Keeping in mind that each social network is slightly different than the other and in some cases approaches may need to differ, the overall objective of social media is to get your customers to follow you. The reason you want your customers as followers, is that they become your advocates. They will post and share information about your company to their friends/followers. They have good things to say about you and make recommendations. This will garner more followers for you and more people to buy your product/service.
People do not use social media to buy, what they do is check out your company. They get information and feedback from your messages and followers. If they like what they see and get value from your information, they will become your followers. This slow build leads to better engagement with your company and greater loyalty when they become customers. This means that social media is not a direct sales forum. Save the direct sales for other channels of marketing.
Today, if a company does not have a social media presence, they are considered out of date or out of touch with their customers. Your key to social media marketing success is to find where your customers are, what they are looking for and engage with them to help spread your marketing messages. Each network may need a different type of message, but all should stay with the same brand/theme of your organization. The message is just tailored differently for the different audiences.
As with any other marketing tool, you need to have a way to track your results and benefit from knowing what is working and what needs changes. Social media is very fast and fluid, so make sure you are constantly monitoring it and responding quickly. There are many tools available for you to do this. Just posting information and not following up or starting conversations, will quickly ruin your social media efforts, it is all about engagement. People want to feel as though your company gets them.
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