With over 38 million people now using social media, the rise of its use as a marketing tool has been staggering. Raising brand awareness and gaining customers through social media was once an easy win, however with such a crowded marketplace many of the channels have made free social traction increasingly difficult. That is not to say it is impossible though. Lets look at a few ways that you can still win on social media for business.
Choose Your Platforms Wisely
Not every social media site is right for every brand. With so many to choose from you need to ensure that the platform is the right match for your brand personality. Facebook and Twitter have the biggest following and therefore are generally the go to for most brands. However, you may find that some of the smaller sites such as Instagram or LinkedIn offer you a better fit and therefore more potential to succeed. Think carefully about the personality you want your brand to have and then choose one or two social sites that match and amplify that personality. Make sure you track your success and if you find a site is not working for you, try another, it may take a little time to find the right combination.
Have a Plan
It takes time and hard work to build a loyal following for your business on social media. Once you have established your profiles on your chosen platforms, you then need to keep it fresh and populated. Many consumers use social media to investigate a brand before they make a purchase, so you want to ensure that when they find your page it has recent posts and engaged followers. Good content is vital, but can be very difficult to produce at the last minute. Take the pressure off and pull together a content plan. Plan a month ahead and keep the plan updated so you always have a good stock of content ideas.
This is where so many brands go wrong, they establish their pages, post a few times and then forget about their profiles for a few months. The most important part of social media is the ability to have regular dialogue with your followers. Regular posts keep your followers engaged and show potential new customers that you are active in the market. It can also establish your brand as an authority in its sector which is always a positive. Each social platform will have a different flow of content, twitter has a very fast pace so several posts a day are fine, however several posts a day on Facebook may be seen as too much and cause people to unfollow you. An easy way to keep your feed populated is to create a daily theme, blog post on Monday, offer on a Tuesday, quote on a Wednesday etc. Whatever you choose just make sure it is regular and maintainable.
One of the key benefits of social media is the ability to build relationships with your followers. Unlike your website, your social channels invite a two way conversation, and an opportunity for customers to get to know the person behind the brand. The language you use across social can be much more friendly, and personal, than that of your website. Customers are more likely to engage with your brand on social when they feel that there is a person behind it, for that reason you should attempt to reply to any interactions with your page as quickly as possible. Encourage dialogue with your followers through the use of poles and questions to make them feel involved.
Get Everyone Involved
Keeping your social channels populated and engaging is a full time job, but that does not mean that only one person should do it. Your business has many great assets, made up of the people that work there. Get everyone involved in your social plan. Feature expert pieces, interviews, staff updates, and give people a look behind the scenes. Get your customers involved too, if they are a fan of your brand a mention on your social media will probably get shared and liked. Potential customers love to see positive reviews and feedback so encourage customers to get involved on your page. It also helps keep your page fresh.
Don’t Give Up
Social media is not a short term win. It is long term goal to build brand awareness and establish a loyal follower base. Many brands go all in for a few weeks or months and do not see a big enough return and give up. Be patient, once you start to build up a following things start to pick up pace. And bear in mind that 50 engaged loyal followers will be more likely to purchase from your company than 5000 who come across your brand once.
Social media is an ever evolving entity and there is no set formula to success, what works for one brand may not work for another. Evolve with it, monitor what works best and build your own strategy. If you would like some help with your social media strategy or simply don’t have the resource get in touch with us today and see how we can help.