Billions of world-wise users from pre-teens to retirees are using social media. Social media is not a hobby or sideshow. It may even be the number one form of communication in the world. Presidents use it. Companies use it. The social media is not just limited the personal use but now it has become a major source of business marketing and promotions. This article is a detailed discussion about the use of social media for business growth. No matter you are doing a small or large business, you must do social media marketing to get more exposure in the market and access maximum customers. If you want to build a solid brand image and create good relationships with your customers, it is very important for you to make good strategies.
There are many social media platforms that you can use to fulfill your business marketing needs. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat are one of the best social media platforms that can be used for the digital marketing of your business. You can also access any social media influencer for promoting your brand. In this era of digitization, the social media has become a major part of our lives, the demands and needs of the customers continuously changing that makes it necessary for the business to use social media as a marketing tool.
Are You Using It to Its Full Advantage?
The phrase “social media” creates a diverse range of responses. Some feel at home and thrilled – they love social media for the connections and opportunities to share their stories and feel like a part of a larger group. Others shake their head in worry that social media is destroying “real” relationships. And still, others smile and rub their hands together thinking of the profits that can be made through effective social media marketing. You can generate a lot of profit by effectively using social media platforms.
What is Social Media Marketing?
The simplest definition of social media marketing is to use the various forms of social media to bring more customers’ attention to your company or product and increase profit. But those just entering this game may wonder how “likes” and “followers” translates into the hard currency. The truth is a bit more complicated than simply making a page and posting some adorable cat videos. That’s the stuff for amateur, casual users. The marketers know that social media is a deep well of opportunity to connect with a huge, targeted market, but that converting sales is truly only done best through careful planning and development.
Content is Key to Social Media
If you think of social media as a recipe, you’ll need a few critical ingredients. First, you’ll need a platform, or oven, to fully develop your finished product. “Preheat” your oven by making an account and letting it age a bit as you figure out the more critical ingredients.
Next, choose a voice or persona that speaks to your audience and allows you to become one of your target markets. Social media isn’t about preaching to a captive audience. It’s about making connections. Nobody wants to hang out or follow a pompous blowhard. Then, choose the content that does double duty. Your content should speak to your audience while also bringing them closer to what you do and what you’re selling. This isn’t a chance to blast them with ads. It’s a more subtle connection. Give them what they like and they’ll like you.
Finally, follow your social marketing strategy as closely as you would recipe. Just like in baking, you’ll need to carefully combine ingredients and then wait. But unlike cooking things for hours in the oven, in the world of social media, you won’t need to wait long. Some of the most dynamic changes can happen overnight. Here are some of the most beneficial and useful social media techniques that you can use to market your business.
- Make a plan
To do an effective social media market, it is very important to make a solid plan. A failure to plan often leads to a failure in business. If you don’t have a good marketing plan, you’ll be looking at a disorganized, expensive experiment with no defined variables. In short, a mess. You should identify your business goals to make effective social marketing plan.
For making a plan, you should have all the goals and objectives of business clear in your mind. Create a social media mission statement and track your target customers to make an effective marketing plan.
- Show Your Softer Side
Social media is about being social. That means your customers want you and your marketing team to show a bit of personality. This doesn’t mean baring your soul, but a bit of personalization and authentic voice go a long way to helping your customers relate to what you’re saying.
Remember that the social media is not like other types of market, it is more personalized, so rather than making your official business accounts more professional, you should try to make it more personalized and interesting for the customers. Make your customer feel that you care for them.
- Remember It’s About Them
From the company perspective, your social media efforts are about the bottom line – conversions. Don’t make your content a typical sales pitch. For those conversions, however, your audience on social media must think it’s about them. So, give them what they want. Think in terms of what your customers want and make it your content and posts more relevant to the demands and needs of customers. The more effective you know your target audiences, the easier it is for you to do social media branding.
- Showcase Social Media on Your Website
One of the easiest things you can do to grow your business through social media is simply showing your connections on your website. You might notice the social media icons on the footer of the website that allow you to have direct access to their social media accounts. If you give site visitors visible links, they can follow them. So, adding the links of social media on your website is an effective way of getting your website visitors to your accounts and allow them to get more information about your products and services.
- Link Your Profile Back to Your Website
Every social media website and account requires a profile. This is your chance to connect the social media accounts back to your website. You can give your website link on your social media profile. It would help you to drag maximum traffic to your website through your social media accounts. Be sure that every social media profile includes a link. If not, you’re missing an obvious opportunity. So, it is a good idea to provide your website link in social media profile.
- Share with Everyone
One of the best things about social media is that it is free to use. Unlike PPC, social media doesn’t cost anything to share. So, you can share your posts with maximum customers. Post your message to relevant groups and ask others to continue to share your message, perhaps in exchange for a freebie or promotion.
- Cross Brand Your Social Media Accounts
If you have a Twitter and a Facebook, are the two connected? They should be! This is true for every social media account you have. When everything is connected correctly, you should have a web of accounts all hard at work for you. Facebook and Instagram are of the most popular social media platforms, many businesses connect both of these networks to improve your social media followers. Interconnecting the accounts would allow you to drag the traffic of one social media platform to the other.
- Use Audio
While some like to read, others like to listen. Audio in videos and podcasts can be very powerful in social media, especially if you have something interesting or new to say. The busy customers who don’t have enough time to read your long posts or blog, they can listen to the podcasts that are less time-consuming, and you don’t have to read long posts. You can also make podcasts for long posts on social media. Try to make a schedule for your podcasts, so that the customers already know the time you will upload a podcast.
- Make Short Videos
Vines and other short videos can create a lot of impact in a short amount of time. Short videos can be entertaining, educational or instructional and they don’t tie up a lot of time for viewers, so they are very popular as well. You can also ask your happy customers to make mini testimonials for you. These small videos might be interesting for new visitors and they become your future customers.
- Include Reviews
Reviews are one of the driving forces of the internet. the people must search for the reviews on the internet about the company before any product from them. The more positive reviews you have on the internet, the more you are likely to get more buyers of your products and services. Including reviews of your own, especially honest and unbiased reviews will give customers more of what they want.
- React to The Posts of Others
Connecting with your customers is very important. Rather than just doing your marketing on social media, you should react and respond to the comments of customers. It’s a big connected world out there, and you’re now a part of it. Link to others, retweet, share and join conversations. Being connected with readers and others in the industry can be powerful.
- Encourage Engagement
Your accounts shouldn’t be a one-way show. It’s not just about you telling other people about your product. Ask them to tell you things in return. Be engaged with your readers and encourage them to be engaged in return. Social media is an effective tool to build effective relationships with customers, so you rather than just selling your product also make an effort to engage with customers.
- Start Conversations
Engagement can be as simple as retweeting or sharing content. To really maximize the social aspects of your accounts, start conversations. Post links to articles or share insight and then encourage readers to respond, much like you would on a blog post. Try to communicate with your customers more often to build trust.
- Add More Images
Everyone likes to look at the pictures, especially if the images are necessary to understand the post. Always look for new, interesting – relevant – images to share over social media. The social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are known for their attractive images. Many marketers use these platforms for branding purposes. Try to share more illustrations and images about your product and business.
- Mobile-Friendly Blog
An increasing percentage of readers are checking social media on their phones and tablets, not their desktop computers. Be sure that you’ve made your blog and website, especially those linked to social media accounts, mobile-friendly. When you connect your blog to social media, it should be mobile-friendly, so that the users accessing your blog from social apps on mobile don’t find your blog irresponsive.
- Rework Your Old Content
If you’ve been in business for a while you have a ton of contents. Old blog posts, eBook chapters, graphics. Why not refresh and reuse some of those? Do a quick revamp and post your old content online as new material. So, revisit your old content and refresh them by optimizing its keywords and updating the content. For example, previously you may create a lot of content with the year 2017 or 2018 in the title, now it is the time to change that year to the current year by updating the content.
- Encourage Community Responses
Your readers and followers might be individuals, but hopefully, there are other community members out there keeping an eye on you. Encourage a bigger response by engaging a full community or large audience. Who knows? You might shake up the industry.
- Ask for Feedback
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be perfect from the start. Ask your professional network for feedback and ask your followers as well. This isn’t just feedback on your posts, but feedback on your account, style and offers as well.
- Offer Helpful New Tools
Introduce new tools through your social media accounts along with your website. Or use your social media accounts to showcase helpful tools you’ve found that others may benefit from as well. Always share something new with the customers, not compulsory about the product but about you, your business, world or social media.
- Utilize Infographics
Infographics are the perfect blend of image and content. They post as a single picture, but they can share as much information as a fully developed white paper. See how infographics can work for you in social media and include them when you can. The infographics are one of the most effective tools to make your social media account more valuable for the customers.
- Don’t Forget About SlideShare
SlideShare is a digital presentation website built on a social media platform. That means you can use slide shares to create tutorials or overviews and then share them with the world and naturally promote them through all of your other platforms as well.
- Become a Customer
Become your secret shopper by following your own social media accounts. (You may have to create a separate personal account to do this.) By following your own accounts, you can get the true customer experience and improve from your inside feedback. If you are a new business and recently made your social media account, maybe you no one is buying from you because you have no customers. So, you need some customers to attract new ones, so you can ask your friends or family members to buy from you and review them. you can also buy something for you from your business, why not?
- Benchmark the Competition
Be sure that you’re following your competition’s social media platforms. Following each other is not necessarily means promoting each other, of course not! Following your competitors would help you to track their promotional or business activities and they are probably going to follow you, and that’s okay. Keeping an eye on each other is pretty standard in the online community and may even boost your connections in the industry.
- Use Social Customer Service
Since you’re expecting complaints, why not take the bull by the horns and simply use social media as a form of customer service? You won’t just deal with complaints, but questions, concerns and how-to as well – publicly where you can build trust with others.
- Make Your Own Visuals
How many times have you seen stock images or recycled screenshots? Don’t be boring, make your own images by taking updated screenshots or creating new digital images or even – gasp – take pictures to use on your accounts.
- Encourage Content Sharing
You’re posting content. Ask followers to post content. This can be a contest or perhaps a simple call for submissions. Just be honest in dealing with entries – don’t steal someone’s work without credit or prizes. You can also give special discount or coupons to the customers, who share your content in their circle.
- Watch Your Youngest Users
The digital natives, those who have always had the internet at their fingertips, are your best indicators of trends and marketers. Keep an eye on these younger users to see where you need to head next and stay on top of business.
- Keep Adapting
Like everything in business, you will constantly need to adapt and change to stay abreast of the industry and stay current. Keep adapting to what customers know they want and try to find things they don’t even know they want…yet. If you are doing online business it is important for you to keep an eye on the trends in the industry to stay relevant to the customers’ demands and interests. You should stay active and adjust to changing needs of customers.
- Produce New Content
Don’t take the lazy way out and just retweet and share what others have done before you. Be the innovator and create new content and materials. Images, infographics, videos and text – all are powerful in social media. When it comes to marketing, you have to be very consistent and active. Try to post something every day on social media and produce valuable content for the customers.
- Add Value to The Lives of Your Followers
We all like to be entertained, and fun materials can be valuable. Instructional materials, statistics and new, innovative ideas are also all ways to impart value into the lives and minds of your followers. Customers like value and keep coming back.
- Keep Social Media Close
While it can be tempting to outsource all of that social media updating to others, don’t. Or don’t outsource much. Social media should be your voice, your words. Not to mention having someone else destroy your company through a poorly chosen post would be pretty traumatic.
- Have A Plan for Complaints
If you’re interacting with customers through social media, you can expect to find customers with complaints. It’s to be expected, and you should have a plan in place for addressing these concerns or negative posts in a way that satisfies the complainer without hurting your reputation.
For example, if you find someone posting negative comments about you on social media then you first try to identify whether it is an unsatisfied customer or just a bully. It is an unsatisfied customer can index him and talk with him politely, or you can also relax him by sending some complimentary prize. If someone is just posting hateful comments to bully you then you better ignore him.
- Keyword Optimization
Your social media can benefit from a bit of SEO. Don’t forget to optimize your keywords when appropriate in your social media post. Social media posts routinely wind up in search results – especially videos. Try to use related keywords to your product. You should also understand that the keywords you use would be different for different accounts. The SEO of your soci9al media is also very important because it also helps you to rank better.
- Utilize the Power of Hashtags
Hashtags in social media connect your post to a greater trend. And that means others who may not have found your accounts before may find you when you all follow a particular trend or account. Use hashtags to be part of a group or make up your own hashtags to start your own.
- Add Social Media to Emails
Think of the sheer volume of emails you send on a daily basis. Now think of how blank the bottom of those emails is if you aren’t including links to your accounts. What an easy way to encourage new followers – just make the social media accounts part of your signature.
- Branch Out into Other Medias
While Facebook and Twitter dominate the social media conversations for business, there are plenty of other social media options out there to consider. Try out Pinterest as it is one of the potential social medias for branding. To increase your followers on Pinterest, you can read the complete guide on “how to gain followers on Pinterest?”
- Research Other Options
Stay on top of more than just what the competition is doing. There are always new forms of media and social media platforms being introduced. You should always stay current and dig into lesser-known options to see where you can become an innovator or pioneer.
- Ask Followers to Interact
Keep asking followers for new advice or comments. Don’t just ask once and expect it to continue. You need to keep cleverly asking for shares, follows and likes.
- Participate in Conversations
Look for conversations that have already started in social media and join in. Share your perspective and perhaps a meaningful link or two for research or support. Gain trust and gain followers. Just don’t gain enemies – avoid the hot button issues unless you’re ready for the fire. Response to your customers’ comments and participate in conversations.
- Try Snapchat
Facebook and Twitter may be big for business, but the kids are on Snapchat. Why aren’t you? Of course, it might be tricky to figure out the best way to use Snapchat for your business, but it’s a healthy challenge. Many of the big businesses are also using Snapchat as a tool for market and I personally think it is quite a good option out there to attract more customers, especially teenagers.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Instagram
Instagram is another option that may not scream out “promoting my business!” But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great idea for… promoting your business! Images and videos have to come from somewhere. Why shouldn’t they come from you?
- Rework Your Social Media Strategy
How’s that social media strategy working for you after a week? A month? A year? Keep it fresh and lively and never be afraid to revamp and rework it to keep your plans effective and on target. Based on the changing trends you should try different techniques to access your customers on social media.
- Research Social Ad Options
Many social media platforms allow ads of certain types. Not all are beneficial for all companies, however. Do your due diligence and see what’s out there and what might be useful for your company and target audience.
- Don’t Stop.
Finally, don’t stop. Too often social media accounts go dormant or get neglected in light of other aspects of your business. If you stop using your social media account, you’re certainly going to suffer – you’ll have no presence left to help you out!
Social media marketing is a daunting task that can easily consume a great deal of time and effort, especially if you’re trying to stay in control of your own accounts. Your best strategy is to make a plan, make your plan fit in the time you have available and then update your accounts regularly with necessary adaptations for best results!
In this article, I have shared with you some of the most useful and beneficial tips and techniques to use social media for marketing and branding purposes. Whether you are a small or big business, you have to do social media marketing to get more experience in the market and access more customers. You should have all the objectives and goals of business clear in your mind. Try to think about the needs of your customers and make it your content and social media posts more relevant to the demands and needs of customers. Connecting the social media would allow you to drag the traffic of one social media platform to the other. It is important to communicate with your customers more often to build trust. You should make your blog and website mobile-friendly, especially those linked to social media accounts. The infographics are one of the most efficient tools to make your social media more valued for the customers. You can offer a special discount to the customers, who share your posts in their circle. Using these techniques would help you to carry out effective marketing.
If you like my article, do share it in your circle.