It would not be an exaggeration to say that we are living in times of social networking and social media frenzy presently. With hundreds of millions of people from almost all parts of the world spending untold amounts of time on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram etc. every single day, there certainly exist sizable and lucrative business opportunities at these popular social networks.
Tapping into these networks for effective business promotion, however, is not a very easy or trivial task. This is so for the main reason that these networks, notwithstanding their stupendous popularity, are primarily ‘social’ networks, and not ‘business’ or ‘commercial’ networks.
Having said that, there do exist ways to achieve this and here are some actionable tips to help you effectively and successfully leverage any social network for business growth and benefits:
Join multiple networks
Yes, we all know just how popular Facebook and Twitter are, but don’t stop at joining just one or even both of these. Cast a ‘wider net’ by exploring other networks like LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram etc. too.
Concentrate on relevant networks
While Pinterest is certainly amongst the top 10 social networks today, promoting engineering products via this network will bring you little joy – or results, because a vast majority of active Pinterest users happens to be of the feminine gender few of whom are good target for engineering or industrial products. On the other hand, goods that appeal to women will generally find a fairly receptive audience at Pinterest. Similarly, LinkedIn and to some extent, Google+ are largely used by professionals and business people, so B2B businesses will find these networks more beneficial for promoting their brands, products and services.
Share useful/helpful information
One of the primary purposes for which people hangout at social networks is to find and consume information. If you share information that your followers find fun, useful, interesting and informative, they will not only continue to visit your accounts more frequently but also share more of your posts and updates, thereby, bringing you more exposure, followers and users.
Update frequently and regularly
It is a proven – if not obvious – fact that social networks simply thrive on updates and fresh content. Updating your social accounts regularly will keep your current followers engaged, help you find new followers and users, improve your brand recall and ultimately, lead to increased sales.
Stay away from ‘hard selling’
As mentioned near the beginning of this article, social networks are primarily – well – social, and not commercial and therefore, attempting any kind of ‘hard sell’ via the social networks is a sure way of losing followers and sales. The way to go in terms of promoting products or services over the social networks is the ‘soft sell’ way. ‘Here are the benefits of our…’ is most certainly a better approach than ‘Buy Now’ so far as social networks are concerned.
Be responsive and polite
If somebody posts a question, answer it promptly. If somebody posts a compliment, thank them. If somebody posts a complaint, address it in a positive, helpful manner. Remember, as always, politeness pays over a social network for business (just as it does elsewhere).
Here is hoping for a grand, dazzling success for your business over the social networks.