Today’s customers are the most likely to research and look up products and services online before they make a purchase. Social media is an integral part of their online research. For this reason, implementing social media in your marketing strategy is vitally important. Integrating social media can have many benefits for your business in that it reinforces your brand’s personality and encourages customer loyalty. Social media provides you with more channels in which to interact and share content with your customers. With that being said, we’ve compiled a list of the top social media marketing strategies that you can apply to help promote your small business.
Efficient Content Marketing
The magic of content marketing is its power to build a real connection with your customer base. The most crucial aspect of content marketing isn’t your brand, your products, or your services. It’s your audience. Everything you share with your audience has to be tailored to their taste. Also, the content has to be of high quality. This means that when sharing a video, post, or photo, your customer takes something of value from that experience. A way of ensuring this happens is by developing content that tells a story rather than content that is very obviously trying to promote or sell a product or service. One way to do this is by creating educational content. For example, if your business involves selling inventory management software to small businesses, you may want to create a video or write an article on how to manage a wholesale business via a B2B e-commerce platform.
The diversity of your content has become as important as developing the content itself. Since most businesses understand the importance of content and social media marketing, finding exciting and inventive ways of standing out from the crowd is increasingly essential. Thankfully, different social media platforms are conducive to various forms of content. For example, Instagram is primarily used for photos and videos, while Twitter also has short-form written posts. Therefore, having active accounts on a variety of platforms automatically means that you will be creating diverse content. It’s important to consider who your target audience is when deciding on the forms of content that will appeal to them. For example, a younger demographic may enjoy pictures and videos more than text. Keeping this in mind will ensure that the kind of content you’re creating is also tailored to your audience.
User-Generated Content, or UGC, is a cost-effective form of promotion. It refers to any content including pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts, etc. that have been created displayed by an unpaid contributor. Typically, an unpaid contributor is a fan who enjoys your product or service so much that they choose to share their positive experience via social media. If you can manage to create a campaign by incentivizing your customers to share their experience with their friends and followers, it comes across as a much more genuine and organic form of promotion. Potential customers hear positive unpaid reviews from customers just like them. They are more likely to trust your product or service.
Create a Community
When you’re creating your diverse content, make sure that you are allowing a two-way path of communication between yourself and the customer, rather than talking at them. Your customers has to feel like their voices are being heard and that their opinions are valuable. You can do this by encouraging an open path of communication. In this way, you are fostering a community environment rather than strictly a business/customer relationship. Some ways you can do this is by asking them questions, asking their opinions on different matters, sharing newsworthy info, and even linking and sharing their posts occasionally.
Humanize Your Brand
People respond to people really well. By humanizing your brand on social media, you can make your social media marketing that much more effective and productive. Interacts with your followers or subscribers as much as possible, respond to comments, share their stories on your platform, use UGC, and so much more.
Don’t forget to spotlight your team members and their stories, share their achievements, successes. Link every SMM effort back to your unique brand story.
Choose the Right Platform
Choosing the right social media platform to engage your customers is also important. Many companies go for the obvious—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, different social platforms may lend themselves to your business even more. Examples of other platforms include Snapchat and Pinterest. Another platform you shouldn’t overlook is customer review sites. They provide a webpage to advertise your product or service offerings while also containing a social component where users can add reviews and share their experience doing business with you. This platform also allows you to communicate with customers by replying to their reviews. You can thank them for leaving positive reviews, and tackle a problem head-on with customers who didn’t have a great experience.
In the digital age, people are online more than ever before and are constantly switching devices while expecting the most personalized experience. This can provide a challenge to companies. Namely, how can companies create a link between all the channels and ensure that the customer’s experience is seamless? Cross-channel advertising refers to the process of distributing paid messages to prospective customers across different marketing channels. For social media, that means not only advertising to customers on various social platforms, but also making sure that the message and campaign remain consistent regardless of the medium and device in which it’s being displayed on. This uniformity allows prospects to remember and connect with your message.
Broadcasting live video has become a powerful tool for brands, businesses, and influencers for several reasons. For one, it fosters a more intimate connection between the viewer and the company. There is a degree of closeness that forms when a customer can watch you in real-time. It also can establish trust because live streaming demonstrates a level of transparency. It tells your customers and prospects that you conduct your business in a manner that you’re proud to showcase. Live video also creates personal and authentic interactions because it allows people to share their ideas and opinions with you immediately and very directly.
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