Businesses Lacking a Social Media Strategy Are At Risk In 2013
Many Canadian businesses are about to get a run for their money if they continue to lack a strong online presence going forward into 2013. Unfortunately, that same spot in the Yellow Pages will continue failing to generate the ROI that helped establish the brand as a business referral powerhouse for decades.
In the words of Bob Dylan, these times are a-changing!
In 2000, many businesses were still wrestling with the idea of getting a website but these days you aren’t even considered credible without one. The same cycle is happening with social media right now as the dynamic of marketing services shifts to an education-based model, aka creating valuable content that appeals to your target market.
Companies that haven’t integrated social media into their overall marketing strategy are at a serious risk as we progress into the future. With a few adjustments, the trajectory can be realigned on a path to success.
Five things every Canadian business will need to remember when marketing themselves in 2013 and beyond:
The Competition Is Watching You. Recent data has shown that 80 per cent of businesses use social media sites to monitor and extract information related to competitors. If you don’t even have a presence online, your competition likely knows this and is taking advantage of it by getting a head start.
This street runs both ways so do some research on your competition and see what they are doing right and wrong. Take the opportunity to learn from your competitor’s mistakes whenever possible!
Positioning Is Everything. Similar to crafting your perfect elevator speech, you need to position yourself online to attract the audience you are looking for. It should be concise, compelling and straight to the point. This rule applies for your all social media fronts: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and especially your website and blog.
What words and terminology are you using to convey what you do online? Now imagine the words and lingo your target market is most likely to use when searching for what you do. Positioning yourself to be found for those terms when potential leads are searching for them is critical to intercepting valuable traffic.
Blogging Is Essential. Blogs are a fantastic way to drive regular traffic to your website. Although your end goal is to gain new clients, the focus on all content must be quality, not a sales pitch. Companies that maintain a blog have 55 per cent more website visitors than those that choose not to blog.
A great example is Chartered accountant and business advisor Ken Davidson from Kelowna, BC. Ken has built an impressive following for his blog, BusinessGrowthStrategies.ca, and continues to gain quality clients exclusively by sharing original content that is geared to solving common problems experienced by his target market. No sales pitch required.
LinkedIn Should Be A Priority. Do whatever you need to do to get involved and integrated into LinkedIn immediately. Before you go deep into connecting and networking, make sure you take the time to completely fill out your profile and ensure it speaks directly to the type of clients you want to attract.
LinkedIn groups can be a powerhouse for connecting with highly targeted prospects and should not be ignored. In addition to connecting with new people, businesses should proactively connect with existing clients and potential referral partners.
Some Networks Are A Waste Of Time. There is no question that certain social media networks are an absolute waste of time for your business. For example if your target market is male, you don’t want to waste time on a female dominated network like Pinterest. Some are more obvious than others but it’s still necessary to independently analyze each network, their audience and how your target market is using that particular network.
Stick to the places you know most of your prospects will be. Your target market certainly exists on almost every network in some capacity but concentrating your efforts to the best places to reach them will always be the most efficient approach.
By Melonie Dodaro
Melonie Dodaro, founder of Top Dog Social Media has been dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist. She’s also a highly sought after social media speaker and trainer.
Grab her free special report called The New Rules of Marketing at http://TopDogSocialMedia.com