This is a guest post by Ellee Parker of Web Host Gear, a British Columbia, Canada provider of web hosting reviews.
Finding decent web hosting and building a website is only the first step to successful Internet marketing. This isn’t a matter of if you build it they will come; you need to attract customers and potential customers to your site. One of the most efficient and cost effective ways of doing this is with social media.
Internet marketing isn’t like traditional marketing, where you create a series of ads and customers sit in their living rooms and watch them. The new age of marketing is about participative marketing.
You need to engage your customers.
Talk with them instead of at them.
And make them a part of your business.
This is where tools like Facebook and Twitter are useful. Facebook has over 500 million users, 14% of which log on every day. These users not only chat with their friends, they also follow companies. Forty percent of Facebook users follow a brand and of the percentage, 51% of them purchase from the brand they follow. Twitter has 106 million users and 25% of them follow a brand. Of the people who follow a brand on Twitter, 67% of them will purchase that brand.
There is no other media that allows you the access to that many people, not even television. And it allows for effective niche marketing as well. Users of Twitter and Facebook tell you what they like and who they are right on their main pages. This allows for marketing statistics that are more detailed to ensure that what you believe is your target market really is your target market.
Social media marketing is different than just posting a series of ads. You need to engage followers and fans. People buy from people and social media allows companies to show their human side to their customers. Businesses can also discuss what is going on in the company and what the future holds for the organization. This lets people be aware of changes within your company and makes them feel like they are a part of things.
Test marketing is also effective using social media. Testing new flavors, products, marketing ideas and services with followers and fans gives your company a chance to find out what people may or may not like before millions of dollars are wasted on production and advertising. Sometimes people come up with ideas your organization hasn’t even thought of, opening whole new directions for your business.
SOCIAL MEDIA as a SALES FUNNEL
Social media is also an effective sales funnel. Potential customers have a way to engage with your organization to determine if your company is one they want to do business with. Then, by the time they visit your website, they are ready to buy. This increases the conversion rate on your site and the customers who use this route are more loyal and tend to stay longer.
Customer service is effective when supported with social media services. Many companies use Twitter to speak with unhappy customers and deal with their problem before it escalates. Diffusing a potential issue on social media is very important. The Internet gives even the lowliest customer a megaphone, and people will listen. Dell learned that the hard way when an angry blogger created a negative post and it went viral. Don’t ignore negative comments on social media platforms! They could be your downfall.
SOCIAL MEDIA is a COMMUNITY
Social media is a community and if you form a community with your customers and followers then they will begin to trust you. Web hosting companies often offer social media and search engine optimization services with their hosting packages. This helps you use social media efficiently and effectively to gain and keep customers.
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