If used well, social media is an excellent tool to accomplish two goals – connecting with your existing customers and attracting fans for new business.

Celebrities, politicians and businesses, of course, use social media to engage their fans.

It’s worth noting that social media should be synergized with other elements in your marketing approach.

Here are eight basics to remember:

1. Analyze the best social media for you to create accounts

So first you must know your target audience. What are their habits and preferences? What social media do they tend to use?

If you want to reach professionals, LinkedIn is a must for both B2B and B2C. That’s true whether you want to connect with small businesspeople or folks at big firms. Facebook is the general medium to use for reaching typical B2C.

You can create a business page but the costs might exceed your budget if you boost posts with advertising. Photo-based Web sites – Instagram or Pinterest – will help you show images to engage prospects in a fun way.

Of the two, it might best and there are several ways to use Instagram for revenue. Twitter is ideal for all types of businesses. It’s perfect if you want to publicize the different aspects of your customer service.

2. Make sure your branding is up-to-date

Tap into the emotions of your customers and prospects. Create an emotional need – a desire for them to buy.

Have a great slogan, logo and value proposition. Then, you can update people with a buzz about your new products and promotions and LTOs – limited time offers. Know that Internet shoppers demand the 3 Cs – channels, choices and convenience.

3. For repeat business, offer incentives

Think about how much it costs you to acquire a new customer via advertising. In many cases, it can cost $300 or more in major markets. So, you’ll want each customer to become loyal and buy from you repeatedly.

Do your math to make certain you’re profitable if you devise coupons, deals, discounts and specials – because most good customers want to be valued and appreciated.

4. Use social media for each of your promotions

Frequently offer your products and services – like in a restaurant menu, differentiate each time so customers will be inclined to sample all your offerings. Don’t forget your value propositions.

5. Don’t be predictable and boring

Like a bricks-and-mortar store frequently changes its window displays, use all your social-media options to create variety and excitement. For a unique shopping experience, that means using images, videos, contests, and links to fun/informative articles and blogs.

6. For e-commerce, insert a good shopping cart

Most customers will consider buying for five reasons: What they think of you, the image of your customer, the product or service utility, price and convenience.

So make it easy and convenient to shop.

If you like using Facebook, you can add an online store to your business page so they don’t have the inconvenience of going to another site. Price your products so you can offer free shipping.

7. Strategize with a mobile Web site

Increasingly, people are shopping with their smartphones and tablets. So make sure you have a great mobile site to accommodate them.

8. Accommodate hashtag users

With the exception of Facebook (visual content works on Facebook, but hashtags don’t) hashtags are an excellent tool to help customers and prospects to find you.

For each of your products or benefits, include a hashtag. For example, if you provide free shipping, insert a hashtag (#FreeShipping).

From the Coach’s Corner, here are additional relevant strategies:

Trending: How Merchants Increase Profits in Q4 Holiday Sales — As consumers continue to start earlier and earlier to shop for their holiday giving, merchants are honing their marketing strategies. Their tools include advertising, brand protection, strategic pricing, staging events, and using traditional media and digital.

Marketing Tips to Run Your Online Business for Higher Profit — E-commerce has made it possible for entrepreneurs to get a fast return on their investments with higher profits. Here’s how they do it.

14 Tips to Profit from Online Customer Reviews — For competitiveness and profits, businesses can’t afford to ignore the potential of online reviews. They’re a factor in revolutionizing commerce.

5 Business Tips to Avoid Problems with an EMV System — To make it tougher for consumers to commit credit card fraud and to make it easy for businesses to avoid charge-back liability, credit card companies are issuing EMV cards.

Plagued by Chargebacks? 5 Ways to Fight Back — Increasingly, merchants are being victimized by chargebacks in illicit of behavior credit-cardholders. To avert being victimized by such fraud, here are five key steps.

“You can’t do it unless you can imagine it.”

-George Lucas


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.