Nowadays, if you are not on any social media platforms, you just about don’t exist; this particularly applies for businesses as well. Having a website is essential, but a social media presence through use of social media marketing is even more important, as these days most potential customers will conduct a quick search and look up your business first on social networks (mostly Facebook and Instagram), rather than accessing your website directly or from a Google search result.
Social media marketing is definitely the most powerful tool of the present day when you are looking to boost your sales, and it will play a vital role for businesses both in 2019, and the following years to come. It is a cost-effective and useful tool to increase visibility and convert more prospects into loyal customers. It can also assist with the following:
- Increased brand awareness – more than half of Instagram users claim that they discover products through the platform)
- Increased brand loyalty – staying top of mind for your audiences ensures regular customers
- Increased conversion rates – by using strategies such as user-generated content and social media pages as extensions of your website product pages
- Increased inbound traffic – attracting more visitors to your website
- Improved SEO rankings – even though social activity does not improve rank directly, there is a positive correlation between social engagements and change in rank, according to this article
- Enhanced customer insight – social media gives you access to the profiles of customer’s and users of your products, allowing you to analyse social conversations of your product. This is valuable as it can be classified as ‘free feedback’.
However, though social media is a key tool in boosting your business, its power can only be maximised when you are aware of exactly how to utilise it. Below are a few tips that will ensure you are making use of social media marketing in an effective manner.
Know where your audience are
Knowing your audience is the first step in marketing, no matter what type of strategy you are using to promote your products and services. The best campaign with the perfect message and seamless execution will be useless if you don’t target the right people on the corresponding channels.
Social networks, with their analytics tools, can tell you a lot about people in your focus audience. Here’s some steps you should be doing before executing any marketing:
- Be familiar with the platforms where your key demographic are spending their time and energy on so that you can focus on these (there is no point wasting time and money on social media platforms that your focus audiences aren’t using)
- Do some research and see where they are most active. E.g.: if your focus audience are the younger generation, they will most likely be using Instagram the most. Therefore it is imperative to spend the money and time on advertising through that social media platform, compared to others
- Once your suitable platform is identified, you can then push out all marketing efforts to that particular one; whether it’s doing ads, following and connecting with audiences, and getting your message/product/service out there
Utilise user-generated content
Social media is a key tool for businesses to engage with their customers, and develop and extend a true relationship with them. Social media marketing has made it possible to dive in one step further in terms of customer interaction by encouraging users to create their own original content that is related to the brand. Not only is your business more visible than ever to your prospects, but these people are also creating content that allows you to advertise your products in a very authentic manner.
Here, we are talking here about simple and free content from your customers that you can make use of to promote your business, such as positive testimonials from customers that have used your products/services, sharing their posts that shows them using your products/services (repost the image), or simply just acknowledging your business.
How can unprofessional advertising be more effective than a well-thought content created by marketers? This is because messages coming from other individuals rather than businesses are deemed more reliable, as people are most likely to purchase goods and services if they can see other people had a positive experience before them.
Boost visibility through ‘influencers’
The number one way to boost visibility and increase sales is through eye traffic. While the majority of people are using at least one social media platform, it’s important to make use of every available resource that can help contribute to close more sales.
The hype of influencers is big at the moment, with an average influencer having 200,000 followers, some even reaching millions. As a result, a copious amount of people are being exposed to what is displayed in just 1 post by an influencer.
Your business needs to create an influencer engagement strategy, brainstorm which method will work best and promote your brand accordingly. Promoting methods that can be used by influencers include: discount codes, product reviews, ‘how to’ tutorials, product features, and hauls. It’s also worth considering promoting your business through the so-called “micro-influencers” if the larger influencers are not accessible for businesses your sizes or you want to address your messages to a niche segment.
Consistency is key
Consistency is the number 1 key to successfully utilising social media to grow your brand or business. Once you’ve attracted a number of followers on social networks, you need to constantly provide them with engaging and interesting messages and to interact with audiences. Some things to consider if you don’t want to disappoint your followers:
- Ensure the consistency follows through on each and every platform that you are using
- Your profile has to be easy accessible and easy to contact as it creates value for customers
- You need to regularly post new content. For some brands, it can be every day, for others, the right amount of time between posts can even be a week, depending on how consistent your content is. It is totally dependent on the business
- Use a scheduling app to assist with planning your content – no need to worry because you’ve forgotten to post on one of your social accounts today. Pre-planning is useful as you can plan out exactly what to post on what days without any clashing
Social media marketing is such a powerful tool because the evaluation step of every campaign is easy to complete and very accurate. You can easily learn from your mistakes because you know exactly what the effect of your messages was.
It’s important to keep track of what works for you and what doesn’t, so that you don’t spend unnecessary money. The lessons you learn from your social media analytics allow you to target and put your energy and money into what works and the costs associated with campaign evaluation are significantly lower compared to traditional marketing strategies.
The product is the most important
Every time you use all these tools for boosting sales and visibility for your business, there is one thing that stays constant: the product/services are the key point. This means that you need to:
- Always ensure all social media platforms have an easy, accessible, and clear, click-through to get to your website or a direct link to purchase your products/services;
- Make it easy for audiences to get to your product. If a potential customer is interested in a product but finds it too difficult to reach your website, they will abandon the potential sale;
- Take advantage of all social media platform features that are implemented for businesses. Such as:
- Instagram/Facebook live as a way to ‘show’ products. An example of how you could utilise this is by giving followers an exclusive first look at a product
- Product tagging in stories – making it easy for audiences to reach the product
- Links in bios and captions
- Instagram polls – these are an easy and free way of getting feedback from consumers/audiences, in addition to interacting directly with them. You can ask questions such as what products they prefer (free feedback).
All these tools helps link back to the product which is the most important thing with social media marketing.
Learning how to use social media marketing to promote your products/services is relatively simple, but this amazing tool will only deliver excellent results if you remember to focus on the two most important elements in any kind of marketing: your audience and the product.