Social media marketing has somewhat leveled the playing field for businesses. You no longer need an exorbitant advertising budget in order to compete with the big guys. But while it may not cost you a fortune, using social media to promote your business does require a considerable investment of time. It’s not as simple as opening a Twitter account, posting a bunch of special offers and watching the sales roll in.

It’s a fact. People don’t like to be marketed to. They don’t like to see advertising campaigns on their social media feeds. In order to be successful and get the most out of social marketing, you have to, well, be social. You have to put in the time and effort to be real, not just an as-posting machine. And you have to understand the benefits and drawbacks of different social networks. Some are better for some things, while other sites might be better suited for others. Which one is better for business? Google Plus? Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Pinterest?

[icon name=”fa-twitter” pull=”pull-left” icon_color=”#4099FF” size=”fa-3x” fixed_width=”false” border=”false” list_icon_li=”false” spin=”false” flip_horizontal=”false” flip_vertical=”false”][/icon] Twitter: Users on here are more likely to be accessing it from a mobile device. Therefore, you can kind of consider it the choice for on the go customers. An added benefit? Research shows that users are slightly more interested in seeing tweets from business than seeing posts on Facebook from businesses.

[icon name=”fa-facebook-square” pull=”pull-left” icon_color=”#3b5998″ size=”fa-3x” fixed_width=”false” border=”false” list_icon_li=”false” spin=”false” flip_horizontal=”false” flip_vertical=”false”][/icon] Facebook: Facebook users are typically more active than on other platforms. It’s estimated that more than 15 percent of their time online is spent on Facebook.

[icon name=”fa-linkedin-square” pull=”pull-left” icon_color=”#4875B4″ size=”fa-3x” fixed_width=”false” border=”false” list_icon_li=”false” spin=”false” flip_horizontal=”false” flip_vertical=”false”][/icon] LinkedIn: Users here are normally professionals and older than users elsewhere. They’re normally well-educated. Many B2B companies are on LinkedIn. Most won’t spend more than four hours per week on the site, though.

[icon name=”fa-youtube” pull=”pull-left” icon_color=”#FF3333″ size=”fa-3x” fixed_width=”false” border=”false” list_icon_li=”false” spin=”false” flip_horizontal=”false” flip_vertical=”false”][/icon] YouTube: We talk a lot about the popularity of video on our interactive video page. There’s one thing we have to say here: Recent study shows that YouTube far outperforms other social media platforms when it comes to sales. It’s better for both introducing products and sales conversions.

Yes… It can get confusing and if you don’t properly plan from the get-go, it’s just going to make it more challenging down the road. Optimus 5 has made it easy. We’ve developed an intuitive social media platform for home and business social media promotion that is free and effective. It allows you to link to all of the social media sites and post, but more importantly, to interact with your followers all from one place.

Engaging with Current Customers

Using social media allows you to connect with current customers and easily stay in touch. You want to do everything you can to do this. So make sure that your customers know where to find you. Have your Facebook page print automatically onto receipts or make sure that every bag has a card or flier of some type promoting your social profiles. Have your social media profiles listed on your website, your business cards and anywhere else that’s doable.

Once they’ve friended you, followed you, added you, pinned you… your journey with them has just started. Posting often is important, but it’s even more important that you aren’t just posting one advertisement or special offer after another. That’s boring and people will start to purposefully disconnect from you.

Instead, post pictures of company events. Ask questions and post polls. Add relevant industry news. Most importantly, reply to customers who interact with you. If they ask a question on your Facebook page or Tweet a comment, you have to make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed. If you personally don’t have time to monitor these things, then you need to make sure someone else has it covered. It doesn’t matter if that’s an employee or if you hire a professional social media marketer – just make sure it’s done.

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