This is a guest post by Megan. You can read the guidelines to guest posting at our write for us page.
I was nervous about wading into the realm of social marketing. At best it sounded like a fad, and at worst it was catering to the lowest common denominator. After all, how is it not considered spam? But this way of connecting is not the passive mailing system of previous decades. It is how the frontrunners – from successful entrepreneurs to multinationals – are communicating and how the rest of the business world will eventually communicate. If you have an e-commerce business, you had better get involved.
One benefit to an e-commerce business is that customers do not have to be local. If potential customers desire the product they don’t have to go to a store. They can live anywhere and in most cases still get access to the product. Furthermore, you can get access to all of these customers and potential customers. This is where social media comes into play. If you do not have a marketing plan to grow and improve your business, it is already dead in the water.
Take advantage of a second benefit of e-commerce: easily and actively connecting to the clientele. Social media often appears as avoiding real work in favor of idling around on the internet, and it certainly can be. However, if we use it as a tool to drive business, then we have a goal and a focus. Your customers or clients are intelligent people; they like to know a person exists behind your virtual storefront. Social media can connect them to something more than a product; maybe they can connect with your vision as well. Use email marketing software to keep customers in touch with your aims and ambitions, promotions, and offers.
Keeping customers involved in your business also keeps you present and accountable. I occasionally receive negative comments, and after that first tense moment, I have learned to step back and weigh the validity of the critique. Is this something that needs to be tweaked, fixed or ignored because it does not fit into my product design? Adding stress to a growing business is not the aim, but receiving feedback is. And email marketing software programs offer various ways to aggregate and quantify this feedback to help form a big picture of the business.
Because there are so many social media venue options to choose from, bring a sense of commitment and a playful attitude as you try different methods and websites. Find what really works for you and your customers. Discover where potential customers congregate on the web and reach out to them. The internet can feel very local, and niches are very specific. The trick is to find or create the niche that is specific to what you have to offer; if you can do that successfully, you will be rewarded with a loyal fan base that’s eager to help spread the word.