Sunday, 29 May 2016

Use Marketing and Social Media to Your Advantage

By Cristiane Namiuti

Establishing and running a profitable business venture is not an easy thing, regardless of the type of business run. If you are running a one-man operation or have a few people to help out, chances are you will be handling many different roles. While you won’t always know everything, it’s a good idea to try and educate yourself on what you don’t know, and reinforce the knowledge on what you do know.

Marketing and social media, especially in an age of technological advancement and the Internet, are some of the areas many business managers struggle with. When properly handled, however, they have the potential to take your business to the next level.


As your business’s premier salesperson, you will be charged with branding and marketing your offerings to audiences out there. You have to know what you are doing, and have a marketing plan to support and direct your actions.

The first thing would be to have a marketing strategy, one that outlines your marketing goals and objectives, takes into account the type of market you are dealing with, and the marketing arsenal at your disposal. All this necessitates copious amounts of time spent on research well before you create the first flyer or brochure advertising your business.

With proper research, you can never go wrong. You’ll have a picture of your target market, what they like/dislike, their buying preferences, as well as marketing avenues that work. Of course, some efforts will not be a success, so you have to know when to learn from your mistakes and move on.

We live in a new school, technology-driven world. Online marketing can bring enormous benefits to your business, so find out which online marketing tactics can work for you. Offline tactics still work, but a good number of consumers use the Internet to search for and review products and services way before visiting a store.

Social media

Social media is such an expansive topic, but here’s a short primer on how to effectively use it in your business:
  • Use social media for much more than marketing; make meaningful connections. Keep the “buy my product” posts to a minimum in favor of informative posts on current affairs, international events, business events, and so on. Your customers will view you as a resource on great information, which will improve your credibility making it easier for you to convince them to purchase from you.
  • Before going into social media, do your homework. Not every site will work for you, neither is every business in social media for the same reasons. Find out your strengths and weaknesses, particularly in regards to the timing of your posts and your responses to customer feedback.
  • Set realistic expectations. The more specific and realistic your goals are (get 100 loyal followers by the end of the year, increase website traffic by 15% in 6 months, and so on), the easier it is to achieve them.
Most importantly, be proactive when it comes to marketing and social media because it helps you stay ahead of the curve and handle issues effectively.

About the author:

Cristiane Namiuti is a brand marketing professional with more than a decade of experience building and managing top consumer brands. She is passionate about product innovation and brand communication.