This blog post is brought to you by Claire from Crunchy Social, a big thanks to her!
If you have just started using social media as a marketing tool, you might have the idea that a few posts, blog content and a good number of followers and likes will take your business to the next level. The truth is, it takes serious marketing, planning and dedication to get your brand recognised, let alone liked by audiences.
If you carefully plan your social media campaign, it can bring in endless opportunities for your small business. Instead of focusing on promoting your products, it enables you to listen to your audience, share relevant content, and enable others to share your content to their friends.
If you want to exponentially grow your business via one of the most powerful, yet inexpensive marketing tools, your social media strategy should stem from your content marketing strategy. How can you harness the power of social media to build your business and brand?
1 BUILD TRUST WITH CUSTOMERS
Your social media marketing strategy should provide more than just an opportunity to promote and sell your products. It should incorporate tactics that will help you develop customer trust and loyalty; two of the most critical factors in the relationship between your customers and your brand.
To develop trust, you need to ensure that the content you share with your audience is engaging, authentic, useful, unique and relatable. Also, you can use social proof to lend authority to your claims. For instance, if you say that you sell the best college backpacks, include several customer testimonials on your page so that visitors can verify your claims and give your brand credibility.
Collaborating with relevant influencers is another way of earning trust. Influencers can help your social media campaign to gain a broader reach through their large follower-ship. Since their updates are perceived as more relatable and authentic, prospects will be more likely to convert.
2 BE CONSISTENT
Your messages, posts, and how frequently you use social media should reflect consistency. If you go from posting once a month to five times a week, then back to once a month, your target audience will not trust your professionalism. Audiences are most likely to lose interest or simply forget your brand if you tend to go silent for periods of time.
To achieve consistency, draft a social media calendar that details how often you are going to post every week, the type of content you will post and the style guide that the content will follow for each platform. This way, you will earn an engaged following and grow your brand.
3 CREATE BRAND RECOGNITION
Raising brand awareness is vital to the growth of every small business because people prefer to buy from brands that they know and relate with. Social media not only enables audiences to interact with your brand even when they are not thinking about it, but it also spreads the word about your brand faster and more conveniently than traditional media.
Business owners should ensure that they post relevant content that is complemented by related images, videos or infographics. In addition to this, your logo should be visible so that it leaves a lasting mark in the minds of customers and prospects. Take a look at some of the branding projects Lindsey has done. The colours, design, text are all cohesive, which makes them memorable.
4 OPTIMISE CONTENT FOR EACH PLAT FORM
If you have several social media accounts, posting similar content on all your accounts will kill your social media marketing efforts. Avoid taking a one-size-fits-all approach and post content that is specially tuned for each platform. The message can be the same, but you should not copy it word for word.
Your followers on Instagram will like it when they see a relevant photo that motivates them to read the short caption that follows it. The same content, however, will not work on LinkedIn. You need longer content for LinkedIn, brief updates for Twitter and videos do wonders on Facebook if you want to cut through the noise and grow your brand.
5 WORK TOWARDS INCREASING CONVERSIONS
Your brand will become stagnant if you keep making the same number of sales every month. Work towards converting your traffic into paying customers by including strong calls-to-action, which motivate customers to act. Come up with appealing calls-to-action that encourage people to purchase your products, for instance, you can give free vouchers or free points to people who buy your products online. Ensure that your call to action is engaging and attainable, so that it doesn’t prevent customers from completing the buying process.
Alternatively, you can host giveaways, contests, or give discounts. These are not only effective, but they also save on costs and generate more sales. Strategize these incentives well so that they can earn you more customers. For instance, you could announce that you’re giving away tickets to an expensive dinner for two, with the applicants required to like and share your page. This contest could last a week so that you can generate more likes and shares, and investing in some paid ads could also be of great benefit.
Social media can grow your business and present new opportunities for expansion and innovation. However, it is good that you work towards finding a balance between popularity and gaining conversions. You do not have to be present in all social media platforms, but choose the ones that your target audience use the most and optimise your content for each platform to make it exciting and audience appropriate.
I want to give a huge thank you to Claire! If you need help with your social media content and regular updates, why not get in touch with Claire Stevens at Crunchy Social to discuss your brand’s social media strategy.