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Social Media marketing is a term we hear quite a bit these days – but what does it really mean for your business?

According to Content Marketing Australia, “The top 3 Social Media platforms used today are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.” If we break it down further – “75% of B2B marketers cite brand awareness as their main goal, whereas “80% of B2C marketers are driven by customer retention.”

Whether you’re marketing directly to consumers or businesses, lets explore why Social Media Marketing should be a priority for you.

 1.   Build brand awareness

 Building a strong Social Media presence is not as easy as it looks. It takes much work and careful planning to make it effective. Having worked in this niche area myself, I know that it’s one of the quickest ways to get your brand out to market. If you’re using Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter – you need to maximise your marketing efforts. Get your product out there, shout it from the rooftops and let people know you’re in business.

 2.   Engage with your target market

The thing I love most about Social Media is the immediacy of it. Being able to connect with your audience in ‘real time’ is an amazing privilege to have. So, what do you want to share with your fans? According to Content Marketing Australia, “Producing content that engages is the biggest challenge. Next is not producing enough content and thirdly is a lack of budget.”

If you’re one of those people that struggles with engagement – don’t worry, you’re not alone. The key is to do it slowly. Share something small daily – even if you think it’s irrelevant. I can assure you, it does get easier with practice. If you work hard at staying relevant in the mind of your audience, you’ll be the first one they think of for future purchases.

3.   Extend your reach

If you think back to 20 years ago, it’s hard to imagine how we actually survived with just fax machines and the occasional email. Social Media has certainly changed the modern marketing landscape. (I know I’d be lost without it now). Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn – it’s an amazing thing to be able to reach thousands of people at once, with just the simple click of a mouse.

4. Boost your lead generation

The biggest hurdle I’ve noticed with businesses over the years is the challenge of converting ‘likes’ into sales. There’s a very simple answer to this. Get chatting! Talk to your audience like you would with a friend. Entice them to share their views and do this often. If you do this regularly, I can guarantee the sales will follow.

For example, Twitter is a great tool for building contacts and networks with like-minded people. The more time you invest in managing your twitter output, the more you’ll be looked upon as a trusted advisor – easy!

5.  Lead management

How do you manage your existing leads and make them work for you? With social media, you have an amazing opportunity to grow, segment and nurture your audience. For example, if you know what your customers find relevant, you can tailor specific campaigns to suit the needs of your target market. As a Virtual Assistant, I understand the common issues that businesses face on a daily basis; therefore, I can accommodate my social media campaigns accordingly. So, learn as much as you can about your customers and get cracking with some good research.

6.   Customer acquisition

People are more likely to do business with you, if you interact with them regularly. I’ve spent years honing the art of social media marketing and know the huge benefits it brings. For example, I like to prepare a social media calendar at least a month in advance. This includes a range of topics that I think my audience can relate to. If you’re not consistently building momentum around your brand using various Social Media channels, then you could be missing out on valuable customers.

7.  Build quality relationships

When you think of a brand you like, how does it make you feel? I know when I come across something I love, it’s hard to keep it to myself. Social Media is all about building quality relationships through active dialogue. For example, try to offer help in some way, address a complaint or simply ‘thank’ someone for his or her valued input. Get some good honest feedback, take it in your stride and use the information gained to build a better, stronger brand.

8Increase customer retention & loyalty

I’m sure as a business owner you’re always looking for ways to expand and grow. With so much brand saturation out there, it makes it mighty hard to stand out from the crowd. I find a good way to build loyalty, is to simply encourage your fans to engage with your brand regularly. This could be through – competitions, product giveaways or just asking for product/service feedback. It’s really as easy as that.

9. Thought leadership

If you want to be seen as a thought leader in your industry, you have to put yourself out there. For example, I like to update regular blogs on my site. It’s a core component of my Social Media strategy. Not only does this help increase my blog readership, I’m sharing information that is of interest to my audience.

10. Increase website traffic

If you’re underutilising your website, you could be losing out on gaining more business.  As a Virtual Assistant, I have assisted many business owners with their social media accounts, particularly with SEO, guest blogging, creating social media content or simply tagging images through Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook.  If you focus on developing quality content for your site, you’ll get customers banging down your door – literally.

With 61% of Australian marketers planning to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months, it’s a good time to jump on board. I’ve been active in the social media space for 5 years now. The majority of my leads and conversions come from this source.

Have you got a social media success story? Leave a comment and tell us!

Drop us a line if you need a hand with leveraging your content. We help oodles of others and you can read what some of them say about our Social Media Support which gets tailored to suit your needs.

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