Silver Bullet

Now that we’ve inhabited the Web 2.0 world for a while, social media marketing has earned its rightful place in company marketing plans. Since the proliferation of social networking sites in the early 2000s, social media marketing has catapulted from a mere option to a key factor for businesses of all sizes.

Today, more and more small businesses and large brands are taking advantage of various platforms’ power and influence, with stats and case studies to justify their usage.

Here are five tips for business owners and entrepreneurs who are willing to tap into the marketing heft of social media marketing.

1. There’s no silver bullet

Just because the term “social media marketing” has huge buzz, doesn’t mean it’s a cure-all. As with other essential components of effective marketing plans, you need to invest time and energy not only from a strategic perspective, but also on a day-by-day tactical level.

It’s not enough to say you’ve hired someone to handle social media marketing. As a business owner, you need to equip that individual with the tools to do the job properly, and not become frustrated if you don’t see results overnight. The process is labor-intensive and requires motivation and guidance from the senior level of a company, on an ongoing basis.

2. Build your social network traffic

Businesses nearly double their online traffic after they pass 1,000 Facebook likes; and they generate more than 100 percent more web traffic if they have a minimum of 51 to 100 followers on Twitter versus those with 25 or fewer.

With regard to consumer purchases, most online users rely on social media to guide their buying decisions, or purchase a product or service on a recommendation. Most social media users are also more likely to buy a product or pay for a service with a firm that’s connected with all the major social networks.

In addition, LinkedIn business pages have the most number of generated customers, ahead of Twitter and Facebook.

3. Build trust via online reputation

Having a visible online reputation creates an instant transparency and credibility. In many instances, when a company pitches clients or another company to obtain their business, the latter will first check out that company’s and their executives’ profiles on social networks, including Klout (which ranks one’s social influence across all networks).

This due diligence supports a level of trust because they can review not only how active you are but also who has recommended and worked successfully with your firm in the past.

4. Engage with your followers

Because your followers voluntarily opt to receive your marketing messages on major social networks, don’t waste that opportunity: engage with them on a regular basis.

If you’re to be successful on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others, you must constantly engage with your followers through conversation, unique offers, and question-and-answer sessions.

Showing your followers you truly are interested in their feedback is using these user-generated platforms for the purpose they were intended.

5. Printing and social media

No longer purchasing from third-party print shops, companies have assumed much of the responsibility for printing their own content — in the form of brochures, flyers, and promos. Owners are much more in control of the content they present to the world.

Hard copies are being generated out of the feedback from the firm’s social network engagements. It’s a smart move to follow up on your social media marketing successes by referencing them in your print media as well.

Recommendations for in-house printing

For your company’s printing needs, a great resource for any small or large business is XPDrivers.com. Lexmark’s current printer drivers can resolve driver conflicts, improve a computer’s stability, and restore communication within your company’s network of printers.

Using this website’s service will save your company money and prove an effective use of your time, so you can refocus on the larger responsibilities of social media marketing.

Written by Drew Hendricks