While most leaders in the professional service industries continue rely on traditional methods of marketing, a growing number of entrepreneurs have begun harnessing the power of social media to establish themselves as a niche authority figure within their chosen profession. These pioneers have developed powerful referral engines for themselves in the process, while their skeptical competitors sit on the sidelines and miss out on major opportunities for substantial growth.
Of course, time-proven promotional campaigns will continue to dominate the marketing strategies of most professional service veterans throughout the foreseeable future. However, more and more businesses have begun taking advantage of social media platforms that deepen the impact of existing marketing efforts by strengthening their professional network. These services also allow users to keep their finger on the pulse of their profession by providing them with updates on relevant breaking news and promising business opportunities as they develop.
Many medium to large-sized businesses remain apprehensive about social media because they do not want to risk losing control over their brand image. News headlines concerning employees who have posted confidential or compromising information on Facebook and Twitter have raised a number of concerns in the minds of legal and medical professionals in particular. Disasters like these can be devastating from both a professional and a financial standpoint, but such complications can be averted by putting a system of best practices into place that compels team members to use social media responsibly.
From blogs devoted to untapped niches to Twitter streams providing informative links and comments, those who have implemented an effective social media marketing strategy have found these new platforms to be tremendously powerful. The most successful campaigns have included the following three principles in their marketing strategy:
- Developing a professional niche
- Building a personal connection with your audience
- Leveraging your core network to generate high quality referrals