Getting Customers With Social Media Marketing

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More and more, businesses are using social media marketing to find new customers and although it can be a long game and you need patience and persistence to get your message across, it is definitely a growing trend and with many of the big name brands now using social media marketing, it seems that it is a strategy that all businesses should employee. The future of social media is looking bright -- but how do you get new customers on these sites?

Target

It's not enough to just blast away with tweets and posts here there and everywhere -- you need a plan to be able to reach the people you want to be your customers. Yes, even social media marketing has to be tightly targeted -- just as any other type of Internet marketing. You need to find the right platform for your business. These days, sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter are attracting a diverse range of people. A while ago, Facebook was inhabited by youngsters, but now there are a whole range of ages and social types so you have to target your customers with advertising and choose the right groups to join. Social media marketing can be very time consuming, so it is important to know your customers and to know where you can find them -- you wouldn't advertise skateboards in a magazine for the elderly and similarly there is no point in promoting your business to an audience that are not interested in your products.

So take time to look around the various social media sites for the most suitable platform -- you could find a lesser-known site such as FourSquare, which caters to young gamer-type users, would be a better fit for your skateboard business.

Patience is the key

With something like e-mail marketing, you get results within days and you can clearly see who's been opening your e-mails, but with social media, you need to play a longer game and have a lot of patience to keep posting Tweets, making contacts on Linkedin and maintaining your Facebook site and the results are not immediately obvious. Remember, you need to spend hours on your social media marketing -- it's certainly not a quick fix. Also, it is not acceptable to be pitching and trying to sell all the time with social media marketing. You have to spend time chatting and posting comments not necessarily related to your business and this can become a bind if you don't keep your eye on the horizon and the bigger picture.

Larger companies with a big marketing budget are able to employ professionals to do this sort of marketing, but if you are a small company -- a solo entrepreneur -- you may find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time on social media marketing and you may begin to wonder if it's worth it. It can be worth it but you do need to give it time. One idea is to find someone adept at using social media and offer them a commission for any sales you make by this medium. This offers an incentive for someone to put in the work, while you concentrate on other forms of marketing.

Emerging social media sites

Facebook and Twitter might be today's big news, but there are some promising emerging sites that could become big news in the future. The trend is that social networking is beginning to replace e-mail and instant messaging, so there are a lot of new sites that could be well worth considering -- get in before the competition!

Some sites to consider that appear to be taking off quickly are Tumblr (easy blogging platform) and Pinterest (and online pin board for ‘sharing things you love’). However, one site you really need to take notice of is Google's social networking platform, Google+ which has already gained 25 million users around the world in less than a month with more than 70 million registered users already. Facebook took three years to gain that many and Twitter took 33 months to get 25 million users. Google+ is rising pretty fast and could be a great place to promote your business.