Working Harder vs. Working Smarter
I have covered the ups and downs of social media advertising in the past, but with recent social buzz and the not-to-impressive Facebook stock performance, I think it is worth reiterating what is involved when trying to reach new customers through social methods. I do strongly believe that social marketing is useful, but it needs to be carefully thought through and done correctly, not taken on 'just because.' The most important points about social media marketing are that, as with a blog or email announcements, it is something that needs to be kept up with, and must have variety. The benefits and success of any social promotion depend on several factors, which business owners sometimes overlook in the hype.
The number one rule is that you need 'real' viewers, and you need to make new viewers. It does not help a small local business if most of the people who 'like' it are friends and family, especially if they are scattered all over the country. Let's face it, friends of friends 2,000 miles away will probably never become customers, and local friends already know what you do. Posting repeatedly to the same audience will likely not generate new interest or appeal to new readers.
To reach new viewers, your posts must be regular, and not too similar. They must be dynamic enough to stimulate response that your viewers' friends can see. These should hopefully lead people to contact you. Gauging how often to post is difficult. You need to post often enough to stay on people's radar, but not too often that you annoy people or that your impact is lost.
On a personal note, I occasionally subscribe to stores that I have shopped with in the past. One clothing store sends emails announcing several different sales a week.
After receiving similar 'specials' in a short period of time, I stopped even looking at the emails, figuring that maybe six months from now I might want to buy, say, a suit, and I'll just wait for a sale email then. Too-rapid offers, especially when very similar, dilute the 'call to action' effect and can become annoying. In reverse, if your company has a limited range of services, for example lawn care, there are only so many things you can offer or write about. If you only post a seasonal service such as 'fall seeding,' and it has been three months since your last 'summer weed treatment' post, people may have forgotten you, or signed up with another lawn care company.
Many businesses try to post more often, but if they only do a couple of things, they simply don't have a lot to write about, and it is hard to come up with subjects to post.
I have seen company Facebook pages that have become more like personal pages, with 'filler' items like shared funny pictures, photos of staff sitting at their desks captioned 'John working hard' or similar, and even photos of the food that someone is eating for lunch.
A page with irrelevant posts like those will not get your name out there and create more business; it is just creating more work for you.
Our WebUpdate sites take advantage of social media by using Facebook 'like' and 'share' buttons on the sites' pages and content.
This means that a company only needs to update one place, not several, and any 'likes' create links back to promote their web site, not to promote a Facebook page.
Furthermore, our sites can update past 'likes' with current offers, to keep things fresh.
If you have concerns about reaching more people online, call today and ask about our WebUpdate systems. These take advantage of advanced marketing, SEO and promotion, and security, designed to take your online business to a whole new level.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design,
the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.
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