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Demand Generation • Market Research • Social Media Marketing
The good news for marketers is that customers are embracing social as a form of interacting with the brands and companies they like, and more importantly, buy products from. Some of the more interesting social stats reveal that:
- 41% of people in social networks want to receive communication from marketers;
- 75% of Facebook users have liked at least one brand;
- People within B2B social networks are twice as likely to purchase from and 5X more likely to read communications from the brands they follow;
- Half of the top 25 brands on social networks use polls or 2-way contests on their company pages, both for listening and as a fun way to engage (sources: Facebook, Razorfish/econsultancy.com survey).
And users are starting to adopt social as a vehicle for purchasing and commerce. According to industry analyst firm Gartner, by 2015, companies will generate 50% of Web sales via their social presence and mobile applications. For companies and brands of all sizes, the need to create and maintain communications across social networks is more important than ever before.
Creating a page for your company or brand is easy, but the big question on marketer’s minds is how to best leverage these social media tools to build a social media presence and convert conversations into customers.
“Business pages” enable companies of all sizes build an effective social presence with limited time and resources. In many cases, the pages are free and just a few hours per week can yield positive results.
But the big question on the minds of marketers is how to best leverage these tools to build a social media presence and convert conversations into customers. Here are 5 key things you can do to get your marketing engine revving on a social network:
- Pick the right network(s): Social networks are not “one-size fits all.” Determine which social networks or sites are the most prominent among your customers. Facebook and Twitter are key networks for reaching consumers. For business, B2B groups in LinkedIn or business-focused sites like LawLink (legal), The CFO Alliance (Finance) and Spiceworks (IT), may outperform Facebook;
- Set-up a Company Page: There are many free or low cost options to build a presence within social networks or industry groups. In most cases the pages are free.
- Provide resources helpful to customers: These social pages are a virtual tradeshow booth – an extension of your company, your brand, and your current web presence. Think beyond one-line updates by linking to whitepapers, videos, free trials, and other product information that let customers learn about your products and services.
- Keep content fresh. While you don’t need to update or tweet daily, you may want to consider adding information on a weekly basis. Try creating a conversation calendar to keep content relevant, fresh. Link your company pages across social networks so that you update once and reach broader audiences.
- Engage with Customers: Social media is a two-way street. Be sure to respond quickly to and engage with the people who follow your brand, post on your wall, and take the time to write reviews (both good and bad).
- Provide avenues to purchase: Whether it’s a link to your website, or updates designed to encourage people to consider your business, such as deals or specials, be sure to give people a reason or incentive to purchase from you.
A business presence in social networks is very beneficial to marketers as it provides direct engagement with your customers and prospects – aka your followers. These followers on social networks have real value as data demonstrates that these followers are 3 times more likely to click on your ads or read your marketing promotions and up to 2.5 times more likely to purchase products from you.
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Misha Rangel is the head of vendor product marketing for Spiceworks, the largest and fastest-growing social business network for IT professionals. Spiceworks is transforming how $1 trillion worth of technology products and services is managed, marketed and sold each year in the small and mid-sized business (SMB) market. She is currently helping more than 300 of the world’s top technology vendors expand visibility and sales for their brands using social marketing and commerce technologies.VN:R_U [1.9.7_1111]6 Keys to Building a Successful Company Page,
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