Smart Ways Retailers Can Incorporate Social Media Into Marketing Plans
In today's retail climate, a successful business can't afford to exclude social media. The desired 18-year-old to 49-year-old demographic is very much wired in.
The social media universe is growing — Facebook debuted 10 years ago and has been joined by Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr and others. As of September 2012, Facebook had 1 billion active users. The same year, Twitter had 500 million registered users posting 340 million tweets a day. Google+ launched in 2011 and is second only to Facebook for social networking, with 540 million active users each month. Many of these users come from interacting with Gmail and YouTube, both owned by Google.
With millions of users, retailers simply can't ignore social media. Social media allows you to build relationships with customers, and their feedback will help you build your business. But to do that, it's important to know how each works and what pitfalls to avoid. Be smart about incorporating social media into marketing plans and use your resources wisely.
Probably the most talked about social networks are Facebook and Twitter. Many times companies simply cut and paste their posts from one to the other. That's a mistake. Facebook is the forum where customers are most likely to share their experiences. It's like reading their pulses, and you want to make sure that you're connected and monitoring what they're saying.
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Twitter, on the other hand, is a real-time tool that enables you to share insights on your business, industry-related news and look for prospects. There are several tools — socialcentiv.com for example — that can help you find customers by searching for tweets with relevant keywords and giving you the opportunity to respond with a discount or freebie to help turn a prospect into a customer.