SPECIAL GUEST POST!
I appreciate Dana allowing me the opportunity to do a guest post. I admire her enthusiasm and faith to let God build her business. I’ve learned a lot from her already. She’s talented and knowledgeable about business and branding.
To share a little bit about me, I’ve been married for 19 ½ years. I have three wonderful boys ages 12, 15, and 17. I graduated from Bible college in 1991.
I’ve been blogging, learning everything about WordPress (one of my passions), creating digital info products and content for about nine years. I love learning and sharing content about online marketing. My son and I have a little fascination for the “techy” side of business things. And truthfully, I hate paper work.
As I’ve seen an interest from my readers in learning more about social media marketing, I’ve selected a topic on this aspect to share with you today.
Warning: Social Media Trends Are Moving Forward. Your competitors are ready to snatch your customers.
Some people cringe at the mere thought of using social media for their business, while others simply dive in like it’s the best thing since the invention of the washing machine…cycle after cycle they love the evolving stimulation that social media brings. Social media can indeed wash up some good results for your business. The frustrating part can be that with the fast-changing technology, it’s hard to stay afloat on the “next best thing.”
It’s important for smart business owners to be aware of trends across social media in order to stay abreast of the best way to use social media to improve business. It can be hard to know what the next best thing is, but there’s trends happening now that you can keep a watchful eye on. This will help you to stay aware so that you take notice when change is coming and you’re not taken off guard by continuing with old methods that no longer work.
Here’s some noticeable trends happening right now:
Widespread Usage of Mobile Devices — People are using mobile devices more often for social media than in the past; therefore, most social media companies are designing for mobile first. That’s why it’s so important to be involved in “responsive” mobile design yourself for all your online real-estate. Have you checked what your site looks like on mobile devices? How convenient is it to navigate on your site with these devices? It’s now prime time to make it a priority for your business.
Don’t go overboard with automation –- There’s lots of “social media automation tools” to schedule tweets, posts, replies, automatic follows, etc. Be aware that social media is by its very nature supposed to be social. If you’re using too much automation, people will start to ignore you, and soon only the bots will be reading your tweets.Stay connected socially with your followers; use automation sparingly.
Close Interaction — Consumers want to feel important; mobile devices allow you to stay in constant contact with them. You can use a variety of methods (you don’t have to choose them all) to interact on a one-to-one basis with your clients, customers and potential clients. Facebook, FourSquare, Google+, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter, and your blog, are a few select ways to stay in close connection. Which ones you choose will actually depend on where your targeted customers and clients might hang out the most.
A few other ways to take connect closely to your customers include:
Google’s hangouts –- The hangout feature provided by Google is becoming popular on a rapid rate. People love the interaction on such a personal level. It’s a tool where you can educate your customers, but also let them get to know you on a more personal level.
Skype –- Skype is another way to stay closely connected with customers. And with the mobile features, it works great with smartphones and other mobile gadgets. If your business is growing at a fast past, you can dedicate a team to manage your customer service via Skype.
LiveProfile — http://www.liveprofile.com/ is a free messenger app.
Smart Group — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smart-group-email-sms-text/id378476242?mt=8 “Smart Group helps you manage groups and smart groups directly from your iPhone. With just a ‘Tap’, you can send SMS / Email to all your group members at once. There is no need to type!”
Take Advantage of Apps — People are practically addicted to their mobile devices. Take advantage of this. Create an app for your business. There are templates you can use and brand for your market, or you can hire someone to create a specially branded app that your customers would like to use.
Smart Search Alert — People are getting much wiser at filtering out content they don’t want to see, and they know how to keep in view the content they want to see the most. Social media has actually been playing a role of doing that for you for quite some time.
For better or worse, organic search doesn’t necessarily work the same as it used to.Although this can be difficult for marketers, it’s great for consumers. Business owners just need to stay up with the popular trends to take advantage of the possibilities.
Content Curation — Great content has always been and still is king, but it’s even more important now than in past years.Content curation is sorting through a vast amount of content for the purpose of gathering and sharing the best content on a related topic or niche.
No one “knows it all”… and your customers and followers appreciate you even more when you have their best interest at hand. You show you care by sharing related content that can help them.
Side Note: Realize that content is not just text. It’s pictures, graphics, videos, audio, conversing with others, and any other form of sharing communication.
Sharing content is basically all of the things you do on social media. Your followers, who are interested in your niche, want to see your content, easily access and consume your content, and share your content. It shouldn’t look like a newspaper or magazine advertisement. Remember, consumers will resist being sold to in such a way.
Your content should look and feel like important, useful, interactive, valuable information that’s also visually appealing and tells a story.
Here’s the facts: Consumers hate being sold to — they want to be engaged! Trust me; this is going to bring about a whole new level of excellence to social media.
So what to do to take action:
Focus on keeping the quality of your content high. If you don’t your competition will win their hearts.
Create a relationship with your customers. Truly care for them. Respond to them. Ask them what they need and want.
Stay up on trends. People are using mobile devices. Again, your competition will cater to their needs and win their hearts if you don’t.
Stay consistent. Social media isn’t a one-off event. It’s a compilation of many small steps, possibly hundreds, that finally result in close interaction and relationship building with your customers and clients.
Rhonda White loves Jesus – She’s a Christian wife, mom of three boys -– a solopreneur, blogger, information publisher, WordPress fan; Loves the “Techy” side of business. Join her FREE Membership at http://herchristianbusiness.com for more great information on growing your Christian Business.