Take Advantage of Growing Interest

Wednesday, March 27 at 10:30 AM
Category: Business Banking

The growth of social media is unmistakable. More than four out of five online Americans are now active in creating, participating or reading some form of social media content at least once a month, according to Forrester Research.

Marketers have taken note of social media’s pervasiveness. Between now and 2014, Forrester* predicts social media marketing will experience a compound annual growth rate of 34 percent, far surpassing the projected growth of all other forms of media marketing.

The message is clear: If you’re not already using social media to help promote your business, chances are you will soon. But how can you do so effectively?

PRODUCTIVELY USING SOCIAL MEDIA

The key to successfully using social media – to disseminate information broadly using Internet and Web-based technologies – is to proceed as if you’re having an in-person, one-on-one conversation. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Tie into your business’s core values. Connect your social media efforts to a unique feature or brand element of your business. For instance, a grocery store’s goal of promoting fun and healthy eating might translate into an ongoing blog encouraging customers to share their families' favorite recipes. Or a financial services firm’s desire to foster wealth enhancement might mean regularly offering tips for better money management.

Share authentic and useful information. Be a conduit for periodically providing pertinent information to customers and prospects, not a town crier hawking your own wares. A good example would be an accounting firm sharing weekly tax season tips. A less effective use would be the same firm sending out a twice-daily message, “20 percent off our tax services!”

Be prepared to listen. Unlike most forms of advertising, social media is all about encouraging a two-way exchange of ideas. Plus, everyone likes to be heard! By providing customers and prospects with a sounding board, you might even learn ways to improve your business. When Honda first introduced the Element, it promoted the vehicle to bikers, surfers and other outdoors types. But by listening through its social media, Honda discovered the Element was popular with dog owners. Guess what group Honda began marketing to?

GETTING STARTED

No matter what form your social media outreach takes, you’ll still need to let others know about its availability. To spread the word, use traditional channels already at your disposal, such as direct mail, print ads and point-of-sale flyers. If you have a website, then don't forget to promote your social media associations there. You should also encourage front-line staff to engage customers by chatting up your latest social media activities. Once you begin using social media, keep at it. Your primary goal is to create an ongoing conversation for the long-term benefit of your business.

The views of this article are for general information use only. Please contact and speak with a subject expert or your banker when specific advice is needed. Find articles like this and much more in the online Arvest Biz Center. Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking
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