by Frank Eybsen
Facebook boasts over 500 million users with 200 million of those users accessing their accounts via their smart phones. Seventy percent of those active users, according to Facebook, are from outside of the United States.
More than one billion tweets are made on Twitter every year. The Huffington Post asserts that 140 million tweets are made every day, triple the number in 2010.
That’s a lot of people, around the world, using social media on a daily basis.
Are you taking advantage of your marketing opportunities on Facebook and Twitter? You better be, if you want to keep in line with the competition. Even with the rising popularity of both Facebook and Twitter, you can still make a name for yourself and effectively promote your business on both social media platforms.
Remember who is important. You want to make a name for yourself in your industry, within your niche. You don’t need everyone on Facebook and Twitter to know who you are – just the ones who count: your customers (and potential customers).
Get involved. With social media, you can’t just create an account and forget about it. If you really want to make a name for yourself, you must get involved and stay involved. Be seen on Facebook and Twitter regularly.
Publish relevant content. Maybe you’ve just read an article that your target market would really be interested in, that could help them in some way. Post the link on Facebook and Twitter. Include some of your own analysis of the article and ask for your followers’ opinions. It’s a great way to get the conversation rolling and to keep your accounts active.
Interact with your followers. The most important aspect to successful marketing is developing a relationship with your clientele. Your customers are everything to your business, and it’s important that they know you understand that. Facebook and Twitter are effective ways to interact with your clients and to get valuable feedback you might not otherwise receive.
Let’s say you’re considering developing a new product. Facebook and Twitter provide you the perfect platforms to get input. Give details. Link to a survey. See what your target market thinks of the idea. It’s free, and if they hate it, you’ve averted disaster.
Don’t just delete the negative. Not everyone is going to love you. If someone offers constructive criticism or says something negative, you don’t always have to delete that comment or post. In fact, if you respond to a negative comment, you’ll probably gain more respect. Maybe a customer isn’t happy with the customer service he received when he dealt with your company. If you respond instead of just deleting the comment, you’re showing your other customers you truly care about their experience and their business.
Present special offers. Many companies offer special sales and discounts just for Facebook and Twitter followers. Babies R Us and Toys R Us are two great examples of companies that announce special sales just to followers on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great incentive for customers to not only become a follower of your business but also to keep track of your posts and your tweets.
Of course, you’ll also want to publicize your Facebook and Twitter pages. At the end of your blog posts or articles, add your Facebook page URL and your Twitter name. Be sure to also display both prominently on your website and in your email signature. All are fast, simple ways to build your audience on both platforms.
Don’t just settle for promoting your Facebook and Twitter pages online. If you have printed materials, add the web addresses for both. Some pizza joints include their Facebook pages and Twitter names on their menus while a growing number of retail outlets have signs stating “Find us on Facebook” on their doors.
Even with everyone on Facebook and Twitter, you can still make a name for yourself. Get involved, listen, and remember the people who matter: Your customers and potential customers.
Frank Eybsen has worked in online marketing, social media, and technology for over ten years. He is a contributor to a handful of tech blogs and is currently working with HitPath.com to improve their affiliate marketing tracking software.