Everybody who’s anybody has a profile in each. And it seems everybody is preaching the same thing:
- You HAVE to have a Facebook Fan Page
- You HAVE to be on Twitter
- You HAVE to join LinkedIn and participate in groups
But, do you HAVE to this? Will your business fall in the water if you don’t?
The answer depends on your target audience.
Remember, your target audience determines where you should be and how you spend your time. If your target audience spends their day on Twitter, then that’s where you should be engaging with them. While it may be a little challenging to have a full-fledged conversation, you can still interact and find out what their challenges are, participate in the conversation when they are looking for solutions and be a trusted advisor.
The same could be true if your target audience hangs out on Facebook. Maybe they prefer to interact there because there’s no character limit (like the 140 characters on Twitter.) They may like the back and forth conversation of posting comments on each others’ wall and seeing their updates throughout the day.
The point is, participating in social networking is like participating in live networking. You should only attend the “events” that make sense for you and your business. You should only be spending your time where your target audience is hanging out – otherwise you’ll miss the boat completely.
Nothing is more frustrating than spending your efforts pursuing a particular marketing strategy only to find that it generates ZERO results. Has that ever happened to you? If so, it’s likely because the strategy (or in this case the platform) didn’t fit your business. You may be chasing an opportunity that doesn’t even interest your target audience — and they’re not going to go looking for you either.
In order to provide the solution to a problem, you need to be visible when your ideal prospects need you. Marketing you and your services is simply about educating your target audience about how you can solve their problems. You can’t be a day late to the party.
Take the time to do your research and find out EXACTLY which social networks your target market is hanging out in. This will tell you where you should be spending your time. And most importantly, you will see the return on your time investment as you’ll be connecting directly with the people who are already looking for you.
A big part of your social networking marketing success will depend on how well you do your research. Take the time to interview your current clients, as well as any clients whom you’ve met with but aren’t working with yet. You can send them a short survey via Survey Monkey or simply pick up the phone and ask them.
By taking the time to research the ideal social networks, you will demonstrate that you are committed to helping others and serving their needs. You’re not just following the crowd because it’s the “in” thing. The success of your business depends on your ability to know your target audience.
So, which will it be for you – or rather your target audience? Don’t forget, it might (or might NOT) be any of the “Big 3”. It could be a small community on a Ning network just waiting for an expert like you to join in the conversation.
And think about it, wouldn’t you rather have 100 highly qualified and targeted potential clients to engage with and learn from rather than 2000 people on Twitter who have no idea of your expertise and talents? Why waste your time where people won’t appreciate what you have to offer?
Getting the right “mix” of participating in social networking can be a little tricky. There’s the whole research aspect to find out which is the best one for you, then you have to figure out if it’s “working”. Determining if something is working and how to make it work if it’s not, can be a little daunting when you’re just starting out..
But not if you apply systems to your approach.
Marketing research and social networking done the right way will yield profitable results. The key is consistency – and the only way to achieve that is to apply a systematic approach. Most times though, people get caught up in the “how” to create a system that they don’t do it.
Then they are disappointed by the results they aren’t getting.
My colleague Joshua Zerkel and I have perfected the art of creating marketing systems in our business. Over the last few months, we’ve fine tuned our processes and have been thrilled with the increases in revenue we’ve seen. We’d love to share what we’ve learned and show you EXACTLY how to create systems in your own business.
Knowing how to create systems is a LIFELONG skill that you can apply to any part of your business for profitable results. Join us on Wednesday, September 8th at 5 PM PST as we walk you through the process of how to create marketing systems for your business.
About the author: Sydni Craig-Hart, The Smart Simple Marketing Coach, teaches solo service professionals how to attract more clients and create more money in their business.