A mentor of mine taught me years ago the purpose of exactly ‘why’ businesses should be online.
#1) Get Found By Creating Multiple Online “Signposts.”
Imagine each time you visit the Internet you are travelling on a highway. Along the road you’re travelling billboards specifically placed there for you by businesses who know your hot-buttons.
Because there are millions of sites on the Internet, the first and most important step is getting found on this highway. Having your business in multiple places online create a strong online advertising presence.
Social media now allows you to erect “multiple sign posts” online leading each future customer to your information. This may mean using Facebook, LinkedIn, a YouTube channel or even Pinterest. Twitter, Google+, Stumbleupon, Tumblr accounts may be part of this initial move into social media also. Each platform has its advantages, and each requires the application of careful strategies for its effective use.
Currently, Facebook remains dominant in many categories including time spent on any U.S. website according to NM Incite. But more recently, LinkedIn has become 200 percent more effective at acquiring actual new customers for many businesses. So, choose the platform that works best for your marketing messages. A good marketing consultant or ad agency can quickly advise you and your team before spending hours creating multiple accounts that may or may not work for your specific business.
The bottom line is: Getting found is everything — and you don’t need to be seen everywhere, you simply need to be seen everywhere in your niche. Which, leads us into our second strategy.
#2) Get Viewed Online.
The steps here are simple – once found, future customers can now view the information contained in the signpost(s) you have created. As prospects begin to consume your information and realize that you are knowledgeable what you are talking about, they begin to know, like and trust you.
However, let me caution you here. It’s more than just getting your name out there. One would presume that if a business unlocks their doors and puts a sign outside and on Facebook … then people would naturally come.
The popular movie line ‘If you build it they will come,’ was fantastic for a corn farmer in Iowa but it’s a lousy marketing strategy.
There is nothing more frustrating than spending a few thousand dollars on a web site, postcard or letter and a week later your office received five phone calls, one email and 43 return to sender stickers. This form of marketing is what ad agencies call “push” marketing. This form of marketing “pushes” a product or service onto an individual when they are not yet ready to buy or learn more about your service. The goal of such campaigns is to create TOMA or Top of Mind Awareness.
The Problem With “Push” Marketing. It’s expensive and the ROI (return on investment) is minimal. The Solution: “Pull” Marketing. “Pull” Marketing is a marketing approach that allows you to gradually attract prospective patients to your business when they are ready. With the advent of internet marketing, Google and Social Media, “Pull” marketing has been proven to be successful in tracking ROI, dollars spent, clicks, hits, and much, much more.
The bottom line is: The biggest mistake people make when promoting a product, person or program in print and online is…they don’t include a low-risk offer — there’s no ‘what’s in it for me?’ If you are currently using “Push” marketing and would like to learn more about the benefits and cost-effectiveness of “Pull” marketing in helping to grow your business, you should connect with a marketing agency that understands these core principles.
#3) Get Traffic.
One of the beauties of having many sign posts in your Social Marketing system is that you can use these signposts to direct prospects (traffic) where you want them to go. In this way you are not chasing traffic, you are getting yourself in front of where the traffic is going and then directing it where you want it to go.
#4) Get Profits
When traffic is properly directed it turns into profits. If getting found is the most important thing in Social Marketing, then what the prospect finds once they get there is a very close second. When the prospect finds more good information from you that is helpful to them, followed by an offer of a paid resource that is going to help them even more, they are much more likely to buy from you.
We’re living in unprecedented times. We are probably preaching to the choir for many of you, but here’s the thing. When marketing and branding your business in social media, there is no middle-man. The playing field is leveled. Everybody has the opportunity to build their own Profile and pages and grow their own business.
The best part is, for the most part, they’re free — but use them wisely and they’ll yield new customers and clients faster than any form of marketing you’ve ever used in the past. That’s great ROI (return on investment)!
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About the Author
Michael Tetreault is the Senior Director of Social Blue which is a marketing agency and social media management and training company that helps entrepreneurs and businesses create a thriving marketing plan (online of offline) without the high cost of agency prices.