Over the past decade, social media has become a global phenomenon and the most powerful mass media tool in existence. Needless to say, it has profoundly influenced the evolution of modern marketing, and forever changed the way brands market their products and services. It’s a trillion-dollar industry, social media, and brands stand to benefit greatly by emphasizing social media marketing as parts of their digital marketing strategy.
Particularly, social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your products and your brand, and rise above your top competitors in the field. Ultimately, you should aim for better brand engagement, awareness, and trust, along with improved web traffic and conversions. Let’s break down the social media tactics you should use to achieve these goals.
Build social media buzz with contests
Social media contest have become extremely popular with global audiences over the years, and for a very good reason – people love free stuff, they love prizes. If the only thing they have to do to enter is to share your post, like your page, or subscribe to your mailing list, you can be that they will do it. But the prizes need to be worth their time as well.
Before you start brainstorming prizes (more on that in a bit), you should determine the type and scope of your contest. Will you run the contest on a single network or across your entire social media structure? Are these social media channels going to pool contestants together, or is each going to be its own little contest? And finally, what kind of a contest will it be?
Keep in mind that different social media platforms have different content preferences, and while some thrive on stories and blog posts, other prefer images, infographics, and videos. Be sure to research every relevant platform so that you can tailor your approach.
Leverage social proof to build brand trust
In a very real sense, the future of your brand in the online world will be determined by the online audience. In other words, your future will be shaped by your reviews, as there is no better way to build brand trust and authority than through the praise of your customers. That said, keep in mind that one wrong step can earn you negative feedback, and send your brand reputation tumbling down.
This is why you should emphasize positive customer feedback and user-generated content on your social media channels to build brand trust through social proof. People will trust other customer much more than they will trust your wording or brand promises, so prioritize testimonials and post pictures of satisfied customers on a regular basis.
Offer valuable prizes and promotional material
Venturing back to the topic of social media contests, and giving out promotional materials in general, we encounter the problem of actually giving people something of true value. What could you give them to boost brand awareness without losing money? What’s valuable and engaging enough in their eyes? One word: freedom.
The freedom to choose their prize. Instead of giving them what you think they want or need, give them the freedom to choose themselves. This is why prizes and promotional materials such as a branded Visa gift card have become so popular in recent years, because they focus on your brand identity through visuals while giving the customer the freedom to choose how and when they spend their prize. It’s not a one-off gift, it’s a gift that they will carry around with them and thus effectively make your brand an essential part of their everyday life.
Run sponsored ads to broaden your brand reach
Social media runs on ad dollars. Not only are ads popular with every platform because they keep it afloat, but advertisements are also popular among audiences as they position relevant products and brands on their feeds. Brands they need in their life, and products they could use. But only if you do your research, and learn how to effectively advertise on social media through targeted ads.
Make sure to research your target demographic first, and find out their unique likes and dislikes, discover their needs and pain-points, and determine the hours when they’re most active. You want your ads to run at exactly the right time for maximum reach and to boast the right wording according to your demographic.
Attract customers with unique visual content
Finally, don’t forget about the visual appeal of an ad or post. Social media is a visual platform, no matter if the network emphasizes articles and stories, images, or video content. The first thing your audience will see is the image attached to the text, or the infographic beneath your caption.
Make sure you nail the first impression by posting a striking image that will grab the attention of your audience. That said, refrain from using stock photos, but instead go the extra mile to create original photos, infographics, or source user-generated content.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. In the hands of a skilled marketer, social media can become your brand’s biggest asset, and help you drive traffic to your website. With these promotional tactics in mind, you should have no problem using social media to convert potential customers and grow your brand as a whole.
Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. He enjoys writing and providing insight based on both practice and theory.