When it comes to social media marketing and online business, there is a huge opportunity for growth. As a small business owner, entrepreneur, or business professional, this is the best time to dedicate more money, time and resources on social media marketing. The heart of your business lies in its marketing. 78% of businesses use social media to attract new customers. 92% of marketers said social media boosted their sales & 80% indicated social media increased traffic to their website.
Every action you take on social networks should be intentional; it must be a part of a larger social media marketing strategy. This automatically means every post, reply, like, and comment should be guided by a plan that’s driving toward business growth. With social media marketing, you cover four different forms of marketing – advertising, public relations, promotions and sales. Why spend money on four marketing channels when you can achieve same goal with one?
Here are 10 effective social media marketing tips that will help small business to increase brand awareness, boost their customer base and sell their products.
1) Listen to what your customers are saying – The most valuable way to market your business online is to pay attention to what your followers are saying on social media. Monitor social channels for mentions of your brand, competitors’ brand or any questions or complaints about products or services offered. If you are listening closely you will hear them express some sort of need or problem. This is your light bulb moment to demonstrate your expertise. Engage those followers with answers to their questions, pointing them to places on your website or social media profile where they can find help, or entice them with products or services you sell.
2) Use Custom Hashtags – Even though the primary use of hashtags is to help people find content based on categories, custom hashtags can be a great way to get people interested in your brand and encourage them to share your content and turn them into customers. When customizing hashtags, make sure it speaks about your type of product or services, the solution your business provides, your business sector and competition. The interesting thing about hashtag is that you can use the same hashtag across multiple social media platforms.
3) Make Your Followers Feel Special – There’s nothing worse than being a loyal customer and feel like you don’t matter to the brand. If you want to keep your followers happy and engaged, reward them with sweepstakes, promotions, and giveaways to show them you care and that you’re not all about the sale (even if you are). This will not only make them loyal customers, they’ll become brand ambassadors and help spread the word about your business.
4) Reviews and Testimonials – play a huge role in social media marketing. People love to read reviews and get other people’s opinions before they purchase a product or service, so you should develop a strategy to solicit reviews from your past customers and post them on your social media profile. You can solicit for reviews by using a personal email from the founder of the business or an incentive for leaving a positive review on platforms like Facebook, Google+, etc.; but either way, positive reviews need to find their way into your marketing strategy. It works great magic.
5) Write Great Content – A big part of social media marketing is great content. Before you create content for your website or blog, research trending topics so your article is of relevance; your target audience wants to see informational and educational content that’s meaningful. Don’t write good content—it has to be great – then publish the link on all your social media profiles to boost traffic to your website and ultimately create more awareness for your business.
6) Be more visual – The importance of photos on social media cannot be over emphasized. Always remember that social media users are scrolling through tons of content–yours must stand out in order to gain their attention. Three of the “hottest” social networks, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat, are mostly driven by images; so you must leverage on the visuals when promoting your content. If you’re using a sponsored advert on Facebook or Instagram, be sure that your ad is aesthetically catchy and compelling enough for viewers to click on it.
7) Track Your Competition – Did you know that over 90% of businesses use social media for marketing? This means that, 9 out of every 10 of your competitors are using social media to market their products/services and build their brand. Don’t get obsessive about your competition, but it’s a good idea to know what they’re doing. You should ask yourself questions like:
- How often is your competition publishing updates?
- What type of content are they providing?
- Is their engagement better or worse than what you’re experiencing?
- On which networks are they most active?
It may take a while to pinpoint your primary competitors and review their social media platform; but in the long run, it will be worth it.
8) Leverage Social Live-Streaming Video Platform – Did you know that social media users spend 3 times longer watching live video compared to a pre-recorded one? Using live-streaming platforms like Facebook Live, Periscope, and Instagram Stories, are great assets to your social media marketing strategy. You can leverage live-streaming to host a Q&A session to give your viewers the opportunity to ask questions in real-time, dig deeper into a popular blog post or take your audience backstage at a live event. The opportunities are endless.
9) Track Everything – It’s good to get excited about social media marketing and but you need to ensure that you’re moving in the right direction at all times. This is why it’s a must to track everything you’re doing. For example, here are some things you can track in regards to your Instagram account:
- Number of views & reach
- Number of daily, weekly and monthly posts
- Number of followers, with a focus on month over month growth
- Total and average post engagement (likes, comments & reposts)
When you track everything you’re doing, when you track your progress (both the good and bad), it’s easier to tweak your plan as the year wears on.
10) Be Consistent – the biggest mistake you can make on social media as a business owner is being inconsistent with your updates. It’s not good enough to provide quality updates for a week, and then disappear the next month. It’s also wrong to provide actionable advice a few days in a row, just to push more generic updates the following week. If you want to grow your audience, if you you’re your audience to trust what you’re saying, you need to be consistent with your posting schedule as well as the quality of your content.
With these tips, I can assure you that there will be an increased customer base that will attract the desired growth and revenue to push your business to greater heights.
If you need help implementing these tips or you need a social media manager to handle your social media profile, you can sign up for consultation by clicking the button below.