Social media, it has created a fundamental shift in our day-to-day lives. It has changed how we interact with one another, how we receive our news and from a consumer perspective, how we interact with brands.
One of the beautiful things about social media is it can be moulded and manipulated to satisfy your business’ needs and wants. So whether we are adopting it as part of a wider marketing strategy or simply to build a better relationship with your customers, the possibilities are endless.
Although the powers of social media are immense, it isn’t for every business. Like all business decisions, implementing social media needs to be carefully thought out and precisely executed. Simply having a Facebook or LinkedIn page isn’t enough, those pages need to be actively managed. If you don’t have the time to manage your presence, look for outside help to get a bespoke social media strategy (wink, wink). If you put in the time and effort to make your social media accounts a productive part of your business, the benefits will be so much more than a few likes or followers.
Shouting your brand from the rooftops
You could be making the best thing since sliced bread but if no one knows about you, good luck gaining a slice of market share. Getting active on social will help to get your name and brand out there and noticed.
In today’s day and age, you will be hard-pressed to find someone that isn’t active on at least one social platform. So whether you are looking to target a small group of people or all of New Zealand, it is arguable that this is the most effective method.
However, in order to get your brand to stick, you can’t just ‘spray and walk away’. You need to actively monitor and engage with these platforms. Providing value-adding or entertaining content to your followers will help increase your public visibility, and if you’re lucky, they’ll redistribute your content to their pages.
Having content that is engaging and adds real value to your audience is vital for these platforms to generate tangible results. An account that resembles a ghost town or is littered with pointless content has the potential to do more harm than good, so be careful.
Target who you want, when you want
Whether you are simply looking to build a following or tap into the ad tools, you first need to understand exactly where your audience is and who they are. Knowing exactly who your target audience is and what they are looking for is an essential part of turning your social platforms from a site flooded with cat memes into a revenue-generating machine.
Just because Facebook or Snapchat are the most popular platforms, doesn’t mean it is right for you and your target audience. For example, if you are looking to target C-level executives, chances are they aren’t using Snapchat’s filters. Instead, you may need to focus your efforts on platforms, such as LinkedIn, where the majority of users are professionally oriented.
If we are looking at tapping into the ads side of these platforms, especially Facebook and LinkedIn, you are able to really hone onto the people we want to target. We are able to manipulate who sees our ads, right down to their hobbies and interests.
Not only will this provide a fairly good picture of the size of our market but it also lets you utilise every last cent of your marketing budget.
Call me loyal
Marketing 101, it’s easier to sell to someone who is already a customer than to a first timer. Careful and skilful use of social media channels will create a pool of loyal customers or even fans of your brand.
Which if you look after them and grow with them, will not only lead to them buying your products but will ideally lead to one of the most powerful marketing tools in our tool belts – word of mouth marketing.
The power of social media doesn’t simply stop the moment someone logs out or turns off their phone off. Through building an engaged and loyal following, many brands use their social media accounts to drive both in-person and online sales.
Without spamming your accounts or coming across too salesy, you should be using your accounts to funnel people to your products or services. Whether it’s on your page or in private messages, you are able to alert your followers of special offers, promotional activity or competitions.
As business owners and influencers, you need to ask yourself ‘is social media a platform that will help grow my business and push it forward?’ the overwhelming answer is yes. Although it isn’t a new tool and there’s a lot of competition in the space, if you take the time and effort to make it a contributing part of your marketing strategy, the potential is limitless.