For many CEOs, it’s still a little mysterious how social media can benefit their business. But best practices do exist that can greatly improve brand awareness and profits. Social media can be a powerful marketing tool — if it’s used the right way. It opens doors for companies to create personal relationships with their current and potential customers online. And with the proliferation of mobile devices, more people are using the Internet to search and buy new products and services.
Your social media marketing plan should align with your company’s marketing goals. If your focus is to increase brand awareness and expose your company to a larger audience of potential customers, you should use targeted online advertising (such as Google AdWords, LinkedIn or Facebook advertisements), online-centered promotions and interactive tools such as YouTube, Flickr and Slideshare.
If you want to increase return on investment, focus on customer service and conversions. A conversion is a desired action that can mean potential new business for you. It can be an actual sale, a lead capture or even an email newsletter sign-up.
To capitalize on this marketing tool, start small and stay focused. Find a few social media sites where your potential customers interact the most and create a company page. Organize a small social media marketing team in your company and establish a brand-focused voice and participation guidelines.