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Social Media. Getting it right…

Many businesses, small and large…

have jumped on the social media band wagon, correctly seeing it as a cost effective way to market their business online and reach out to customers. However, a large majority of these businesses have limited knowledge on using it or have any real strategy in place to use it effectively.

So they set up Facebook pages, tweet and do an odd blog, fearful of being left behind or over-confident or naively believing that this alone is sufficient to engage customers. This was demonstrated on a recent visit to a number of retail outlets in a small local town, not far from our offices. Even the local petrol station had a sign outside saying ‘follow us on Facebook’.

But are they really getting results?..
On a local level in the area in which we operate I have seen a number of cases of the above. Following businesses on Facebook it appears that some businesses make a very good attempt to engage with potential customers. Alternatively there are businesses sending messages out so poorly I adjust my settings to filter them out. Mainly for 2 reasons:

• The sheer volume of messages they are sending out – some as frequently as every few minutes, on topics which have no meaning or relevance to me.. or I suspect, anyone.
• Every message sent out employs a sales tactic.

Content is the crucial component…
For successfully delivering your message to your target audience. Any social media message needs to have its own content strategy. All businesses, small, medium or large, need to identify effective content to engage their audience. Following are Four Steps to help achieve this:

• Knowing what your potential customers want to talk about and be willing to engage in these conversations.
• Know where your target audience likes to have conversations or where online to like to spend their time.
• Make the content in the conversation two-way as apposed to one-way.
• Track the results of what your audience is saying about your messages and identify the ones they really engage with.

To sum up, the benefits can far out-weigh the drawbacks, provided the social media in which you are engaging has effective content to support it. Listening and understanding what people are saying about your business is key. The process is gradual. Building trust with your audience or customers won’t happen overnight. It will take time..

At 10thstep we love helping our clients get to grips with social media and get the right message out but most of all the message heard. Lets grab a coffee and let us show you just how we can help your business achieve this.

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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