Posted by : Amanda Stein Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The theory behind marketing through social media is simple; get connected and show your customers how wonderful you are. If only the reality was so simple! Today the world of social networking is so much more extensive than it ever was before and there are numerous different sites to choose from. Those who jump in with both feet to every site even linked to social media will quickly find that all their hard work is for nothing. Simply put; different businesses suit different social media platforms. It doesn’t matter how many articles you share and how many photos you ‘like’; if you’re connecting on the wrong platform you won’t be utilizing the opportunities readily available to you.

So what does all this mean? While different sites have one thing in common – a direct connection to the general public – they don’t all function in the same way. For example, Pinterest works mainly on a visual basis making it ideal for companies with a physical product to showcase, whereas LinkedIn is all about the business side of things, making it ideal for people with an ideological service to offer, such as writing. You need to consider who your audience is and how you can draw them in. If you make beautiful and eye-catching bespoke cakes then Instagram is your main platform. If you run a beauty salon with a range of different services then Facebook might be more beneficial to you, allowing you to connect with customers from the local area.

If social media marketing leaves you feeling frustrated then changing the way you think about it might help. Ideally it should be used to strike up a conversation between the business and the customer, but most of all it should be fun. Don’t be afraid to divulge personal information, showing your clients that you are not some huge faceless corporation and are a personable company that they want to know. If they post a comment to the latest photo of your vintage skirts, respond with a comment of your own. If they write a negative comment then take notice and if it is a recurring issue then take action. After all, if your customers don’t like a product or service then why do you have it? A wonderful way to find out what platform is ideal for you is to check out the competition. There are some truly creative people out there who are really showing us how social media marketing is done. Missgoob, for example, uses both Instagram and Facebook and while her Facebook account is undoubtedly popular, it is her Instagram account that has reached the impressive figure of 120983 followers. Her cupcake business is summed up in one simple sentence; ‘I create art on cupcakes’, but it is the photos of her magnificent creations that draw customers in and send traffic straight to her website and therefore her business. Similarly, Wahnails utilizes many of the social media sites available, but Instagram is where the beautiful nail designs can really be showcased, resulting in their over half a million followers.

Naturally, leaving the best 'til last, we can’t forget YouTube. Not only does this site have the potential for an enormous following, it can also become quite profitable. However, finding a video concept that people want to watch can be a little tricky and unpredictable. In some cases your business might lend itself perfectly to video production, for example, what better for a fashion business than a YouTube channel with regular catwalk posts? The key to success is to post regularly, making it an ongoing commitment and to make it easy for the reader or audience. The brutal truth is that people are lazy and if they want to check out your website you’ll have to make the link very clear for maximum clicks. Make your business, your services and your contact details easy to find so that everything is given to your potential customers on a plate. Don’t jump to the conclusion that Facebook or Twitter is the ideal platform because of its popularity and extensive amount of members or you might just miss out on the perfect exposure for your company.

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