Social media networks are incredible resources for businesses looking to promote their brands online and increase sale. The platforms themselves are free to use, but also have paid advertising options specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences. But just because your business should be on social media, that doesn’t mean you should be on every network. It’s important that you choose and nurture the social platforms that work best for your business, so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.
Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.
Become a social media maestro and grow your business
If you want to create a successful social strategy, you should familiarize yourself with how each network runs, the kinds of audiences you can reach on that network and how your business can best use each platform.
Social media can help you find prospective customer that are engaging in conversations relating to your business. Participating in those conversations can help you increase your business’s visibility and drive traffic to your website. Especially when you are starting out, word-of mouth referrals on social media can be an effective way to direct prospective customers to your website and grow your business. Social media can help you receive feedback from your customers. Your quick and appropriate response through social media can help strengthen your brand, build trust, improve reputation and reinforce your credibility with current and prospective customers.
Why social media works
Social media fulfils a fundamental human need: to communicate. We are social animals. We like to communicate with each other. Social media facilitates this by helping us to communicate more easily, to more people, whenever we want. That is why social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and blogs are so successful. It simply lets customer communicate with each other and organisations communicate with customers (this incudes listening).
Use social media for your marketing
Nowadays, people use more and more TripAdvisor, Trivago, Instagram and other similar platforms as information sources when planning their trips, finding information on the destination, make decisions etc. Social media platforms offer to small businesses a lot of opportunities to target and access markets at low cost, and achieve business sustainability goals.
Marketing doesn’t have to be left to the professionals charging large sums of money or commission for creative media. There are a few simple rules of how you market with extremely limited resources on social media.
You can create marketing strategies and select appropriate online and traditional marketing communications activities/customer groups, target markets and businesses, taking into consideration the size and type of that business.
We have created a free online tool to help you develop. Our training tool was developed by and with the tourism industry. This free online training covers 11 modules to complete with short quizzes at the end of each module. This tool helps you to design your own strategy in relation to your individual business needs. All you need is an internet connection.
Click here to register and start your free online training today: http://smartour.dcnet.eu/
Marzena Reszka, Staffordshire Business School
Smith,P.R.; Zook, Z. (2012). Marketing communications integrating offline and online with social media. 5th edition.