Tips For Social Media Marketing Done Right

Today's consumer has a lot of clutter to weed through with various brands vying for their attention. In the sea of heavy advertising budgets, slick salespeople and glossy ads, the relationships that customers want to have with consumers can, at times, get lost in the product positioning haze.

But social media has changed the game, so to speak, by giving savvy companies the ability to inexpensively create and develop relationships with customers. According to survey results published by Business2Community, "Eighty percent of social media users prefer to connect with brands through Facebook." With Facebook's reported 850 million users worldwide and with approximately 175 million tweets going out daily, businesses (of any size, but especially smaller businesses) cannot remain relevant if they choose to ignore the importance of social media. However, even those who want to jump into social media marketing can sometimes find themselves completely lost in this arena, failing to optimize the platform. Therefore, we will attempt to offer a few tips to help you create a winning social media strategy for your business.

People Do Business With People.

At a simpler time in our history, people sometimes dropped by a small neighborhood shop just to chat with the store owners while picking up an incidental item or two. Then small businesses gave way to gigantic shopping malls and slick, sophisticated signage and more attention was placed on how great the product was. Sometimes companies even taught their representatives to be aggressive about the sale. After a while, we lost that loving feeling.

In social media, relationships are key. People want to reconnect, or to stay connected with the people they care about. Companies effective in relationship marketing have -- and will continue to -- outpaced their "shove the offer down their proverbial throats" competitors. Why? Because after all these years, after all these changes in our social landscape, people still want to connect.

A great example of this: A relatively small law firm ran an ad featuring one of the partner's dogs. The dog was not only super cute, but he helped transition the company from being just another law office in the area to being more human-like and therefore much more similar to their customers. Their follow up ads and social media posts now update the community about the dog's latest adventures. Which leads me right into the next tip...

Pictures Please!

There is such truth to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. Thus, Instagram and Pinterest were born into the social media platform (among other picture sharing sites). With 575 likes and 81 comments every second on Instagram, you can bet that a moving or super cute photo will grab your customer's attention, and engage them, for all the right reasons.

Throw Some Four Letter Words At 'Em.

There's not a customer in the world who doesn't want to feel invited to exclusive offers or be given free stuff. For those who engage with your company on social media, give them what they want... free stuff, sale stuff and exclusive buys. While you're sending out promotions, divide it up so that all your posts are not shouting, come buy from me.

Striking that delicate balance between offering the sale to a stranger and offering the sale from a friend to a friend will help you connect with customers in ways that delight you both.