Social media has become an indispensable part of our lives, whether we look it from a consumer’s point of view or a marketer’s point of view. Social network penetration in January 2020 was 49%. The number of social media users is expected to be somewhere around 3.43 billion in 2023. The social media platforms are no more just a medium to connect to your friends and families but a great source of generating revenues for businesses by implementing the right strategies. Times are changing, and just as marketers are becoming smarter, so are the consumers. What are the right things to do on social media platforms for your business to grow?
Choose the right platform
There is no dearth of social media platforms where you can promote your business but the first and foremost step is to know which platform has your target group. Ask yourself a few questions such as:
- What are my business goals?
- What is my target audience?
- Which social media channels are used profoundly by my TG?
- How can I align my business goals with social media campaigns?
Statistics like the number of active users and the average time spent per day by the user should be examined thoroughly. The benefits that a particular channel serves should be known inside out to decide which platform you should choose.
For example, Facebook (2.5 billion monthly active users) can be used for a diverse type of content.
Twitter (386 million monthly active users) is a platform for quick replies with concise ng and engaging tweets because of its character limit.
Depending on your goals, you may even choose multiple platforms but you must handle all of them equally well.
It is important that you design campaigns for your social media account, have the content ready for at least the next six months, and post them as planned, on the right day and right time. Your audience should keep hearing from you, so that they get to know about your brand, talk about it, and take further actions as you will. On average, a person spends around 2 hours on social media daily. You wouldn’t want your customer to forget about you even for a day, because you never know that your competitor might fill that space and you could eventually lose your customers.
Visibility is important on social media. By posting regularly, you can retain customer’s interest in your brand, bring more views and engagements to your posts, increased traffic to your website, and most importantly add credibility to your business. So create your posting schedule on a calendar, post manually or employ posting tools (some channels like Facebook have built-in schedule posting tools) and give your audience compelling content to engage with.
Create engaging content
Every social media platform has different features and the users’ expectations change with each platform. The content that you can post on social media can be high-quality images, live or previously recorded videos, DIY tutorials, blogs, infographics, information related to your brand/sector etc. You can also share the content where your business has been mentioned as a story or a retweet on your profile to let more and more people know that you are being talked about.
Get creative with your posts. Use the new features that are added to different platforms to get insightful data such as polls about which version of your product users’ prefer, what colour T-shirts would they prefer, what is their favourite travel destination, or quizzes to find out how well your audience knows you by asking questions like what was your first ever product, what is your tagline, which is your most sold product, etc. You can use AR filters which enable viewers to virtually try on your products, like IG users who follow Kylie Jenner could try out Kylie Cosmetics lipstick virtually. Most people access their social media accounts using their mobile phones. So keep that in mind while creating content.
Build a community
While using social media as a way to promote your business, you should never forget the main purpose of these platforms, i.e., socialising. With people spending an hour or two on social media, people are not only looking for something to entertain them, but they also want to engage in conversations with people who have similar interests. Why not give that opportunity to users through your social media account?
Create groups where users can talk about products or services that revolve around your business, post content which leaves food for thought, suggest topics for a healthy discussion, reply to those comments where your brand is being mentioned, get involved in instant twitter replies, do not miss out DMs from your audience, and add value to their lives. Your business should never be only about you, but also what you can do for your customers.
Work with influencers
You sure would have come across posts where you see a celebrity or a person who has a very high number of followers on their social media accounts talking about how much they like using a particular product from a particular brand or how their last trip was amazing when they planned the travel through a particular website or how their life has changed after using a certain app etc. These all are examples of influencer marketing.
Brands are increasingly partnering with influencers, since what they say or what they choose is likely to affect the choices of their followers, their stories are credible and shape the opinions of people on those platforms. Influencer marketing is different than celebrity endorsement in the sense that celebrities have a larger than life image in the minds of the consumer, whereas influencers are somewhere closer to consumers and live a life somewhat like them, making audiences feel that these influencers are a part of their reality. Statistics suggest that 49% of consumers depend on Influencer Recommendations So don’t shy away from trying influencer marketing for your business.
Another way to leverage the benefits of social media is by generating leads. But how do you that? You can run contests in line with certain campaigns of yours and ask people to follow your page/account, share the contest post, mention maximum people on your post, comment etc. to register for participation. Offer your audience exciting giveaways like some of your products, or give them a chance to meet a celebrity or tickets to a concert!
Running contests would bring you referrals, more engagement, more visibility and more awareness about your business. You can also ask the participants to send in their entries as videos of them talking about how your product changed their lives or short stories about anything that resonates with your brand. If your contests offer prizes that are of tremendous value to your customers, then they are likely to participate in your upcoming contests too.
Invest in sponsored advertising
Social media advertisements are used to show targeted ads based on user data like age, interests, location, search history etc. Social media platforms can be a great way to advertise your product, provided you choose the platform and decide on the appropriate budget wisely. And this decision shouldn’t be based on instincts, but using analytics tools which can suggest which platform is going to get you the desired ROI. There are different data-driven attribution theories which enable marketers to decide which media channel will be the most cost-efficient and effective.
Features like Instagram Checkout enable users to buy a product without even leaving the app. More and more platforms are enabling the Buy Now button to direct users to shop on the websites. You can try investing a small amount and track the conversions. You can also post two different versions of the same ad for two groups and analyse which one performs better. Do not invest all your money on one social media platform but rather plan and spend after thorough consideration.
Sharing curated content
Content is the king in marketing and people are looking for fresh and unique content. And while it is a good idea to create your content, you can also provide your followers with those links in your content that you think would be helpful to them. If there are sources that offer useful information that your target audience could use, direct them to those sites or pages and you may even build yourself a community that promotes each other through relevant and engaging content.
Linking to outside sources which are genuine and credible can help in building your reputation as well. There can be tutorials, how-to-tips, DIY guides etc. built around a product or service your business offers with relevant links attached.
With all this said, a few more things like tracking your conversions, analysing your results, staying aware about trends, integrating your social media marketing with other online and offline channels, keeping an eye on your competitors, searching popular hashtags and keywords, being authentic, etc. can keep you ahead in the game. So, utilise the potential of social media platforms to the greatest extent.