Online businesses today are facing intense competition. Many direct competitors along with internet giants like Amazon make it tough for small players to survive. Small companies can only survive by selling their products on their own websites or through third-party websites.
Social media marketing provides a few techniques that are helpful for generating online sales. A survey reports that 77% of U.S. small businesses rely on social media for key business functions. To properly execute these techniques requires both strategy and creativity.
Some benefits of a properly executed social media strategy include:
• Increased Brand Recognition: Social media provides a platform to advertise your brand at a minimal cost.
• Increasing website traffic: Using social media can drive significant traffic to your website
• Approachable Audiences: For many social platforms, you don’t need to actively look for new audiences. The audience is readily available.
With that in mind, let’s jump into 12 strategies you can implement today to grow your business.
1. Put your company's Best Foot Forward
It is a myth that only established brands can earn money through social media marketing. In contrast, social media marketing is unbiased and provides equal opportunity for all brands. Once you set up your social media account then it’s up to you to promote your brand. The next step would be to captivate your target audience.
This requires some upfront investment in content. When setting up your online business’ social media, follow these tips:
- Pay attention to your profile and cover photos. These images should align with your brand and use high-quality photos
- Make sure the visual elements of your brand are well represented.
- Research what type of content your target audience likes to interact with on social.
Personal care products brand Moop has a profile that reflects their brand and includes high-quality visual elements.
2. Start a Conversation around your Brand
Social media is not all about one-way communication. After all, it’s meant to be social. Finding ways to interact with your audience will help you to build engagement. Some strategies for this include:
- Listening to customers’ feedback for improving your products
- Providing responses to comments on your social media posts
- Engaging your followers with relevant questions through polls or surveys
- Highlighting outstanding customers through testimonials or sharing their posts
The goal should be to have an open communication channel with your target audience. Social media allows for two-way communication. However, regular blogs help make your portfolio website gain visibility. For more on how you can put together great portfolio website content, click here.
3. Impressive Branding
Social media offers a platform where you can share posts with groups and discuss other related stories. The real struggle behind establishing a brand is having a lasting impact on your audiences. Impactful and meaningful stories are one great way to do this. Here are some tips for increasing your social media presence:
- Build a legendary brand story and mention important people who helped you build it.
- Share your mission to help customers better understand your brand and support it.
- Show off the brand’s culture and personality to stand out.
4. User-Generated Content & Crowdsourcing of Ideas
User-generated content is vital to any social media marketing strategy. Videos, Images, Infographics, and Memesshared by others can all play a role in your social posts. People often post their content with specific hashtags. This further amplifies the content’s reach on a given social network. To make this strategy more effective, do the following:
- Highlight posts and stories shared by your audience
- Identify any influencers or fans who create great content. Encourage them to continue creating content through a mutual partnership.
- Run contests to encourage more user-generated content posts
5. Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Customers today expect companies to handle their concerns on all platforms, including social media. A solid investment in customer service can build meaningful relationships between your company and its customers. As mentioned before, social media promotes communication and customer feedback. Thus, it enables businesses to respond to their customers rapidly. Some tips for this include:
- Address and resolve customer issues related to products as quickly as possible.
- Take customer feedback as the opportunity to improve your business’ products and sales processes.
6. Build Customer Loyalty
Social media allows you to build brand loyalty (for free). It’s an obvious direct correlation: if customers follow you, they are more likely to engage with you. Furthermore, if they’re loyal customers, they might even make a purchase. To create brand loyalty, follow these tips:
- Keep your loyal followers engaged by posting relevant content.
- Consider rewarding users with small items such as stickers, shirts, sunglasses, hats, etc. Small gestures can make a long-lasting impression.
Sunglasses brand 5th& Baldwin built a loyal following of >17K followers by posting engaging content, working with influencers, and offering freebies (ie. Free sunglasses giveaways)
7. Direct Referral Traffic to Your Website
Social media channels are a great way to generate inbound traffic. The scheduling of posts and as already discussed the content of your post has a big impact on your engagement and visitors. To achieve maximum traffic, make sure to:
- Share links to your website in posts (where relevant)
- Check your website and ensure that there are no broken links.
- Make use of analytics tools like Google Analytics to measure traffic coming from social channels
8. Retarget Your Audience Using Social Media
Retargeting and re-engaging customers is one strength of social media. Using tools like the Facebook Pixel can help you to keep track of visitors and people who performed action on your site. Then, you can run retargeting ads to reconnect with these users and push them down your sales funnel.You should try to:
- Retarget users who visited your website but did not make a purchase.
- Maintain purchaser data and contact them about the new offers and product information.
- More than emphasizing additional traffic, focus on satisfying your customers’ needs
9. Connect your Product with a Social Cause
One way to improve your social media marketing is by connecting your brand with social causes. For example, does your business have any sustainable practices to help fight pollution or global warming? Or do you support and charities/social causes? If so, promote this content. Some benefits include:
- Socially driven content is more likely to go viral than regular content
- Social awareness will justify the authenticity of your organization and build trust around your products.
10. Communicate with Customers about Niche Topics
Facebook alone has over 620 million groups. Chances are that your target market is in a few of those. Finding those groups and getting involved can help you to understand your audience.
Staying up to date by following people who post about subjects in your industry is also a valuable effort. If they like what they see in your company, they’ll follow you back. That’s important because 72% of customers are more likely to purchase a product from your business after they follow you. To do so, you should consider:
- Creating your own Facebook Group and include people with similar interests.
- Share relevant information in the group about challenges, successes and any relevant news within your niche.
Getting the Most Out of Social Media
Your criteria for measuring social media success can differ depending on the nature of your business.
To help you succeed, start by creating brand-centric social profiles and start a two-way conversation around your brand. Highlight your audience’s engagement by sharing and promoting user-generated content on your portfolio website. Provide exceptional customer service on social media and use this to help drive brand loyalty.
Portfolio websites have become the most significant business tool for creative pros like photographers, artists, designers, and others. A great portfolio website can impact your creative business and career in more ways than you can imagine. Make sure that the portfolio website builder you choose offers the flexibility, features, and ease-of-use you need to put together a professional portfolio website without requiring any coding knowledge.
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Promote and measure traffic coming to your website from social media. While at the same time use it as an opportunity to retarget potential customers. Finally, connect with your ideal customers through Facebook groups and consider support a social cause.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to growing your business with social media marketing.
Martin Ochwat is a leading writer focused on digital marketing and e-commerce. He is passionate about writing vibrant content that's easy to read and inspires readers to take action. Martin is currently working on a zero-waste brand Wellow and digital insurance brokerage Dundas Life.
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