What to Expect from Social Media Marketing

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While social media marketing has been proven to have an overall positive impact on sales, it is not going to work overnight. Do not get discouraged if it takes a long time to build a decent following, and do not expect an instant upswing in sales. In my experience, it can take 5-8 months to build a decent following with good customer interaction and engagement.

Remember that your social media presence is like your own personal real estate. Your fans and followers grow and become more and more valuable over time. However, it is very important to keep it going. Constant interaction with your fans keeps you and your brand on their radar.

Building a following on social networking sites will take a lot of effort, but once you get the ball rolling you’ll gradually begin to see results. In order to start things off on the right foot you should include the URL to all of your social networking pages on your business cards, in your email signatures and on all print advertising. It is also a good idea to have all of your employees follow each of the company’s pages.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in a nutshell means optimizing your website and social media channels for specific keywords and content to help customers find you when searching via Google or other search engines. SEO can help drive qualified­ potential customers to your social networking pages, so be sure to put a lot of thought into the content that you post. Although it is very important to build an online community made up of your current customers, it is even more vital to reach out to new potential clients. SEO will help you achieve this goal, as individuals who use a search engine may be driven to your social networking page based on one of your posts.

Once you’ve put all of the pieces in place, you will begin to see the several benefits that are associated with social media marketing. Your community of followers will grow on a regular basis, and many of them will become actively involved with your page. Reaching out to these followers regularly will encourage them to become brand ambassadors. These are your biggest fans and will often tell others about both your business and your page, which will result in higher follower numbers and increased sales activity. You can encourage the growth of sales by running special promotions, but pay close attention to the results. If no one takes you up on the offer then you need to tweak your message going forward.

Another perk of social media marketing is that when it’s done correctly, it really helps your business stand out from your competitors. The majority of your customers are likely to be online, and if your social media presence is more welcoming than that of your competitors’, then their customers may soon become your customers instead.

If you set realistic social media marketing goals and ensure that your pages and ads are updated regularly, then you will see a long-term positive impact. Stick with your social networking pages while they’re in their infancy and make sure to listen to the input of your followers. In time you’ll have a strong base of followers, and they will help introduce new potential customers to your page.

Maintaining a strong social media presence will take not only time, but also a firm commitment. It is very important to respond to followers who ask questions or make comments, be they positive or negative. Posting regular content, which is applicable to what your business is all about, combined with being responsive will help you build a strong base of followers. Building this base will take time, but in the long run it can have a very positive impact on both your overall brand image and sales.

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On March 19, 2012
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