Why do some businesses still shun social media marketing? We’ve all heard the adage, “Slow and steady wins the race.” While this approach worked for the tortoise, it does not work in today’s competitive marketing environment. Developing a social media marketing strategy for your firm will not only enhance ROI, it provides you with valuable information when evaluating future marketing endeavors. Unfortunately, professional services firms, in particular, continue to hold on to outdated tactics that no longer work in today’s customer-centric, social media world.
Regardless of the size of your business or the offering of a product or service, I encourage you to suspend your skepticism and consider the following recommendations to enhance your marketing program:
Social Media Marketing
Stop discounting the Internet and social media marketing. In a recent survey, 69% of consumers indicated that they sought advice and opinions about products and services, BEFORE they contacted a business. Today’s consumer seeks information via on-line reviews and asks for input from their social networks to validate their choices. Understanding how consumers shop is critical to marketing and sales success. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Google+ or profession-specific rating systems, buyers are making assumptions based on other consumer’s experiences. Know what is said about your firm and proactively manage expectations.
Update your website. As noted above, today’s consumer is more sophisticated and values a website that looks professional, is easy to navigate and provides answers to relevant questions across ALL electronic devices. Still need convincing? There’s plenty of research that details what a buyer values in a website. Think like your best prospect. What do they want to know about your firm? Make it easy. Hire an experienced graphic designer and web developer to create a professional end product. The investment on the front-end will more than pay for itself in the long run.
Build visibility for your firm. Consumers want to be educated and delighted, not receive a heavy-handed sales pitch from the on-set. Provide your prospects and customers with useful information to help them make an informed decision when they are ready to buy, not when you are ready to sell. Potential topics abound. Think about the questions that your clients already ask you. Can you put together a simple guide, a checklist or provide information on a new law or regulation?
Analyze and Evaluate
Track your results. One of the primary benefits to social media marketing is that everything is trackable. Always evaluate your marketing efforts. An easy starting point is to set up a Google Analytics account. Google Analytics is a robust web analytics tool that provides detailed visitor data related to your website. The best part, it that it’s free. Reviewing trends and fine-tuning marketing initiatives based on the information will increase your ROI in the long-term and enhance customer loyalty.