How Social Media Marketing Can Benefit Your Business
By Joel Peart
"The Facebook", as my mother calls it, sends her into a state of nervousness as soon as it's mentioned. It's as if she's just been asked to pilot a mission to Mars by NASA. Although it's associated with the younger generations, Facebook should not strike fear into the hearts of those who aren't familiar with it. Instead, they should embrace it and allow it to cast a rainbow in their life. And as for those who "don't do Facebook"... shame on you. Since I personally arrived on "Facey B" back in '04, I've witnessed first-hand the dizzy heights to which it has grown. I've also witnessed, like many of you, the weird and wonderful, the mesmerising and beautiful and, quite frankly, the utterly insane. Yet, I wouldn't change it for the world. Throughout my student years Facebook was a sanctuary of escapism. Distracting me from my devilish dissertation, it allowed me to procrastinate in peace. Nowadays, it's much more than that. Facebook can inspire, influence and educate - it's a powerful animal and a great marketing tool, as long as it's used effectively. They key is to hold no fear and explore the freedom.
Facebook & relevance... does it matter? Not from what I've seen. Some of the most watched, liked and shared posts are rather ridiculous or absurd and not really contextualised - so whatever you decide to post, it doesn't always have to be relevant or topical but it does help. You've just got to back yourself that it's right for your audience. Of course, there's a level of professionalism and your companies identity to consider but wouldn't you rather have some persona than none at all? Surely it's about creating an awareness for your brand? Therefore, Mr Miyagi exercising the infamous Karate Kid stance, with the title of the track hit from the movie - which happens to include our company name - is perfect for us. Yet, it has no real relevance to anything in particular.
As a creative agency, as within any business, you have to show a little initiative. Facebook is a playground and you should aim to engage and entertain your audience however you can. For me, this post wasn't about revolutionising the world of marketing or causing a wave of hysteria because it was never going to do that. For me, it was about hoping that someone else, from my era, would relate to it and maybe crack a smile on a Monday morning, and take notice of who posted it whilst doing so. After all, Mr Miyagi was an influential mentor and an iconic figure from many people's childhood and deserves all the accolades he gets, in my opinion. However, what may cause more hysteria is that the Karate Kid himself, Ralph George Macchio Jr. aka Daniel LaRusso, is now 56! Perhaps, I should've gone with that stat instead? The point is not to stand silently still on Facebook but to make a bit of a noise all whilst not to taking yourself too seriously.
There's a time for seriousness and more targeted informative posts. Look, we do that too and, as it happens, these were a lot more popular than Mr Miyagi for some reason. It turns out people do like to read after all! More topical or specific content sparks an element of intrigue for your audiences. Maybe, it's because they're genuinely interested or genuinely nosey, either way the fact that you've got something on your page for consumers or passers-by to access, share or like is the real beauty.
How can you benefit from Facebook? Essentially, the more activity on your page the better. Even if it's a post per day it will hopefully increase brand awareness. Ensuring you are recognised, remembered or familiar to your audience is paramount - but for the right reasons - you don't want to swamp them, which is why you need to carefully consider your content whilst remaining creatively confident. Moreover, the more quality content you produce, the wider audience it will reach and you never know where it may end up or who will eventually read it. One post could prove to be a golden touch. Communicating regularly will only heighten your SEO too. Search engines will trawl content associated to you and your web pages and reward you for it.
By rewarding - I mean ranking you higher on their specific search pages. An alternative to this, in order to increase brand awareness and improve click-through rates at a greater speed, are Facebook Ads. In terms of a display & remarketing tool, Facebook Ads are one of the best around and can provide you with that quick win, similar to a PPC campaign. By using Facebook's Ad builder you can target specific audiences based on age, gender, hobbies and interests and then through the use of analytical software you can monitor the performance and effectiveness of each ad. This gives you a great insight to the successfulness of your ads and your customer behaviour which can all be taken on board for future campaigns. The joy is you can spend from as little as £5 to £5000 pounds and still recoup some reward. You may decide to allocate yourself with a monthly advertising budget and it may not work, at first, but trialling things out and learning from them is the foundation of most success stories.
Make sure you're good looking...That's easy for some to say, I know. Nevertheless, if you're going to embrace "The Facebook" and embark on a social journey by inviting your audiences to observe and engage with what you're doing, it's important to give them something aesthetically pleasing to look at. Well branded, organised posts and Facebook pages are more likely to be taken seriously within the business sector. Ensuring your logo is present and your images are within the correct dimensions are just the basics. Don't be afraid to play around with different design ideas, once they're changed they don't become cemented or unchangeable - you can always change them back. In fact, it's sometimes nice to refresh the look of your page so that it doesn't become stagnated. At the same time, you may prefer to keep it consistent for familiarity. Either way, just ensure the colour scheme and branding goes hand in hand with your page. One final tip is to check your page is compatible on your mobile or tablet as they can often appear slightly different.
Finally...We appreciate that this can all be very time consuming but as Gary Barlow once sang: "have a little patience". Unless you have a colossal marketing or thousands and thousands of pounds, this'll all take time. We've seen how Facebook can single-handedly transform a business for the better, so if you're not utilising it, we suggest you start. They're a leader within the social marketing mix and are constantly updating and reinventing ways that can hugely benefit your business. So don't fear "The Facebook"... cuddle it, nurture it and be bold with it.
What's more is that there are agencies, like us, that love to assist businesses with any social media strategies. When it all gets a little too much, we're here to help. If you require anything from the above explaining or need assistance with your Facebook marketing, please do not hesitate to get in touch. T: 01482 242600 ; Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Joel_Peart/2204522