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Top 5 tips for social media marketing

Five great tips on how businesses can get the most of the marketing opportunity offered by social media.

Do your research

Ask your customers which social media channels do they use most frequently and engage them on these - meet them on their own terms. Do competitor analysis about how they use social media and learn from their mistakes and successes. Decide what you will talk about, when, and how often, and monitor the engagement. There are many free tools available to schedule content publishing and monitor engagement, such as BufferApp, Simply Measured, and bitly.

Post regularly

Establishing web presence and engagement on a social media channel and abandoning the project gives a bad impression of your company. If you are pressed for time, choose only the best platforms to engage, and make sure that you react to customer inquiries in a timely manner.

Have a diverse content strategy

Nobody likes a boring brand account with nothing but broadcasts of product promotional messages. Not only does it come across spammy but it also defeats the purpose of developing a more personal relationship with customers in the digital space. Also, remember that many consider blogging as part of the social media cycle. If you have a blog on your website, you can distribute the articles on your social media channels, thus driving back traffic to your website.

Nobody likes a boring brand account filled with promotional messages - it's spammy and it defeats the purpose of developing personal customer relationships in the digital space.

Encourage engagement

Let your customers know that you are available on social media channels by including this information on your print marketing materials, e-mails, and even in face-to-face communications. Encourage them to "like" or "follow" your profiles. Monitor and assess what your audience responds to. Is it images, polls, or contests? Is it a particular subject matter that is hot topic in the news? Talk to your audience in a friendlier tone, take an active interest in their habits and introduce your promotions in a relevant manner.

Understand the big picture

Social media is part of inbound digital marketing - it is more of a soft sell approach. You can use it as a tool to learn about your customers and their preferences, as well as to keep your company at the forefront of their minds. Social media also adds juice to your SEO efforts, it is available as a free marketing channel, and you can use it to add value internally and even for enhancing supplier relationships. It is a digital extension of word-of-mouth marketing. If your customers are excited about your products and services, chances are, they are already talking about you on social media. Using social media allows you not only to join but also to direct the conversation and to listen in.