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It’s to the point of being cliché to say that the social media has changed the game of marketing and advertising. But make no mistake using social media effectively is one of the most important things a business can do.

Social media provides an opening for your brand to engage your target market in meaningful conversations. I thought I’d take this opportunity to run through a few ways in which you can use social media as a means to grow your business.

Begin With A Strategy

Find out where your customers are spending the majority of their time online. Base your Social Media plan accordingly. Obviously Facebook is a good place to start but other platforms, for example Pinterest and instagram are rearing their heads as powerful forces for building an audience for marketing purposes as I bash on this keyboard. As a matter of fact Pinterest’s traffic is growing exponentially. (More on this in future blog posts).

The Third Party Conversation 

Create a third Party Conversation. Rather than simply posting on our clients’ own social networking sites, we’ll do some research and find blogs, websites and fan pages of people with similar interests. We’ll jump into the discussion and comment on the content with the goal of engaging their audience in a conversation that will bring fresh traffic to our clients’ websites.

Use Each Platform Uniquely

Don’t get lazy and publish the same content to all your social media platforms. Use each one in a unique way. Craft a unique message for each. For example if you’re a retail shop promoting a sale, use Instagram to post an image of the particular product and use Facebook to offer a coupon, use Twitter to have a real time discussion about the sale with your fans by giving for example, inventory updates.

Your Real Time Focus Group 

Engage your on-line audience with questions and speak to them “person to person”. Your customers are not faceless masses. They are people with real feeling and valid opinions. Connect with them. Ask for their input. This will give them a vested interest in your business and make them loyal fans. This is something that your brand can’t buy (unless of course you hire us to do it for you).

Don’t Be That Dude!

We all have that one Facebook friend that abuses us with endless mundane updates. Nobody really cares what you are doing every five minutes. Don’t be that dude. Don’t over-promote your brand. Make sure at least 75 percent of your content is fun, light, interesting, and or informative. You will lose your followers if all you are constantly doing is beating them over the head with sale promotions. Your mantra for the day: Give, give, give, give.

Stay With It

Don’t get all social media hot and heavy one week and do nothing the next. Stay consistent. Come up with a solid content plan and stick with it.

Building an audience for marketing purposes using social media is not rocket science; it’s simply about connecting and maintaining relationships with real people.

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