There is no dearth of social media sites. Almost all demographics are represented by the top few social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. A recent study by Pindom indicates that males and females are equally represented in Facebook, average Facebook and Twitter users are in their mid thirties and LinkedIn is popular among the mid forties. According to Comscore, close to 92% videos viewed by the US online population are from YouTube.
So, you have a wide variety of websites to leverage for your social media marketing. If you cover the top channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, you will cover most of the ground for your social media marketing efforts. Now the question is how you use these sites to better understand your customers’ needs and competitors’ positions. Here are eight tips you can easily follow.
1.Survey you customers. Use these sites to conduct formal surveys to find out what they think about your products and services. A Facebook fan page is good for setting up a formal survey. Twitter can be use to ask a question directly to your brand followers.
2. Monitor your customers’ sentiments. Find out what your customers are talking about your brand in these sites in the forms of YouTube comments or Twitter tweets. You can use tools like Social Mention and Trackur to find out your customer’s sentiment about your products and services.
3. Find competitors marketing efforts. Use these sites for competitive intelligence. Find out how your competitors are using keywords, back links, job postings, etc. in these sites. Check out the type of contents they are publishing in these sites and how they are promoting their products.
4. Generate ideas monitoring competitors. One of the highly effective uses of social media sites are competitive analyses. You can learn a lot of social media marketing techniques just by observing your competitors’ activities in these sites.
You can find out what gap they have in their products and services by monitoring their customers’ sentiment. This will provide you with an opportunity to fill these gaps and position yourself firmly with new products or new features to an existing product.
5. Promote unique offers. Social media sites are good for promoting exclusive offers that are not available on your website directly. Set up some doorway pages with exclusive offers that are only available to your social media followers, like Facebook fans or Twitter followers.
6. Participate in customers’ discussions. It is not enough to just passively observe your customers. You need to participate in their conversation. Inform them what is going on with your products. When your next software release is going to be. What new features you are working on.
7. Inform your customers. Post videos of new product tests, conference presentation, TV interviews, company events, or any other news items. Invite them to comment and take actions based on their comments.
8. Sell products. Though this is the ultimate goal of participating in the social media sites, it should be the last attempt. Once you get your customers engaged with your brand using social media channels, you can use these sites to sell directly. Facebook pages make it a bit easier to set up an online store. For other channels, you need to be creative. You can promote the best selling or clearance items using these channels.