Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are key to the success of any business. The information conveyed through social media has direct, immediate value to customers. Social media marketing is likely to be among the most effective means of reaching customers in the future. This article will discuss how online businesses can benefit from social media marketing.
A: Keyword exercise take three
Much of the information that social media users share is for the purpose of informing others about their interests and activities. This can be valuable to businesses. For example, if you are selling golf products, you might want to know what kind of golf shoes your customers are wearing or what brands they prefer. You can use keywords to find out this information.
Think about the words you would use to find out more about something you are interested in. Then search online using those keywords. For example, if you are thinking about buying a new car but aren’t sure which brand appeals to you most, search for keywords like “best cars” or “top 10 cars” or “top 10 best cars” or “top 10 luxury sport cars” or “top 10 classic sport cars” or “top 10 cheap sport cars” or “top 10 cheap sport cars under $40k” or “top 10 luxury sport cars under $50k.” If you broaden the search sufficiently, the answers you get back should be helpful to you in deciding whether or not to buy a particular car model. You might also consider purchasing a book on automobiles, which should have similar types of information.
Of course, there are other ways to find out things about products besides searching for keywords online. For example, you can visit web pages that are focused on that product category. For example, if you are thinking about buying a new car, you can visit sites devoted exclusively to automobiles, such as http://www.autoblog.com/new-cars/, http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/contests-and-giveaways/2019-ford-mustang-first-drive, http://car-online.net/. You can even visit Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Automobiles), where you will find a list of automobile brands and models and links to related topics such as engines and transmission types and safety features and fuel economy; all kinds of useful information for someone making a decision about what kind of automobile to buy. You can also find out about automobiles by talking with people who own them: friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Another way to find out things about automobiles is to subscribe to automotive magazines and newsletters; there are many of these available online and in print form.
Basically, if there is some characteristic of an automobile that is important to you as a buyer, there is probably some source of information available. You just have to figure out where it is and how to access it.
B: Asking questions
Social media users often post questions online about products they are considering purchasing and services they need that they don’t know how to find. These questions can be very valuable information for businesses because they tell you what your potential customers need and want and how they go about finding those things. Here are some examples:
• “I want a new car but I am not sure which one to buy,” posted by Martha Stewart on Facebook on March 17 at 9:35 AM. In this case Martha Stewart is a famous person who actually works for a corporation called Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., which sells books and other products for home improvement. However, the question is still relevant because she is interacting with one of her fans on a public platform that anyone can see. The question itself is a good indication that Ms. Stewart is thinking about buying a new car but is not sure which brand or model she wants. This suggests that she may consider purchasing a car from your company if you provide the correct product information to her.
• “Any ideas on how I can learn how to play piano?” posted by Meg Ryan on Facebook on April 3 at 3:49 PM. In this case Meg Ryan is a famous actress who posts her personal thoughts on her official Facebook page so that her fans can see them. The question itself is a good indication that Meg Ryan is thinking about learning how to play piano but is not sure where she can do it or who can help her with the process. This suggests that she may consider purchasing piano lessons from your company if you provide the correct product information to her.
• “Does anyone know where I can rent climbing gear for my vacation in Moab?” posted by Brad Pitt on Instagram on May 30 at 6:39 AM. In this case Brad Pitt is an actor who uses his official Instagram page for posting photographs that his fans enjoy viewing and commenting upon. The question itself is a good indication that Brad Pitt is thinking about taking a climbing vacation in Moab but doesn’t know where he can rent climbing gear when he arrives there. This suggests that he may consider renting climbing gear from your company if you provide the correct product information to him.
• “Anyone know where I can find affordable health insurance in NYC?” posted by Tara Reid on Twitter on June 11 at 11:52 AM. In this case Tara Reid is an actress who uses her official Twitter account for posting tweets that her fans enjoy reading and commenting upon. The question itself is a good indication that Tara Reid is thinking about purchasing affordable health insurance in New York City but doesn’t know where she can find it. This suggests that she may consider purchasing health insurance from your company if you provide the correct product information to her.
All these questions represent an opportunity for your company because they suggest interest in specific products or services (or ideas related to products or services) that your company could provide the answers for if the person asking the question were willing to pay for them somehow. Of course, just because someone asks a question does not mean they really want an answer; however, if someone asks enough questions it becomes clear that they are genuinely interested in learning what they need to know in order to get the results they are looking for so this indicates an opportunity for your company too. If someone asks enough questions regarding similar types of products or services it becomes clear that they are genuinely interested in learning about these types of products or services so this represents an opportunity for your company too.
C: Reading between the lines
Sometimes people write things online that seem straightforward but actually contain important clues about their interests and activities that are valuable to businesses who know how to read between the lines correctly. Here are some examples:
• “I got another speeding ticket today while driving my Porsche! These tickets are getting ridiculous! This one was only going 57 MPH in a 35 MPH zone… I think it cost me $120… F**K!!!” posted by Justin Bieber on Instagram on February 2 at 9:10 PM. In this case Justin Bieber is an entertainer who uses his official Instagram page for posting photographs and videos that his fans enjoy viewing and commenting upon. The comment itself seems straightforward but it contains important clues about Justin Bieber’s activities and interests: he likes fast cars and thinks they should be treated differently than ordinary cars; he has had several speeding tickets; he pays attention to details like how much tickets cost; he feels frustrated when his speeding tickets cause him problems; he likes New York City; he thinks 35 MPH zones should be reduced to 30 MPH zones; he doesn’t like paying $120 for speeding tickets; etc., etc., etc…. All this information tells us something about Justin Bieber that we might not otherwise know: he is interested in getting rid of speeding tickets and in reducing the speed limit in 35 MPH zones; he considers himself an expert on speeding tickets and how they impact people; he thinks his opinion on speeding tickets is important; he thinks his opinion on speed limits should be respected; he thinks his opinion on speed limits should be taken seriously; etc., etc., etc…. All this information suggests an opportunity for your company because it suggests that Justin Bieber would be willing to pay money in exchange for advice on speeding tickets and speed limits; advice that would help him avoid getting more speeding tickets or help reduce the number of speeding tickets he gets; advice that might help him get his speeding tickets reduced or dismissed so they don’t cause him additional problems down the road; etc., etc., etc…. Of course, just because someone expresses an opinion publicly doesn’t mean they really want advice on how to deal with whatever subject they have addressed publicly; however