Over the past few years, social media has grown exponentially from something only the geeky boys and girls in college spent time on to something that's now a ubiquitous aspect of life across the world.
For businesses, it's clear that social media can be a goldmine of leads and conversions if handled correctly. That's why many companies have focused their marketing budgets on social media, trying to build a following and cultivate customer loyalty as well as new buyers. Here are a few tips you can implement to make your social media marketing much more effective in bringing in sales.
1. Focus on your audience
One of the easiest ways to burn a lot of money on social media marketing without achieving much is to attempt to appeal to everyone. What you need to do is to narrow down your audience, create a customer profile and then target your marketing toward that persona's needs and motivations. It will make your marketing much more effective than if you were taking a more general approach.
You might also need to segment your audience by different parameters to be able to target them more effectively. Essentially, segmentation will allow you to work with multiple customer profiles and tailor your marketing based on their specific characteristics.
2. Pick your platforms and optimize for them
Attempting to maintain an active presence on all the social media platforms available is going to stretch most businesses too much. Whoever is handling your social media will likely be overwhelmed and your efforts across all the platforms will not be effective. Instead, analyze your buyer persona and decide which platforms are best for engaging your target market. Two or three are good, and you shouldn't undertake more than that unless you have multiple staff to handle them.
When you've selected your content, you will be able to optimize your content for that platform and thus get much more engagement. If you're focusing on Instagram, for instance, you'll be able to focus your resources on making quality images, since that's what gets the most traction on the platform. On Twitter, conversely, making highly informative threads will likely see more engagement and get the word out about your brand more.
3. Create and share content
Content marketing is not just a buzzword. It actually works and the effects are visible on social media too. Publish content that's short and entertaining or informative and you can be sure you'll get some social media engagement. Over time, you'll have some content (whether it's text posts, photos, infographics, etc.) that'll go viral and bring tons of traffic to your website. Be sure to work with content creation professionals to be sure your website is up to par.
Putting your content out there is the first step to building a formidable brand, and one easy hack is to tweak your content strategy continually, so it's aligned with topical issues. By creating quality content and using interesting captions for Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms, you'll be able to plug into trends and get your content in front of many more people, such as what brands like Vape4Ever achieved by providing timely information on marijuana laws at a time when there's a lot of confusion and public discourse about them.
4. Promote user-generated content
People trust their friends more than they trust a company, no matter how loyal they are to the brand. You can take advantage of that by encouraging people to post content on social media that validates and promotes your products or services. One popular instance of this was the "Share a Coke with…" Coca-Cola campaign where users posted pictures of themselves with their soda bottles. You don't have to start at that level either; with creative marketing or a small giveaway, you can incentivize people to post positive info about your product or service. For a travel service, for example, getting customers to write about their trips in a way that's authentic and fun will provide solid social proof and encourage FOMO among your target audience, thus increasing the likelihood of conversion drastically.
5. Provide stellar customer service
Positive reviews are great, but many of your customers will also likely reach out via social media when they've had unsatisfactory experiences with your products or services. The solution is to be ready to engage with them and find fixes for their issues in a timely manner. Give opportunities for feedback, resolve any concerns they have, and encourage them to share their thoughts with their network.
Over time, that will boost your customer loyalty, encourage referrals and the influx of new customers and also help to build a positive reputation on social media. As your followership grows and validates your products or services, your social proof will increase and more people will be attracted to your brand, thereby boosting sales and your bottom line.