With cut-throat competition in the online industry, social media marketing has emerged as a catalyst to different businesses for promoting their brands. This emergence comes with the need of platforms that can bring businesses and users together, in order to increase the ROI ultimately.
Social media marketing is one concept which has been tailoring the customized requirements of marketers. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and similar have truly the changed the face of online promotion completely.
Social media networking sites have brought users together with a view to connect with friends, colleagues and strangers, making the global world a much smaller place. This has benefited various brands as they can get hand on a huge chunk of customers that exist on one virtual platform and hence can be tapped with proper marketing strategy.
But what are the ways using which brand owners like you can reach profit maximization in accordance with the prevailing industry standards?
What are the exact strategies? How to focus and convert prospects into customers? How to measure the success of social media campaigns? All these questions will be subsequently answered in the following part of the article.
Why Social Media?
There are more than enough reasons for any business owner to opt for any prevailing social media platform. Social media platforms render you a golden opportunity to communicate your brand’s message with utmost precision in targeting the relevant audience.
If you are using Facebook as your promotional channel, you can integrate your website using the social media platform’s button on it, so as to leverage the existing traffic.
Apart from driving the traffic from your website, social media platforms are also used to optimize your
To provide business owners a sense of relief, all the social media platforms are themselves acting as a search engine, hence providing them a chance to increase their brand reach & visibility.
Sites such as Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook have their own
You can see here, that using relevant keywords you can see the search results trending on Facebook. Same goes with Pinterest.
All these platforms can be used as a search engine also by the business owners.
Also, marketing professionals will love the stats about social media marketing.
Just see how many internet users and social media users are now active. You might be feeling an excitement inside your marketing nerves seeing the huge potential social media platforms possess.
This is the true power of social media; the people on it. Vast numbers of users come on social media sites every day. Brands use this virtual world of real prospects to increase their brand’s visibility and reach.
Now I am going to start with the 10 tips that will clear your doubts that are holding you back to hop into this roller coaster ride of marketing and engagement.
Goals and Objectives
To start any business, you need to first be clear about your company’s goals and objectives. Before you can start firing the gun, you need to be sure about the target you are aiming. So, make sure to identify what sort of audience you are actually looking for.
Some business might be targeting diversified audience, but most of the brands are targeting some specific kind of audience.
Suppose, you are having a business of perfume, so your target audience will be females and males between the age of 18 and 50. Although, demographics of target audience can differ as per your business genre, still as a marketing professional you should be clear about what message you are communicating to them.
Clarity in goals and objectives of your brand will render you an excellent opportunity to reach and convert maximum prospects into customers.
Social Media Presence
For any business to prosper and flourish, increasing its presence along all social networking sites is very important. But, how to do that exactly when there is so much competition in this industry?
With around 725 million daily active users, Facebook is the most prominent platform, which is ruling the social media industry. Twitter comes second and hence is the obvious choice for the marketers looking for platforms in order to reach more and more customers.
Apart from this, there are many other platforms that are growing at an extraordinary rate.
Platforms such as Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram are increasing at an astonishing rate subsequently (As seen from the above image).
So, your efforts should not be halted till the most prominent platforms existing today but you should also focus on the social media stages that are growing at a faster pace, as these would be the places where most of the users will start pouring very soon.
Make Your Content Platform Specific
Let’s imagine that you have marked your online presence across different social media sites. Now, you start sharing your brand’s content on each of the platforms. But you are still not getting enough responses or expected result from it.
Why is that?
The answer is simple. Since each of the social media sites has varied characteristics, so the to-be communicated message for each dais should be different too.
Customize your content as per the social media sites you are promoting your product line.
For example, let’s say you want to use Facebook for posting content related to your brand. Consider some of the basic facts of contents on these sites.
Like content on Facebook is mainly news or entertainment regarding; Content on Facebook is visible for few hours and similar. These basic aspects will enlighten your thought process and you will be able to communicate the right message to the right audience.
For publishers and similar entities, Facebook has introduced Audience Optimization.
For businesses, focusing on Pinterest and Instagram, special care should be taken on visual marketing. Since, both of these platforms are ‘interest-based’ and are a completely image-focused dais, so marketers should ensure to post the visual content more than the textual contents.
Also, while pinning any pin on Pinterest, you should also optimize the description of the pins, description of the boards and allied information, in order to make maximum users exposed to your brand.
Just see how DC Comics have perfectly understood the characteristics of both Facebook and Pinterest.
Seeing the Facebook page of DC Comics, it is clear that they are more relying on video and textual content.
Now compare the same DC Comics Facebook’s page with its Pinterest page. Here, more emphasis is given on the visual content.
This is exactly how you should be posting content as per the different nature of the social networking sites, in order to pull more customers towards your brands.
Don’t Sell, Just Tell
Nobody really wants to hear a sales pitch on a social networking site. People just hate seeing direct sales message on these platforms and often confuse these platforms with the advertisements.
Smart brands have given various such examples of some amazing storytelling on social media networks.
Wise marketing professionals, who know it is important to create an everlasting impression on the minds of the customers, so they do not just present the product in front of the customers by putting a straight sales focused message.
Instead, these brands draw customer’s attention by telling a story; a story that connects prospects with the brand. For example, you can simply publish a customer’s experience, using which you can pull more & more customers towards your brand.
Also, creating a story just to ensure that users stop at your content to see the deep meaning behind it is also an apt strategy to grow your customer base.
Visuals, Visuals and Visuals
You can understand the trending nature of visuals from the fact that as soon as Facebook announced the introduction of Instagram videos, the social network experienced approximately 5 million video uploads during the first 24 hours of the announcement.
This shows the true power of visual marketing. People are keener to react to the visual content as compared to the textual content. That is the reason that the social media platforms that rely totally on the images and visuals are the ones with highest growth rate.
I am talking about two most known platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. With a growth rate of 111%, Pinterest is growing at the highest rate. It is all because of the exquisite and appealing nature of this social media sites.
Just see how beautifully Versace has been able to use visual content as a weapon to tap maximum customers to its base.
Stats also tell that more than 80% of the people who are registered on the Pinterest have done online shopping at least once using this platform.
Twitter has also included vines, gif’s and videos to increase the customer engagement on their platform incredibly
To engage customers directly with your brand on a social media platform, it is quite relevant to start a campaign or promotional event. In order to drive customer’s interest and soliciting their participation, you can always conduct contests and allied promotional activities.
Generally, the businesses relying on the social media for the promotional purposes are keener on getting more number of followers. But to ensure that maximum consumers are pulled towards your platform, you should be creating more contests, polls, campaigns to ensure a perfect customer engagement.
There have been different successful campaigns that have driven a high number of customers across the social media platforms than other.
Save the children had created one of the most influential and powerful campaign of all time. Introducing the video named as “Most Shocking Second a Day”, save the children was able to create a strong & deep impact on viewers’ mind.
Educate the Customer
Posting educational content such as DIY (do it yourself) videos and infographics provides you a chance to connect with the customers on a much effective level. As a brand owner, you should also keep posting different blogs for your products in order to increase the visibility accordingly.
As per this study, for gaining more exposure for your brand and reaching a wider range of audience, it is highly advisable to use & distribute the educational content.
Focus on Mobile Devices Too
As per Facebook’s official press release, Mobile daily active users have reached 989 million on average for March 2016, depicting an increase of 24%.
This shows how many prospects are waiting for you on the mobile devices. As a brand owner, you should be knocking on each opportunity and assess the possibilities.
Focusing on mobile devices means you should be providing a mobile app for your website/brand. Also, you can integrate your website with different social media channels using buttons.
Listen to Customers
It is always important for a business to incorporate all the necessary ingredients in the message that is intended to be communicated to the customers. But, what about the customers? Have you ever tried listening to them?
One of the basics which I have learned during my master’s course (MBA) was that it is extremely important to understand your customers. To understand your customer, it is very important that you listen to them carefully.
Make sure to read all the comments and feedbacks written by the customers on your page on all social media platforms. These valuable suggestions, criticisms and reviews will provide you a clearer way to reach your customers.
A patient listener always proves to be a good marketer. So, ensure to listen so as to provide your customers with the product/services catering to their diverse requirements.
Honest Brands lead to Loyal Customers
“Honesty is the best virtue”. This quote fits in all situations, but slides in ideally for the social media marketing.
Generally, different brands and businesses fake their image or communicate a wrong message to the customers, in order to acquire a larger customer base. But, as usual, the customer knows it all!
You cannot fake with them! It does not matter what sort of business you are in, the thing which matters most is the originality and the rarity with which you impress the customers.
Some roads may take you to the desired objectives in lesser time, while other roads will take a longer route. It totally depends on you what kind of brand you want to become; one with the shorter route and hence less loyal customers or one with the longer route and more loyal clients.
It is advisable for the marketers to follow the 80/20 rule. It means that majority of the time (around 80%) you can focus on the content that is really not about selling the product instead it is about your industry, target audience and business.
All in all, there are millions of ways to market yourself and your brand on the internet using social media sites but the above-mentioned tips will somehow help the businesses those who want to increase their ROI effectively.
Hopefully, my readers got clarity on the topic of social media marketing and I really hope to see them shining in the online industry pretty soon!
Images: Author’s Own