Empower your Publicity by Social Media Posting

Car Pile - Empower your publicity by botgreen CC0 Public Domain

Traditional market­ing approaches recog­nise that defin­ing the target market will help you choose the most favor­able advert­ising approach for your brand. With the advent of the social inter­net, surely, everything has changed. Brands need market­ing every­where. Do you need to empower your publi­city?

To accept the future, one must renounce much of the past. New hopes, new styles, and most import­ant, a new way of seeing. Revolutions do not come piece­meal. One account… replaces anoth­er. Old problems are seen in a new light, other problems are recog­nised for the first time.” ~ James Gleick, Chaos: Making a New Science (1987).

The challenge for any now product, especially one created by a start-up business having a tiny market­ing budget is where best to spend that money. Better yet spend no money at all. The challenge is not only cost-effective market­ing but monit­or­ing and control. As a small business owner you need to look at every way possible to empower your publi­city.

 

Marketing Without Money

 

No Money by Demeuemann CC0 Public Domain from PixabayIs it possible to market with no money? As a small bussines you need to know this to empower your publi­city.

It has been the key question entre­pren­eurs and marketers have asked for decades. Traditionally, low-budget options have always existed. For example, print­ing leaflets, then march­ing the streets and dropping these in letter boxes (or paying a local kid to do this). In the electron­ic world businesses look to social media and search engines. Also, YouTube videos help spread the word. They provide many of the benefits without the legwork and stair climb­ing.

Zero spend options do exist. One example is the person having a spare room who advert­ises the space on AirBNB or VRBO then makes a supple­ment­al income. Such services do not charge for advert­ising. They make money from a percent­age of the sale, as do many on-line apps. This owner can make it a serious small business should they have three or more rooms avail­able. The serious entre­pren­eur looks for ways to fill rooms, even during off-peak seasons.

It has long been accep­ted that to be success­ful in the modern world a business needs an on-line presence. They also need a presence in the social media world. It is import­ant to recog­nise that there is a differ­ence between posting and advert­ising. Posting doesn’t cost a penny (apart from the time and effort of the person making the posts. Advertising requires a budget.

 

Marketing Content

 

Writer Joanna Penn concluded that market­ing her content was neces­sary to attract readers to her books. “Facebook is the most power­ful advert­ising platform around because of its laser-targeting abilit­ies,” she stated. She has also determ­ined that a large part of her reader­ship use that social site. Ultimately, she is looking to:

  • Grow her contact list,
  • Promote webinars, on-line and other events.
  • Sell books through direct channels, and
  • Promote her book signings.

If the entre­pren­eur grows their on-line presence, do tradi­tion­al market­ing methods still apply? Is multi-channel market­ing still required? One tactic is to expand the on-line market­ing model. Perhaps, using paid search ads and a variety of social media tools.

 

Tip: Grow Your Network

 

Marketing expert Mike Michalowicz takes the view:

Never Stop Growing Your Network — Expand your network of contacts and poten­tial clients. Ask your best, most power­ful, most influ­en­tial friends or business associ­ates to intro­duce you to the five people they think you should meet to expand your business. Take each of the contacts out for coffee and get to know them. Discuss your plans and future goals, tell them about why your business is special and ask for their advice. You will be amazed at how these new contacts will pay off ten-fold with recom­mend­a­tions to you for new business and innov­at­ive ideas you hadn’t thought of.”

This is the network market­ing approach. Can you use it to empower your publi­city? Yes, you can.

Please, do not confuse it with social network­ing. The two are distinct and differ­ent. For network market­ing you start with people you know (often very well) and expand your circle. They will mostly be local and not on the other side of the world (which contacts on social networks can be).

Using Michalowicz’s approach it is not simply about build­ing new, innov­at­ive ideas. It involves having people buy your exist­ing products or services. The intent is to have these contacts recom­mend you to people they meet. Still a power­ful approach even in the digit­al world.

 

Customer Engagement

 

Where are your custom­ers? What are they doing?  These questions are of concern when market­ing any product. The challenge of digit­al market­ing is recog­nising that your website and blog play a vital role. They work when every­one in your business is asleep in their beds.

Sleepless by DanFa CC0 Public Domain from PixabayThe local prospect having a sleep­less night, mingles at 2 a.m. with the Indonesian shopper.

The world wide web brings a world-wide audience. Additionally, “social media is a great place to let your brand off the leash a little. Voicey perso­nas are common on Twitter. It’s a great-way to get interest, inter­ac­tion, and even viral traction for your brand” Says digit­al market­ing agency Outbrain. They are right, it is where your brand can devel­op a persona.

Are custom­ers wearing your brand? Drinking it? Playing video games with it? Chances are they will be talking about your brand on social media and not always in the most glowing of terms.

Social Media Examiner suggests asking fans to show their love for your products. This is possible in many ways. Sharing photos, videos, wearing the T-shirt are all ways to show their love.

Holistic approach?

But custom­er engage­ment doesn’t end there. Customers tend to scream out loud when something goes wrong. This is where custom­er engage­ment is tested to the limit. The custom­er is complain­ing about a software bug. Have the program­mer post a blog about a workaround that users can use while they fix the problem.

Social media engage­ment is more holist­ic than tradi­tion­al custom­er service. It is not about supply­ing a market­ing approved message. You must genuinely engage the custom­er. Track the services to ensure you provide timely feedback. With Facebook you have extern­al tools, requir­ing no system mainten­ance. Through them you may connect with exist­ing and poten­tial custom­ers. Have your brands commu­nic­ate, influ­ence custom­ers, often at zero cost.

 

Social Vision

 

What is the long-term vision for your brand? Have you set one? It is vital you set one. The Internet brand­ing propos­i­tion should be consist­ent that vision.

When planning your brand’s on-line social impact dedic­ate at least one long-term team member to it. They must under­stand how to be popular on-line. It is their role to get involved with the target group. Interact with them and build relation­ships. Mirroring the need to grow your network. Their real-world network should be the basis for a strong social network.

Your business’s social vision is to encour­age the involve­ment of consumers and poten­tial consumers with on-line activ­it­ies. The idea being that they bring along their friends and family and involve them in the social media activ­ity.

Part of that vision should be about engaging the right mix of social media monit­or­ing tools.

 

Tip: Marketing Gamification

 

Is this a way to empower your publi­city? Sound as if it may. Lets look further…

Yu-kai Chou promotes Marketing Gamification as a technique. It occurs, “when you create your own viral content that… indir­ectly promotes your brand or services”. Examples include creat­ing a viral video or hosting a compet­i­tion. Even having people earn points by click­ing on parts of the web page works. It retains them as a reader and drives curios­ity about what happens when they reach a certain level.

It is about using emotion, touch­ing people, causing them to do something differ­ent. Watch this video:

Viral inter­ac­tion can lead to more costs. The aim of course — go viral. Even Chou admits “the odds of it really turning viral are extremely low.” It is excit­ing, but is it worth the cost?

 

Social Brand Pages

 

Madhur Chaturvedi, Director of Insight and Customer Strategy at Oracle says the explo­sion of social media use all over the world has made it an import­ant platform for businesses to connect with. Customers, prospects, employ­ees and even job candid­ates are all there. Of course, social media platforms are recog­nising this through their advert­ising provi­sion.

On the Facebook page you can create your own brand page. They are for businesses, brands, celebrit­ies and public figures, and organ­iz­a­tions. Used to share stories and connect with Facebook members. For a business the Facebook page provides the found­a­tion for advert­ising and other business tools.

E-commerce solution provider, Shopify, will add a shop section to your Facebook page linking directly to your e-commerce site. Fans can learn more about the products, view photos and even click the “Buy” button to make a purchase.

 

Empower your Publicity: Social Media Posting

 

Entrepreneur Chris Anderson in Free: The Future of a Radical Price (2009) says “FREECAN MEAN MANY THINGS, and that meaning has changed over the years. It raises suspi­cions, yet has the power to grab atten­tion like almost nothing else.”

Posting on social networks is free. The point about free is that you can do a lot with it. It suits the small entre­pren­eur with a minus­cule market­ing budget. It also suits the global corpor­a­tion looking to reduce advert­ising spend. Social network­ing platforms are unlikely to ever charge to post items. This remains a great publi­city resource. It is where they build their advert­ising audience.

Yet, there is a penalty for posting mater­i­al that looks as if it may be advert­ising. You may lose follow­ers. So, you must be clever about what you post and how you post it. Items on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn about an event is accept­able behaviour. It may be advert­ising. Remember there will be many organ­isa­tions at the event. Each giving their own view. Disseminating the word to online communit­ies, before, during, and after the event.

Blogs are anoth­er way to gain support from a community. For a business, blogs should drive not only reader­ship but sales. Yet no business blog should concen­trate solely on sales. They are a way to demon­strate brand vision and show expert­ise in the industry. They support your web-site. Social media postings can also build blog reader­ship and hence improve sales.

 

Tip: Events and Standing Out

 

The conven­tion­al approach to publi­city for events are somewhat hit and miss. For example, organ­isers contact journ­al­ists from local and region­al newspa­pers or news services. Provide them with inform­a­tion about the event and have them talk about it as a news item. The plan: build buzz etc.

Yet events take on a whole new dimen­sion. This is as true for the organ­iser as it is for both exhib­it­ors and even attendees. Both have a lot of effort inves­ted.

Search and people by Geralt CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay

Using social media for event market­ing can enhance your reach. What are the appro­pri­ate hasht­ags? You should be talking about your event months before it happens. Discovering what posts event-goers engage with is essen­tial says Rachel Grate of Eventbrite. People need to get excited. They need commit­ment to go. It needs special signi­fic­ance — it should feel like going to the Super Bowl. Each event needs a hasht­ag, which every­one should be encour­aged to use.

Exhibitors may also wish to gener­ate their own hasht­ag and gener­ate a buzz for their display. What are you display­ing? How is it special?

Tweets and social posts at a live event are a part of the process of engaging next year’s audience. Those that could not attend feel the buzz gener­ated as the event happens live. They ensure next year’s event is in their calen­dar.

 

Social Reach

 

Stacey Bird of Slinky Productions makes a valid point, most employ­ees use at least one social media site. Is it possible to get one of them to share corpor­ate mater­i­al? This is a terrif­ic way to extend corpor­ate reach. Some employ­ee will never do so. For them Facebook remains the exclus­ive domain of family and friends. That is fine and is their choice. Others will be happy to help.

Even if an employ­ee only shares things that interest them, it makes a great contri­bu­tion. The lesson: social media engage­ment is not a sole part of the market­ing or custom­er services domain. In theory it should be open to every­one, yet employ­ees need train­ing and guidance.

Facebook and Twitter are the most widely used social platforms. Yet they may not be the most appro­pri­ate sites to use. Know your industry demograph­ics and where people gravit­ate. LinkedIn is also power­ful for business network­ing. Many indus­tries have a great presence on other sites, includ­ing special­ist groups. Pay atten­tion to these. They will also impact your advert­ising strategy.

With social posting, businesses must remem­ber it is a two-way channelLearn to enrich custom­er relation­ships by this. Engage with people in your niche. Customers, poten­tial clients, and other people who share an interest in what you do. Listen to what they are saying.

Empower your publicity with dedicated ambassadors.

People with whom you work on a daily basis can become dedic­ated ambas­sad­ors of your brand. Spend time build­ing meaning­ful business relation­ships with them. The Wix Blog offers “24 Free Ways to Market Your Small Business,” includ­ing:

  • Ask clients to share their exper­i­ence on social media.
  • Tag related people in your posts to encour­age engage­ment.
  • Write guest posts on relev­ant blogs.
  • Create a contest or challenge requir­ing social sharing.
  • Establish your business expert­ise.
  • Get involved with community projects.
  • Discover niche social media platforms.

Each, when used appro­pri­ately will increase your social reach.

 

Advertising on Social Sites

 

Hootsuite proposes that advert­isers should run targeted ads with real-time results. “Run an ad campaign on LinkedIn, you can segment by things like location, company, job title, gender, and age — the list goes on.” Each social site will have differ­ent target­ing capab­il­it­ies. Based on the inform­a­tion they hold about members.

There are two types of advert­ising on Facebook. Those that appear on the Sidebar and those that appear in the Newsfeed. Both are shown here:

Empower your publicity - Facebook Advertising

Additionally, there are “Suggested Posts” that appear within your Newsfeed. They tempt a user to like a page, shown as follows:

Facebook Suggested Pages

These are sometimes shown as “Mary Jones Likes…” Facebook makes signi­fic­ant earning from their advert­ising spots. For the advert­iser they have the flexib­il­ity of target­ing a focused set of people. Based on their profile data or the types of stories they follow/like.

Facebook Like Suggested page

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites aid marketers with much inform­a­tion. Each has a large poten­tial audience. Each have profile data to segment. The challenge is trans­lat­ing this target group into large sales volumes. Truth is many users have learned to ignore the adverts.

According to Social Media Examiner one trick is to attract leads with offers that are specif­ic to Facebook. This could also be an oppor­tun­ity to promote via a compet­i­tion.

 

Advertising Appeal?

 

Your campaign should appeal to two sets of people. Those who already follow your page and custom­ers or prospects that are yet to follow it. Appeal to your audience, touch their emotions.

The more your audience parti­cip­ates in the social media campaign, the better and more effect­ive it will be! The Ultimate Experience, who provide social media promo­tion for events, look at viral content. 35.6 Million people tweeted about the 2014 World Cup semi-final where Germany beat Brazil 7 to 1. Also 16,000 people tweeted about the recent Grammy awards.

That is the type of parti­cip­a­tion advert­isers desire, but rarely get. Get a fraction of these people tweet­ing about your event and it could be an instant success. Social media advert­ising should drive parti­cip­a­tion as well as sales. TV advert­ising, by compar­is­on, is typic­ally the costli­est type of advert­ising. It rarely brings signi­fic­ant parti­cip­a­tion. Those posts on your news-feed can be shared and sent to friends etc.

Small business needs to control costs. Great! The business owner sets the daily budget for the target audience. The trick is focus­ing on the right audience, do you know what yours is?

 

Social Channels

 

Is all social media a single channel? Asking this question may puzzle you. There are more than 100 popular social media sites. Each access­ible through a browser and a collec­tion of apps built for the smart­phone. Some, for example Baidu Tieba or Vkontakte, are for local markets, like China or Russia. They are distinct channels. Remember, not all offer the same flexib­il­ity.

Apps on mobile device are simil­ar, but not identic­al to the main website. Mobile devices may handle functions differ­ently. Mobile devices are import­ant. People contin­ue their social inter­ac­tions away from their home or office. A signi­fic­ant percent­age of Facebook’s 1.7 Billion users operate from mobile devices. Pay atten­tion to mobile usage, it is benefi­cial for social media market­ing.

Two other aspect to consider. First, the games that link to social networks and second the mobile game market. They are fertile ground for advert­ising oppor­tun­it­ies. Users love free games and download them daily, each suppor­ted by advert­ising.

 

Does your Business have a Blog?

 

Most businesses have websites to showcase their products or services. Blogs go beyond that. They are a valid part of the social media landscape. They are also a crucial adjunct to your website.

Blog by Geralt CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay

The differ­ence between a website and a blog is that the former tends to be fairly static. Blogs showcase expert­ise and are fluid with posts added often. Websites are only updated when products or services alter. It also happens when the business is going through a re-branding exercise. Add Blog posts regularly (monthly, weekly, daily, depend­ing on the needs of the business). Make them topic­al, timely, and respond to the needs of the client. They can provide a conduit to the web site.

Take every oppor­tun­ity to link the two. Promote them togeth­er and empower your publi­city.

Engaging?

Social media encour­ages people inter­ested in your industry to look at your blog. That blog should link to individu­al product pages as well as other blog pages. It should also link to pages of interest to the industry (sometimes even to compet­it­or pages). Links serve an SEO function, bring­ing more visit­ors you visit your website. It provides further oppor­tun­it­ies to share your site through social media. It also provides content whose perform­ance ia tracked.

You can empower the public with inform­a­tion about your products and services by writing and publish­ing inform­at­ive and engaging blog posts” says Singapore based MediaOne Marketing. A business blog’s primary purpose is inform­ing members of the public of your profes­sion­al or commer­cial prowess. Sales are second­ary to this channel, but they will happen because of it.

 

Monitoring Your Social Media

 

Social media can be a great tool for listen­ing to custom­er expect­a­tions. What is their next great need? Have you seen what they are saying on social media? Do you watch the social web? You should, what people are saying includes:

  • Industry updates.
  • Product gripes (includ­ing problems with yours).
  • Singing the praises of products (includ­ing yours).
  • Industry futures.
  • Where next?

The challenge is setting up a listen­ing station. Of course, 99.99999% of everything said is of little relev­ance but the key is getting to the nub of the next great idea. It can provide a great advant­age when updat­ing your products. They help you empower your publi­city, vital for cost effect­ive­ness.

Start somewhere…

There are many monit­or­ing tools avail­able at a variety of prices. The start­ing point can be the social media site itself. Twitter Analytics, for example, provides a variety of inform­a­tion:

  • 28 Day summar­ies (number of tweets, impres­sions, profile visits, mentions, and follow­ers)
  • Top tweet based on the number of impres­sions
  • Best mention
  • Top follow­er

Other tools provide other statist­ics. All derived from the data from Twitter servers.

The key point about analyt­ics is when you have relev­ant data in front of you. Providing the power to analyze it and make informed decisions about what approaches you should be taking. The entre­pren­eur needs access to regular reports. This may help change your approach, or perhaps the market­ing message.

Related Material:

Looking for ways to empower your publi­city, then these posts may help:

 

 

Do you use social media to publi­cise your business? Let us know the ways in it can empower your publi­city. Please leave a comment and discuss your views.

If you like this content, we appre­ci­ate any donations to GobbledeGoox.  Something to contrib­ute, then please leave a comment. The images here were sourced from a public domain location, such as Pixabay, Unsplash or other sites.

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