Regardless of what many self proclaimed social media experts tell you. Social media marketing is anything but a quick and straightforward and it really takes time and effort to promote your business correctly on social platforms.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc are all totally free platforms, no sign up costs and no monthly fees which make them an ideal tool for small and medium sized businesses hoping to reduce their marketing costs whilst trying to expand and engage with their audience and customer base online.
But the idea that social media engagement is easy, quick and will instantly bring in new business is completely false because for a majority of online businesses social media is more of a relationship building tool, a precursor to gaining those future clients and sales.
We have worked with many companies over the years, helping them to increase their social media presence and most of the companies we have worked with really embraced what social media was actually all about and ended up gaining a healthy online following and increased engagement of their tweets and posts which lead to a good relationship between the company and potential clients eventually helping their business gain clients or increase sales.
We have also had a couple of bad experiences too where the client, no matter how many times it was explained to them, wrongly believed they where paying for either leads or search engine optimisation and expected a mass of new business or sales direct from their social media accounts within the first month of social media marketing.
"Social media is not all about simply posting an advert and then spamming as many people as possible with it, you need to build relationships online before you 'introduce' people to your services or products" says Carolyn Dowling, Head of Social Media Marketing at Key Designs. She suggests starting out by looking for people who have an interest in your business topic, even loosely. "Read, comment on, and share their posts or tweets, if appropriate." Connecting and developing relationships with influencers and experts in your field of business will help you down the road. "When you approach them later, they’ll be more likely to recognize your business name or brand."
So, if you think that you can start to use social media to promote your business or products and immediately reap the benefits, think again! Marketing through social media takes time and dedication and even when you have built up a relationship with your followers the sales or client leads rarely come direct from your social media accounts, think of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc as a small yet important part of your overall business structure and marketing campaign.