Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing which seeks to achieve branding and marketing communication goals through the participation in various social media networks”.  Social Media is a shorter top-level term that describes the space overall, and covers the activities around social interaction, content, videos, images and audio exposure.

One of my projections for the upcoming year is that more people will come to understand that you can indeed do business using social networks and, truthfully, I’m already seeing it done today.

First and foremost, people are getting a lot more comfortable with social media and social behaviors. More importantly, however, is that clever marketers are testing, tweaking, trying lots of things and figuring out how to grow, know, like and trust – the path to selling anything, anywhere – on all of the social media.  In my own experience, I can tell you that generating and converting leads using social media takes a more patient approach and troubleshooting, but once you find the right path, it’s actually a better way to sell in any environment. Here’s how:

Facebook Marketing Campaign

Just because there are 900 million people on Facebook, doesn’t mean you need to appeal to all of them.  Start a Facebook marketing campaign.  You can condense your search from 900 million to the target audience that you’re trying to market and sell your product to.  This allows you to pinpoint demographic info, location, keywords, etc. for your campaign.

Twitter Your Message

Using 140 characters or fewer to basically create an ad that makes people want to re-tweet and click isn’t something most people can muster in real time – and yet, that’s what most try to do. This approach is one of the most overlooked aspects of digital marketing in social media.  Try to use ‘catchphrases’ or ‘keywords’ that will jump out at viewers.  Words like, AMAZING, EASY, SPECIAL, FREE, NEW, NOW, DISCOUNT etc.  The list goes on and on.  These are known as “power words” in selling.  These words jump out at viewers and catch their attention.

Demonstrate Your Appeal

It’s nearly impossible to get someone ready to buy simply by writing an appealing tweet or Facebook update.  There’s just not enough information to develop trust.  You must make your initial relationship building all about valuable content.  Give something away that you know your targeted prospect wants and needs.  Move the free line to the point where your free stuff is better than most other people’s paid stuff and watch how captivated people get.  Here again, there’s nothing new about this.  For years, smart marketers made tiny little inexpensive classified ads in the back of popular magazines and watched it pay off effectively using this exact approach.  

Here’s the final step that just might be unique to social media and online marketing in general; it’s a very powerful one.  In the process of giving away all that great information, ask your prospects to give you feedback, share and rate things.  Create feedback forms as part of the deal for why you are giving away such great stuff.  Socialize your content and make it easy to email, tweet and “Like”.  Send a series of emails during your content sharing phase that emphasizes the important takeaways from the content and offers more engagement like email support, live Q & A sessions and webinars.  Also, try to constantly add things to your page to keep your new customers engaged on what’s going on with your company.  Offer coupons, asking trivia questions or just going out of your way to educate them on something they just may know nothing about.  To understand the importance of social media and the importance of Facebook’s “Like” tab, refer to my article, “The Power of ‘Like’ for Your Business.”