With 3.04 billion active users around the world, social media platforms are fertile ground for marketing. But using social media for business gets trickier all the time.
Customers assume brands are active where they are; in fact, 62% expect you to provide customer service through social media! Meanwhile, platforms like Facebook keep adjusting their algorithms, making it harder for businesses to get traffic through the organic feed alone.
But while making social media an effective selling tool is crucial, it’s also important to understand the other purposes your online presence carries. Potential customers might research your social media channels to learn more about your brand. Lenders might also investigate your accounts as they consider you for a business loan.
How can you make connections, generate leads and drive visitors to your website in this ever-changing landscape? Here are seven top tips for a stellar social media marketing strategy.
Social media and business only play nice together if you know what you want to get out of your campaigns. Are you looking for more:
It’s also important to know when you want to achieve your objectives. For example, you might want to get 5,000 new followers for your Facebook page, but the increase won’t do much for lead generation or conversions if it takes three years. Nebulous deadlines are a death sentence for social media campaigns, so it’s essential to clarify all your goals before getting started.
Knowing your goals helps you decide which business social media sites to use. In the past, companies were often encouraged to push into as many platforms as possible, but this kind of broad strategy usually means you wind up posting a bunch of thin, irrelevant content your customers don’t really care about.
What’s the solution? Get to know your audience, and create profiles on their favorite platforms. Learn how to tailor your content to user behaviors and expectations on each site.
If the majority of your audience is on Twitter and Snapchat, it’s likely they prefer to take in bite-sized chunks of information on the go. Customers will bear with you for several minutes on YouTube, but the same might not be true for Instagram followers. Use the insights you already have about your customers to create content with the greatest potential for engagement.
Trying to create new content for every post will drive you crazy. If you really want to maximize social media and business growth, learn to repurpose by:
The more content you can recycle, the less work you have to do to keep your social media profiles current and active.
The move toward video has been happening for years and shows no sign of slowing down. By 2020, it’s expected 80% of global internet traffic will pertain to video content. If you’re not already posting videos, it’s time to stop being camera shy!
Video is some of the easiest content for customers to consume and is much more memorable than text. It offers tons of possibilities for engaging with customers, like providing step-by-step solutions to common problems and showing how your products work in real-world situations.
But video isn’t only for YouTube! You can also incorporate video in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels to add some flavor and variety to your content.
Incorporate both pre-recorded and live content into your marketing strategy to maximize engagement.
According to BigCommerce, 30% of people who shop online are likely to make purchases from social networks. That means almost a third of shoppers would be happy to cut out the middleman and make purchases directly from the platforms they’re already using to engage with brands.
It doesn’t make sense to ask people to click through to your website when social media is such a major source for product discovery. Sixty percent of Instagram users find new products on the platform, and as of 2018, businesses could begin using “shoppable posts” to make sales. E-commerce options are also available on Facebook and Pinterest.
Changes in social media algorithms have had a significant impact on how businesses use social media for marketing. Organic reach on Facebook dropped by 52% within months of the social network’s 2016 shift toward favoring content it deems relevant, and it’s getting harder to be seen on other platforms, as well.
There are simply too many brands and influencers vying for attention for everyone to enjoy the same visibility.
To catch the attention of your audience these days, you have to put some money behind your content. It isn’t necessary to promote everything, but creating a marketing budget for posts announcing seasonal deals, limited-time offers or product launches increases the likelihood of showing up in your customers’ feeds and generating the click-throughs that drive sales.
While you’re using these tactics to connect with customers, customers are already trying to connect with you. Ninety percent of people who use social media try to reach out to their favorite brands, and messaging is becoming an increasingly popular way to get out of the noisy space of social media and nurture one-on-one relationships.
A survey by Facebook IQ found 56% of customers prefer messaging over phone calls when communicating with brands, and 61% are “favorable to” getting personal messages. Messaging is the next step in a social media landscape that’s become saturated by marketing and where customers are craving more authentic connections and conversations with companies like yours.
If “how to use social media for my business in the most effective way” is all you have down for your marketing strategy, don’t worry. A survey by OutboundEngine showed over 22% of small business owners simply don’t have enough time to create a robust social media plan. It’s hard to manage multiple channels and cultivate meaningful connections through social messaging when you’re also trying to handle the day-to-day operations of your company.
Getting help from digital marketing experts takes the burden off your shoulders. The team at National Business Capital & Services is ready to help develop and deploy customized marketing campaigns to reach your ideal audience, drive traffic to your website and boost sales. You don’t have to struggle to master social media on your own; let National give you a hand, and start getting the results you want.
National Business Capital & Services is the #1 FinTech marketplace offering small business loans and services. Harnessing the power of smart technology and even smarter people, we’ve streamlined the approval process to secure over $1 billion in financing for small business owners to date.
Our expert Business Financing Advisors work within our 75+ Lender Marketplace in real time to give you easy access to the best low-interest SBA loans, short and long-term loans and business lines of credit, as well as a full suite of revenue-driving business services.
We strengthen local communities one small business loan at a time. For every deal we fund, we donate 10 meals to Feeding America!
Matt Carrigan is the Content Writer at National Business Capital & Services. He loves spending every day creating content to educate business owners across every industry about business growth strategies, and how they can access the funding they need!