I have been talking about the power of social media since I opened Miss Ink nearly three years ago. At first, people thought I was crazy and simply promoting a fad. Today, the sentiment is much different. There has been a strong transition in 2010–at least in the small business community in Miami–and businesses are more vested than ever in social media marketing. The question has changed from “why do I need to have a social media presence” to “how do I have a social media presence.” The answer is simple: You have to build it. It’s an investment in time, but also an investment in building relationships with your target demographic or better yet, an investment in building relationships with people.
It’s very similar to attending networking events. You go to an event and you will inevitably meet two types of people: A) The “professional” who throws their business card at you in passing and B) the person who takes the time to learn about you and your business. Most likely, you’re going to give your business to person “B.” The same concept applies to social media marketing on social networks.
So, just how does a business market through social media? It’s simple when you remember “Miss Ink’s Three C’s” to Social Media:
1. Content: What’s in it for me? This is the question that every single person asks before purchasing a product or service. Post information in your blogs and on your social networks that people will find useful and interesting. For example, if I simply wrote “Buy from Miss Ink” as the title of this blog, would you have read it? Yeah, I didn’t think so. However, you are reading this blog because it provides information of value to you. Go ahead and get creative but post information that’s relative your business and expertise. I love the Frosty fan page on Facebook by Wendy’s. It focuses on something that is a popular item on the restaurant’s menu but it does so in a witty way that keeps people interested.
2. Consistency: If you have a Twitter account, but are only tweeting once a week or worse, once a month, you’re completely missing the boat. You have to be consistent. The Internet world moves at a lighting fast pace. Status updates, tweets, blogs: they are all like flashes of lighting, here one second, gone the next. Of course the information you post doesn’t just disappear, but with so much information being shared, your tweet may be washed away by someone else’s in a flash. That’s because new information is being posted every second of every day and the likelihood that someone will actively search out what you post is really low. If you’re not sharing information on a regular basis, how can you expect to keep up? It’s the tried and true marketing principle of repetitive communication. I’m not saying you need to bombard your fans with new status updates, blogs or emails every 5 minutes. But, what I am saying is be consistent by logging on everyday. I recommend making it part of your daily schedule.
3. Conversation: Third but certainly not last is conversation. Let’s go back to the networking event example. If someone stands up and gives you a testimonial, would you just ignore it or would you thank them for their kind words. I’m going to bet (or at the very least hope) that you said the latter. To not thank someone or respond when they as a question is just rude. This is the same idea with social media. If someone comments on a blog that you wrote or retweets one of your tweets, thank them. Similarly, participate in the conversation by “listening” (i.e., reading) what others are saying and then respond. In other words, get involved. Communication is the only way to build relationships and that has to be a two way street.
Of course there is much more to social media marketing than these three concepts, but if you can remember “Miss Ink’s three C’s to Social Media” you’ll be on your way to powerful results.