Your Guide to Social Media Enlightenment – From Trending Topics to Innovative Startups

How to Promote Professional Services Using Social Media?

 Social Media Marketing and Video Production in 2010  Courtesy of Alicia

Ever struggled to work out your next step to stay ahead of the competition? Ever wondered why someone who offers the exact same service as you is getting way more business? Marketing in general and promotions in particular can be a difficult minefield for most business owners, leading to failed promotions and increased cost.

The key to implementing a great campaign always lies in the strategy and planning. Executing a well laid out strategy will help you gain the desired results and insight to maximise the ROI (return on investment) for your campaign.

Using social media in marketing is all the rage at the moment, but done properly it can also help you gain valuable insight into your target market as well as increasing your brand awareness and direct traffic.

Below is a step by step guide on how you can promote your services using social media. For this example we have used a payday loans company but the steps would stay the same for most services.

Step 1 – Understand your target market

Without knowing who you want to target you will never understand how to reach them. Think about your customers. Who is most likely to use your service? How are these people finding you at the moment?

For our example the company wanted to target UK based customers from the 18-35 age range. We looked at what was trending on Twitter using the search term “Payday Loan” and evaluated what people were saying about these terms, and the other keywords people were more likely to tweet about.

Step 2 – The competition

Scoping out the competition who are already successfully using social media is always a good way to find out who is currently doing what. You can find out what types of things customers respond to, what they like and how they are different from you.

We checked out all the other payday loan groups on Facebook and the majority of them had good graphics, regular status updates and conversations with customers. Generally speaking, we found that the pages that had the fewest Likes were the pages that were less active themselves with posts, status updates, answering questions and lacking in quality branding.

Step 3 – The Plan

After the research, you should make a plan, outline what you want to achieve and how you will go about achieving it. Without determining what you wish to achieve and measuring it, you will find it difficult to define if the campaign was successful.

The payday loans company already had a well branded page with a number of likes but they wanted to promote a special offer they were running of “no admin fee”. We proposed a polling question using Facebook’s “ask a question” application. We asked 5 questions over a period of a week. Alongside this, we used the status updates to promote the special offer.

Step 4 – The results

Making sure you capture all the results is key to understanding how successful your campaign was and what you can do next time round to improve it.

We found the more people that answered the poll questions the more likes we got on the status updates. We then compared this with the website analytics data and found that the click through rates from Facebook had also increased. Other data we collected showed that weekend poll questions got more responses than weekdays, and again certain times of the day were more popular than other times.

With this data the companies now have the ammunition to run similar campaigns regularly and know how to time them to get the best results.

About the Author:
The guest post was contributed by Alicia, financial guest blogger from Manchester, UK. Find out more about her finance related blogs at financeport

Image credit: frankeykerney

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