site and not just interest on a business level. Try aiming for a 2:1 ratio of non-business to business posts.
Use the personal profile you used to create your businesses page to communicate with potential clients by Liking their page and passively commenting on the posts on a regular basis – think “Great link, thanks for sharing this” rather than “We are a computer support provider, please Like our page”. Once you have built up a rapport with them, send a Direct Message in a personal tone suggesting that they may be interested in your service, and did they want to Like your page.
It can be simpler to use Twitter as a networking and marketing tool, as it allows you to interact with potential clients in a simpler manner.
Begin by following all of your current clients and encouraging them to follow you back. Then start building your followers by following both businesses in your area, and those you want to become your clients. Try to Tweet those you follow on a regular basis – either by ReTweeting a post of theirs and saying something along the lines of “@PotentialClient I really enjoyed the link you posted on Social Media Strategies, thanks for sharing!” or by starting a conversation on a mutual interest.
As with Facebook, regularly update your page with interesting links that your followers may like, as well as business-related updates (keeping in the 2:1 ratio) in order to engage your followers. Once you have built the rapport, then consider contacting them about your service in a personal way.
Maintaining an on-site blog can also be a great social media strategy, if you concentrate on networking with other blogs and companies through it. Compose blog posts about your business and it’s development, as well as posts on interesting matters around your subject area – for example, something like “The Developments in Cloud Hosting” if you’re in computer support. Aim to write content that your potential clients will want to read, not simply content that advertises your services.
Creative content posted on your blog, such as memes or videos can also help increase your views, and if they are centred around a trending topic, they may even go viral.
Use Facebook and Twitter to promote your blog posts and attract followers to your blog. Try to follow other blogs in your area, and also the blogs of the companies you want to become clients. Leave regular comments on their posts, simply making observations on what they have written and attempting to facilitate a friendly discussion. The aim here is again to build a rapport, not to simply advertise your company. Once you have built the relationship, drop in that you have a service they may be interested in.
Using services such as Reddit can also help promote your blog, and therefore business, to a wider audience. Adding your posts as links can attract more views – especially if the post is amusing or exceptionally interesting in a wider sense (memes and video clips do exceptionally well) – and may attract companies you hadn’t thought of targeting before.
Hiring a social media specialist is often a good move, as schmoozing potential clients can often take time. However, the time spent is more often than not a better investment than using social media to do the virtual equivalent of cold-calling. Remember to keep it personal, and remind yourself that building a relationship can mean that once a client is using your service, they are more likely to remain loyal.
Author Bio:- James Duval is an expert in all things computer, and a social media advocate. Currently he writes for ArcIT who provide managed IT services.