Word-of-mouth is the oldest type of advertising, and arguably, the most effective. Friends tell friends when they have had a good experience buying everything from deodorant to high-end jewelry. With the advent of social media, that pool of friends is deeper, and they can be accessed simultaneously by a simple “like” click. No wonder advertisers are turning to platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Still, you have to understand how social media marketing works to benefit from it.
First, you can pay for advertising on social media, which will certainly help your business grow immensely. Facebook has long used sponsored ads that appear as status updates. Twitter and LinkedIn recently released their own ad programs too. Twitter offers an easy tool and templates that allow users to set goals, create content and select keywords that will help determine who sees the ads. LinkedIn has a downloadable guide that helps their advertisers build “Sponsored Updates.” Because LinkedIn bases its content on professional relationships, ads are already somewhat targeted. It isn’t cheap; Facebook is one of the least expensive at about $1 per day. For slightly more ($69 per month) Facebook will target the ads to your desired customers. Twitter has three levels of advertising starting at “per Tweet” rates of about $.50 per engagement to $200,000 for a one-day mass-media ad. LinkedIn requires a minimum daily outlay of $10.
Second, you can create posts on the platforms that will get your product noticed. This can be a little tricky; the sites are cracking down on “spam.” If you have great content, though, you can promote yourself effectively.
Create content that is engaging. Study trending topics in your field and relate them to your product. Brand yourself to attract followers or subscribers. They are your first-tier audience, but their reposts and shares will help you reach their friends.
Use images. An experiment on Twitter ( which recently enabled imagery on their posts) showed a 150% increase in re-tweets when good images were used. Images should be eye-catching and show the product or idea plainly.
Share content. That is, link to your other sites or blogs, and to cooperative sites with related products.
Re-phrase the content and post it again. The volume of posts and tweets is such that, within minutes, your post is buried in new content. Unless people subscribe to your posts, they may never see the content. Change it up a little and repost it. This has the added benefit of reaching a new audience too.
Give something away. Try offering a link to a webinar or to free Ebooks. Keep in mind that the “freebie” should be some of your most engaging content or valuable information.
Encourage “likes” or re-tweets. Run a contest or a survey where people click “like” to be included. Encourage people to share the posts. The more “likes” your post gets, the more eyes will be on it.
Learn to use hashtags. Although the trend may not continue, currently the world’s top 100 businesses use them. They are a quick way to index subjects in a sea of tweets.
The key is in the content. Customers overlook a post that seems to say simply “buy my stuff.” The post that says “here is why my stuff is relevant today and why you need it” gets looked at and passed on.
For more information about marketing your brand on social media, contact us. We can help you make your product a social media “star.”