Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google + and Pinterest are useful media vehicles to help grow your brand through relationship building with customers. Through relationship marketing, you can connect with people and drive your customer base. Here are some tips for using social media:
- Post valuable content: When using social media sites it’s important to provide content that is considered valuable so that people will want to “follow” you (Twitter/LinkedIn/Pinterest) or become your friend (Facebook). You can use the postings to point back to your website for more valuable content on a subject. Be sure to repost content – in other words, share something someone else has said (also known as “retweet” on Twitter). This will allow you to have even further brand exposure.
- Make sure your postings are not all about your business: If you share content that doesn’t promote your own business -- you’re more likely to gain points with your followers and increase your credibility. Promoting other topics like tips to solve problems or ways to give back to the community will draw people in and keep them coming back to your site for valuable information.
- Create brand advocates: If your followers find your information valuable, they will repost the content for others to see, becoming your brand advocate. In effect, they will promote your product or service for you via the social media sites and endorse your brand. If you can identify the customers that check your blog frequently, create new content or share photos, you may consider asking them to be your brand ambassadors. This will elevate their status at the same time as spreading the word about your brand. You can even send these customers an email to show your appreciation for their support of your brand.
- Utilize multiple social media sites: You can never use enough social media sites to promote your brand. Each one has unique attributes. LinkedIn is a great way to grow your professional contacts, as well as a tool to leverage your brand among industry leaders and more. Pinterest is exploding in the social media scene and actually drives more sales than Facebook and Twitter. People go to Pinterest to shop and to be inspired for products and services, making it a yet another vehicle to drive brand awareness. Unlike the other sites, when using Pinterest you must create boards, similar to the concept of a bulletin board. You simply create a category board, and “pin” photos to your board. When you click on the photo on your board, it links you to a site with more information. You can even use your boards to cross-connect to other sites, like Facebook and Twitter. In other words, include an icon which allows users to share your content on other sites. Pinterest is easy to use and best of all, it uses creative and visual ways to show your products and drive traffic back to your website.
For more information on social media, watch this video.
Source: www.bizjournals.com; http://smallbiz.theupsstore.com; www.ignitesocialmedia.com