Social media marketing can be a great asset to your business. However, not all businesses are aware of the benefits of it. 50% of small businesses aren’t using social media to promote their business. Plus 25% of those people don’t plan to use social media in the future either. There is obviously a huge divide between the business owners who are seeing what social media can do for their business, versus those who are struggling or unwilling to get started. While managing social media for your business can be time-consuming, the advantages far outweigh the time you’ll spend managing it. Keep reading to learn how social media marketing can help to build your business.
Grow Your Brand Awareness & Loyalty
Social media marketing is an easy way to spread the word about your products, brand, and mission. The main and most important marketing goal of any business is brand recognition. That’s because consumers want to buy and support brands that they recognize. Social media allows for effortless brand building. Another benefit that social media has over traditional media, is that it can get your brand in front of people more quickly and easily. By using social media to promote your brand, you will get your products in front of your audience in a more low-pressure way compared to traditional marketing.
Build Customer Loyalty
Just creating and posting on your social media pages isn’t enough. In order to create brand loyalty, you want to generate a conversation about your brand and products. Engaging with your audience is also extremely important when trying to establish brand loyalty. You want your followers to feel that there is a person behind your brand. The best way to do this is to respond to messages and comments on your pages. Customers hate feeling like they are talking to a robot. By avoiding this, they’ll have a better view of your brand and feel that they’re a valued customer.
Customers follow and interact with brands that they enjoy following. Those customers who follow your business are likely to be loyal to your business specifically. Some of the best ways to keep your audience engaged are to offer discount codes and host giveaways for your social media followers. These will make a long-lasting impression on your customers. Plus it will make them come back and check your page more often.
Increase Your Traffic
The ultimate goal of your social media pages should be to convert those likes, follows, and comments into visits to your website or store. It should also lead to purchases in stores or online. By connecting your website to your social media pages, you will get new customers that may only have found you from social media. These are customers that may have never found your website otherwise. It is unlikely that all of your traffic will come through search engines alone. Social media channels allow for a more diverse traffic stream.
Bottom line- if a customer follows you, they’re more likely to choose you versus your competition. If they’re loyal customers, they’ll increase your traffic.
Promote Your Products & Services
Though your social channels are great for getting traffic to your site, you also will want your audience to know about your products and services on your pages. However, you’ll need to consider how often and what you’ll post. You don’t want to post too frequently or become an overbearing marketer. This will turn off your customers. You want to promote your products in a subtle way so that your audience doesn’t realize that they’re being sold to.
Focus on sharing content that will naturally create a conversation, but also will help to sell your products. Ways to do this are giving shout-outs to other companies and brands that you work with (they’ll, in turn, do the same for you). Solicit feedback about your products from customers. Ask open-ended questions, and let them reply to get them actively involved. These responses that you get can later be turned into content for you to reshare on your social media channels.
Tell Your Brand’s Story
Using social media is a great way to share your brand’s mission and share stories. You can expand on this more extensively than you typically would on a website. Customers like to see behind the scenes of your brand and how it’s become what it is now. Effective stories can have a great impact on your brand’s image. They can be simple or extensive. It all depends on what you think fits with your brand and will be most effective.
Provide Customer Service That Keeps Your Followers Happy
Customers now expect companies to handle their requests through social media. A strong investment in customer service can build meaningful relationships between your brand and your customers. Customers want to know that if they as you a question they will get a response in a timely manner. If they know that, they’re more likely to come back to your brand than another one that might not take the time to respond to their customers. Even just answering questions about your hours. Spend that little bit of extra time answering your customers’ questions. This will contribute to your brand loyalty and make you their number one choice.
As your brand grows, you may need to outsource this to another employee. However, the investment will be well worth it if it keeps your customers coming back to you. A strong investment in customer service can build meaningful relationships between your brand and your customers.
It’s (mostly) Free… That’s right, free.
It’s free to create all social media profiles and post content. For some brands, that may be enough. Your content may promote itself well enough to drive the traffic that you’re looking for to your page. However, if you’d like to go the extra mile and promote it further, paying for promotions will help increase exposure. You can promote your business on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for any budget. You can spend as little as $5 to start promoting posts and running ads. The sites automatically direct your ads toward users that are interested in what you’re advertising.
Facebook gives you plenty of tools to target your posts to the right audience. You can target by age, location, income level, hobbies/interests, and more. All you have to do is set up the campaign, and then they work with your budget. This means that you’ll have a pretty big return on investment. Plus you’ll use your marketing budget in an effective way to reach your desired audience. If your business pages are linked (Facebook & Instagram) any ad that you run on Facebook will be advertised on Instagram as well.
Communicate With Customers About Topics You Both Love
Facebook has over 620 million groups. Chances are that your target market is in a few of those.
A good way to help grow your brand is to find those groups and get involved. It can allow you to help your audience (and endear them to your product in the process). You can also follow people who are posting about subjects in your industry. Connecting with others in your industry is an important part of growing your business. If they like what they see in your company, they’ll follow you back. That’s important because a high majority of customers are more likely to purchase a product from your business after they follow you.
Use #Hashtags To Increase Your Reach
A hashtag is a powerful tool that can connect a group of like-minded individuals through social media. It’s a simple way to greatly increase your reach. Adding the correct hashtags to your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts will help to direct people interested in similar products to your brand. The key is finding the right hashtags. You can use Twitter and Instagram, as well as other third party websites (such as hashtagify.com) to find the best hashtags. Using only a handful of the most popular ones related to your brand is important. Using too many it can give you less than desirable results.
Written by: Alyssa Havelka