From the Web to the Social Networks: Social Media Marketing for Online Businesses

If you run a commercial website, you’re already well aware of the huge impact social media sites have had on the Internet in the past few years. If you’ve been hesitant about expanding your business into these new fields and engaging in some social media marketing, there’s no time like the present to get started. The following suggestions will guide you towards some excellent first steps.

One great advantage of e-commerce is the amount of information you can gather about your customers. Take full advantage of this background info as you prepare to launch yourself into social media marketing. It’s relatively easy to find out which social media sites are favored by your existing customers. The odds are good that you’ll find many like-minded people on those particular sites who could be converted into new customers.

You almost certainly have competitors in your field, and unless you’ve just started your online business, you know very well who they are. While competition can be maddening, it can also be a valuable resource. Inspect your competitors and see how they’re making use of social media. While this can give you ideas about marketing strategies you might want to use yourself, its real strength is in pointing the way towards new opportunities. Look at what your competitors AREN’T doing in social media marketing and ask yourself if you can capture a niche.

One key question you should answer is how your social media efforts will tie into your larger online presence. In many cases, you can sell your products directly through a social media page. Even on sites where this is impossible, it’s very easy to link viewers to your sales website. One of the strongest marketing tools available to you is cross-promotion. When you run sales or special offers, they should definitely be announced through your social media channels. As you gain social media attention, you may even consider offering exclusive deals to customers (and potential customers) who follow you on social media sites.

Crafting your tone for social media marketing is a long process that will require plenty of study. The main point to keep in mind is that you should not be advertising yourself or your company directly. Internet users are terrific at unconsciously filtering out advertising content. Social media sites offer you an opportunity to engage in two-way communication with your customers, and this is the feature you should focus on. Provide useful and interesting information and pay attention to the feedback you receive. If you do this, you’ll have little trouble amassing a sizable social media audience.

Don’t be wary about launching your online business into social media marketing. It’s such a new field that the opportunities are wide open. As long as you heed good advice, you’ll find it easy to stay away from serious mistakes and turn your social media presence into a valuable asset. Stick with it, and there are no limits to the number of people you’ll be able to reach.